Jot+ Notes Merge Wizard (was synchronizing jot file)

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Jot+ Notes Merge Wizard (was synchronizing jot file)

Postby Phil_A » 06-Oct-2006 17:31

KingStairs wrote:Beta 1 of the Jot+ Notes Merge Wizard is now available to licensed users on the Jot+ Notes beta page.

The documentation has important guidance, so please read it through before use. If there any questions, please ask them here. Comments and feedback will be welcome.


I tried to install it on XP Home (by dbl-clicking it within the WinZip window), but got this problem:

"The app has failed to start because kszlib.dll was not found. Re-installing the app may fix this problem"
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Postby KingStairs » 08-Oct-2006 14:02

:oops: I've got that DLL in my system PATH, so I didn't encounter that during development.
You can either move the JotMergeWiz.exe to the Jot+ Notes application folder and run from there, or copy the kszlib.dll from the Jot+ Notes application folder to the folder where JotMergeWiz.exe resides.

The final version will have a proper installer that will include dependent DLLs.
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Postby Phil_A » 08-Oct-2006 14:31

KingStairs wrote: :oops: I've got that DLL in my system PATH, so I didn't encounter that during development.
You can either move the JotMergeWiz.exe to the Jot+ Notes application folder and run from there, or copy the kszlib.dll from the Jot+ Notes application folder to the folder where JotMergeWiz.exe resides.

The final version will have a proper installer that will include dependent DLLs.
Thanks, it runs now so I'll play with it later.
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Postby Phil_A » 11-Apr-2007 16:00

It's now later... much later :shock: and I've found a need again to descramble a couple of jot files. I have somehow (don't ask :roll: ) managed to get two versions of a large (6.6MB) jot file on different computers. There is (I think/hope) not very much changed between them, but I would really like to find what was changed, and review which versions of the changes to keep. I have used JotMergeWiz to merge them into a new file, and although the file size has changed slightly, I can't see by eyeballing the tree, (because it’s too large and time consuming) where the changes (if any) are.

You say that identical notes are not duplicated, so it follows that you also know which are NOT duplicated.

So my suggestion: In addition to outputting a file consisting of one copy of the duplicates, plus all the 'not duplicated' notes (i.e. the merge), could you also output either

(1) A file containing just the 'not duplicates', flagged to show which file each note came, or

(2) Two output files one for the ‘not duplicates’ from file1 and the other for the ‘not duplicates’ from file2.

Actually for my purpose, because the changes are known to be small, just the outputting the relevant note titles would be sufficient as I could then use these as an index to manually look through the merge (or the originals) to decide which notes I wanted to keep. This is not much different than producing a log of what actions JotMergeWiz took, and if a log was produced listing in 3 columns the note titles that were found in both files (the duplicates), in file1, and in file2, I could use that to quickly scan through and adjust the merge file manually.

I emphasise that such a modified merge tool is only needed because my files are too large to reasonably identify the changes manually. On small files a ‘merge’ plus manual inspection would probably do the job.

Sorry for the long-winded explanation :oops:
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Postby KingStairs » 11-Apr-2007 20:35

It sounds like what you want (or might find useful) is a log of what occurred during the merge, detailing which notes were replaced, which were duplicated, etc?
Certainly JotMerge does have this information, so it shouldn't be too difficult to display it on the results page of the wizard.
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Postby Phil_A » 13-Apr-2007 03:22

Yes that would be a great help, though in a text format please that I can get into an editor so that I can whittle it down to a list of the notes that are of interest to me. Outputting to a log file would be handy, though cut'n'paste from a window is also good.
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Postby KingStairs » 13-Apr-2007 10:55

It will definitely be human-readable, and almost certainly output to an edit window to allow viewing & copying.
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Postby Phil_A » 13-Apr-2007 11:55

That's great, thanks very much... just to re-iterate, if you can, please separataely tag the items relating to the two source and merged files, e.g. by presenting the log in tabular form, "Merged Input1 Input2" to make it easy to strip out the note names that originated in the different files.
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Postby Phil_A » 25-Feb-2008 18:30

Hi - Just tried to download jotmerge-b2.zip and am getting unexpected end of file (and only getting 66kb downloaded). Has it got corupted? I tried a couple of times with same result.
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Postby KingStairs » 25-Feb-2008 21:46

Phil_A wrote:Hi - Just tried to download jotmerge-b2.zip and am getting unexpected end of file (and only getting 66kb downloaded). Has it got corupted? I tried a couple of times with same result.

The system hosting kingstairs.com had some trouble earlier today (now resolved), and you may be seeing residual effects. I just tried downloading and got the full file, so please try again.
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Postby Phil_A » 26-Feb-2008 06:04

1) Downloaded successfully now.

2) My jot files are encrypted. I encountered the following problem running MergeWiz on them:

Step 1 "In the wizard, select the Copy option to select a master notefile and create a copy under a new name. The master notefile will be updated, and the new copy will be created ready for use."

With JotMergeWiz unpacked into its own folder I got "can't find needed encryption module". I tried copying jcrypt0.dll, jcrypt1.dll to the folder but that produced same error. I then moved all JotMergeWiz files into the Jot application folder, and then the copy was created successfully.

3) I am puzzled by the linking/copying process. Reading the html instructions file it seems that we are merging two files that have just been copied by the MergeWiz copy/link process, a somewhat pointless excercise since these files are oviously identical (at least as far as user content is concerned).

So the implication is that MergeWiz only comes into its own once the linked copy has been altered and we wish to merge it back into the original. Unfortunately that is not what I need at the moment because my jot files have already diverged before I knew of MergeWiz, and so they are not linked. Am I correct in assuming that MergeWiz can't be used in this case?
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Postby KingStairs » 02-Mar-2008 22:45

Phil_A wrote:With JotMergeWiz unpacked into its own folder I got "can't find needed encryption module".

In the next batch of updates, the encryption DLL's won't be required.

So the implication is that MergeWiz only comes into its own once the linked copy has been altered and we wish to merge it back into the original.


That is correct. Part of the preparation process is to add information to the notefile (and the copy) to uniquely identify the notefile and when it was last merged, which is used during the merge process to identify exactly which notes have been changed since the last merge.

JotMergeWiz is actually trying to implement synchronization, while you want something a bit simpler: Add new notes and duplicate notes that may have changed. I can look at that for Beta 3.
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Postby Phil_A » 03-Mar-2008 12:27

KingStairs wrote:
JotMergeWiz is actually trying to implement synchronization, while you want something a bit simpler: Add new notes and duplicate notes that may have changed. I can look at that for Beta 3.



OIC. Adding that to the release notes would be good.

Since synchronisation is not yet available and given the long history of Jot, it seems very probable that others will be in my situation with divergent copies, so a simple merge utility to bring them into an initial synchronised state prior to commencing synchronisation would be most welcome.

I have been trying the open source WinMerge which seems to work very well, and accepts plug-ins to read non-text files (see http://winmerge.org/2.6/manual/Plugins.html). I have used its "Word" plug-in successfully to compare two documents.

Perhaps a Jot plug-in for WinMerge would be a simple solution, although saving the Jot files as txt and comparing those with WinMerge is working for me at the moment.

The Jot txt output does however flatten the hierarchy; would it be possible to append a 'depth' counter to the note separators? That would make it much easier to work with the saved txt files particularly in detecting where notes have been promoted or demoted, and hence simplifying the manual merging of the diverged Jot files.
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Postby KingStairs » 05-Mar-2008 17:20

Phil_A wrote:Perhaps a Jot plug-in for WinMerge would be a simple solution, although saving the Jot files as txt and comparing those with WinMerge is working for me at the moment.

The Jot txt output does however flatten the hierarchy; would it be possible to append a 'depth' counter to the note separators? That would make it much easier to work with the saved txt files particularly in detecting where notes have been promoted or demoted, and hence simplifying the manual merging of the diverged Jot files.


I'll have a look at a WinMerge plugin, as that could be a simpler solution.

Instead of text output, try XML - it maintains the hierarchy as well as formatting, note options, etc. WinMerge is UTF-8 aware, so you may get much better results.
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Postby Phil_A » 05-Mar-2008 19:00

KingStairs wrote:I'll have a look at a WinMerge plugin, as that could be a simpler solution.

Instead of text output, try XML - it maintains the hierarchy as well as formatting, note options, etc. WinMerge is UTF-8 aware, so you may get much better results.


I tried the XML output in WinMerge but could hardly see the text for all the mark-up. I think a WinMerge plugin basically needs to convert the source files to plain text. Its display shows the two files side-by-side in plain text with diffs highlighted in various ways. There is no hierarchy so we have to live with a flattened file if going this route, hence the suggestion to add 'depth indicators'.

RTF:
However... I have now tried "Save As RTF" and am comparing the two files in Word 2003. This looks promising and easier to work with than WinMerge. It also has the advantage of showing changed formats and embedded objects.

Jot does not seem to have saved the hierarchy in the RTF files. Would it be possible to export the nesting level as a 'header level'? then I think I could use Word in its outlining mode to more easily detect notes that have been moved up or down.

BTW, I realise that when saving my encrypted Jot files in any of these 'Save As' formats the plain text is going to remain visible on my hard disk, and will even be discoverable after an ordinary delete. Could you add a warning to this effect when 'Saving As' an encrypted file?

XML:
I saved both files again as XML with a view to trying Words "Compare" on them (Word can read XML files). Although Word spent some converting/reading the files, it only succeeded in reading them in as text (i.e. displaying all the mark-up), and gave an error message "Errors were detected in this file, but Word was able to open the file by making these repairs... Recovered Text Only 1". This occurred on both my saved as XML files.

Result:
So far, comparing RTF in Word 2003 is giving me a good view of the file differences, and I can see the next step of manually merging them as being not too difficult. It's a shame the XML approach aborted as this should retain the hierarchy that seems to missing from the RTF files.
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