Their are two schools of thought when it comes to filing information; store everything in one big file or break things up into smaller, easier to manage,Â separate files.
When I designed Surfulater I went down the path of one big file, thinking this would make SurfulaterÂ easier to use, because you didn’t need to go around opening,Â closing and creating files. It didn’t take long at all for our users to tell us they really did want to use multiple files and Surfulater was changed to suit. Their is no right or wrong way to handle this, although some may disagree. It is a matter of what works best for each individual.
The argument for one big file stems from the point of view that all content should be stored together in one place, and the software provides sufficient means to view and work withÂ various subsets of information, to overcome the problem of managing and working with what otherwise might be overwhelming. For example you could hide all folders except those in a specific branch, or only show articles that match some search criteria. You can think of these as filters which strain out most content,Â leaving behind only the juicy relevant bits.
SurfulaterÂ already has some capabilities that let you restrict the content shown inÂ the Knowledge Tree. For example you canÂ hide all articles except those in a specificÂ folder or hide all articles period, or show all folders fully expanded, without any articles.Â And there is the Chronological tree view that shows content according to when it was added. These are a good start but we need to do more and will.
Fortunately the tree control I’ve written for Surfulater is very fast and was designed to enable tree items to be shown or hidden at will, without having to re-populate the tree from scratch. You can see this for yourself by using F9 or Show Articles and notice that theÂ tree is instantly updated, even when it contains a large number of items. WithoutÂ this capability, filtering a large tree would be impractical.
So the groundwork has been laid to enable us to provide more ways to filter information to help you focus on what’s important at a particular point in time. I’ve got several ideas for filters including letting you create your own via say a search string. I’d welcome your suggestions on this.
I need to wrap up as I’m told some of my posts are getting a bit long. I’ll end with a few comments. Multiple knowledge bases currently work best for me. This may change as more sophisticated capabilities are added like filters and keywords, but I somehow doubt it. Trees are well trees, and the bigger they get the more time you waste working the tree, instead of getting things done.