Default folder to put notebooks

Reported by Peter Morgan on 2008-03-29
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Status tracked in Pyzim
Jaap Karssenberg

Bug Description

When creating a new Notebook. one has to naviage and even create the location.

The idea is to have a "workspace" default directrory.. much like eclipse..

so creating a new notebook would be

New Notebook
Name : E=mc4+1

and the folder name below would expand to

and then click the create button

Peter Morgan (pedromorgan) wrote :

This needs to be a setting in the ini file then ?

Peter Morgan (pedromorgan) wrote :

Windows Users would experience something like


This is an issue that need to be resolved..

!! have we got any Windows users as muppets and feedback !!!

Current behavior is that we create notebooks in the home directory by default.
I see two possible changes:

1) Make this directory a setting that can be changed
2) Hide the directory entry in the notebook dialog as an "advanced" option

I think we can merge this behavior with the "profile" configuration we have so far.

Do you also want to be able to have a separate list of notebooks for each profile?

Changed in zim:
assignee: nobody → pardus-cpan
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Confirmed
dotancohen (dotancohen) wrote :

> I see two possible changes:
> 1) Make this directory a setting that can be
> changed
> 2) Hide the directory entry in the notebook
> dialog as an "advanced" option

I would prefer the first change. Additionally, I would recommend that the default directory be "~/.zim" as the users do not need the directories to be visible. Users interact with their notes in Zim, not in their file manager.

Jeppe Toustrup (tenzer) wrote :

Setting the default path to ~/.zim sounds like a bad idea to me. People not familiar with hidden folders and directories aren't able to find and delete their data, in case they stop using Zim, and neither are they able to copy/pack an entire repository and send it to somebody, as the export option under File -> Export doesn't support exporting in native Zim format. There aren't any other options for sending an entire repository, so hiding the entire file structure sounds like a bad idea to me.

I vote for ~/Zim-notebooks.

dotancohen (dotancohen) wrote :

Take a look at your $HOME directory with "Show hidden files" enabled, and then decide if you would really prefer that all programs store their internal data (data not meant to be manipulated outside of the program in normal daily usage) in non-hidden directories. This is the exact reason that hidden directories were invented. In fact, even in the Windows environment, which assumes a very low level of user competence, programs store user-specific data in hidden directories in the user's profile folder.

I agree with Jeppe here.

Yes, configuration files and files caching internal state belong in hidden directories ( ~/.config/zim and ~/.cache respectivly according to the XDG directory layout standard). However the notebook themselves I consider as user data that also can be edited with other programs. I think all user data should be in visible directories.

( My rule of thumb is that if I backup all visible directories from my home dir I should have all my data. All I loose with a HD crash then is application config that is easy to re-create when needed. )

Currently zim suggests "~/Notes" as default directory. I like that more than "Zim-Notes", but I recognize adding the application name could be good to distinguish from other note taking programs.

Peter Morgan (pedromorgan) wrote :

I agree and disagree with dotancohen here.

The problem I suppose is the different environments and user base.

Somehow windows users are used to navigating directories, and Document Settings/ Home folder etc... whilst having shared stuff.

and *nix users also. (never touched a mac so !can !comment.. ;-))

The issue is that Zim users what possession and see it "there" in their "file" structure, and as easily and usable as possible.

I think the way forward is to have a "zim.notebook" structure and a container for a zim-wiki.notebook.instance.*

I have a firm conviction on the way I see it.. And that is to have an "instance" of a "zim.notebook/" in a directory.. content and all.

This would contain: in /path/to/foo/
/zim.xml << The meta data file
/zim_wiki_source_files/ < where sim stuff is stored
/images/ < where the images are stashed
/media/ < other stuff eg pdf, .doc. .uml
/html_templates/ < this is where the html templates, css and java etc is saved (some preloaded ones for cutomisations)
/exports/ < this is where all the Zims are exported to
/tools/ < command line little designer and formatters and other utils (xml2zim)
/etc/ < superfrivilous unless there is 10 head

That means I can Zip it all up and send it/ copy it on usb.. everything I need will be on the stick..
Including the Zim application itself.

My vision is a Zim.usb.stick with all the stuff on it.. Take it anywhere.. boot it up and carry on writing the manual ;-)) Mad maybe but possible ;-)

What is important in mind is that the "content" is all contained in a folder and can then be zipped etc.

happy thoughts on a cold october in ;-)

Seems the correct way to do this is as follows:

1) Have a default directory to store notebooks, e.g. ~/Notes
  - so my notebook 'agenda' would be below ~/Notes/agenda by default
  - on windows the default should probably be called "~/My Notes" ...
2) Make this directory configurable through the xdg-user-dirs system
  - so setting a environment variable like XDG_NOTES_DIR can change this default
  - this gives users and sys admins freedom to choose a different layout
3) Use the XDG_DOCUMENTS_DIR as default document root
 - so /foo.pdf will link to e.g. ~/Documents/foo.pdf (or ~/My Documents/foo.pdf on windows)
 - this is consistent with where other desktop programs will look for user documents
 - documents in other directories can be referenced with "file://" urls and ~/.. will also work as expected
4) Consistently talk about "attachments" if documents are incorporated in the notebook directory
5) Allow specific data dirs to be incorporated (e.g. templates)
  - Would be security issue to have all data dirs incorporated
6) In the "open notebook" dialog automatically show all notebooks in the notes dir as well as allow extra paths to be added
  - like default directory listing + bookmarks

tags: added: integration
removed: linking notebook
summary: - Default Workspace
+ Default folder to put notebooks
tags: added: papercut
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