Demystifying InfoQube

 
InfoQube is often seen as a complex program: 
Regarding InfoQube, I agree with Jan Rifkinson that it is a massively capable programme, the development of which I am keeping a close eye on. (...) However, I have found InfoQube to be a massively complex programme that requires more practice than I have had time to give to date
 
This always comes as a surprise to me as, IMHO, it is an incredibly simple program. The concept can be summarized as follows:
  1. An item is the basic unit of information
     
  2. Items can be arranged in a hierarchy :
    1. Items can have multiple children (i.e. sub-items)
    2. Items can have multiple parents
    3. Recursion is allowed (item1>>item2>>item1>>...)
    4. The hierarchy depth has no limit
    5. These links can be added  and removed at will without any restrictions. The only restriction, is that an item cannot be a parent of itself.
       
  3. All items are independent (i.e. deleting a parent item does not automatically delete sub-items. You are prompted)
     
  4. Custom fields can be created (types are: yes/no, text, date/time, number) and field values can be assigned to items. Items can have any number of field values (1 value per field per item), some system defined, some user-defined :
    1. Item name
    2. Associated numbers, dates, checkmarks
    3. bits of text
       
  5. A Rich Text (HTML) pane allows :
    1. Editing of a rich text document (either stored in the database or in the file system)
    2. Viewing of a web page, email message, PDF, MHT, EML, PPT, DOC, XLS files
       
  6. A Properties pane is available to view / modify field values and other item properties.
     
  7. Items with their field-values are typically viewed in a customizable Excel-type Grid, supporting hierarchy. But other views are possible (Calendar, MapView, Pivot table/charts, Gantt) and planned (card-view).
     
  8. Grids have many display options to effectively manage your information :
    1. Show / hide the hierarchy
    2. Show / hide the context parents
    3. Group by field value
       
  9. Grids do not contain items. They simply display the ones you choose to see
     
  10. You can Hoist any number of items, to focus on these, away from the full hierarchy
     
  11. You can filter and sort to view / arrange items just the way you want
     
  12. You can create hyperlinks to files, folders, web pages, items, grids, fields, wiki tags and Outlook items
     
  13. You can clip content from web pages and emails (currently there are IE, FF and TB extensions) or from any other application using a universal clipper. Clipped content is shown in the Rich Text (HTML) pane.
     
  14. Everything is stored in an industry standard database, which supports multi-user with simultaneous access and updates with granularity down to the field-value level (i.e. different users can modify different field-values of the same item)
     
  15. Users can create forms, which allow you to view / edit a group of related fields (i.e. contact info, task info, project info, appointment info, etc.) :
    1. Edit / modify / add items using the form
    2. You can define default values for each field in a form, and apply a form to an item to set any number of field values to these default values
    3. Forms are shown in the Properties pane
       
  16. You can execute code (built-in functions or user-defined ones). There are 3 types:
    1. Push equations (also called auto-assign). These are evaluated when a field-value is added, modified or erased
    2. Pull equations (Excel-type equations). You can set a field-value to be a function of other field-values of the item
    3. Hierarchy equations. To compute totals, averages, etc based on the item hierarchy (i.e. total project time, cost, etc)
       
  17. You have many ways to search in your database, including live-search
     
  18. You can import information for other applications
     
  19. You can export information to other applications and to the web
     
  20. Other applications can read live information from your IQBase
     
  21. InfoQube can read live information for other applications / databases
     

Re: Demystifying InfoQube

Pierre_Admin wrote:
 
InfoQube is often seen as a complex program: 
Regarding InfoQube, I agree with Jan Rifkinson that it is a massively capable programme, the development of which I am keeping a close eye on. (...) However, I have found InfoQube to be a massively complex programme that requires more practice than I have had time to give to date
 
This always comes as a surprise to me as, IMHO, it is an incredibly simple program. [giant snip]
 
No matter your surprise, Pierre, I think we all have to put our heads together to figure out how to combat this impression & to smooth out the learning curve.
 
Obviously all programs require a learning curve & I think most people -- to greater of lesser degree -- are willing to put in some time.
 
But you can see some of this concern even from dedicated & appreciative users like me in my post about printing. Printing, the simplest of processes & known to the world as <CTRL>+P is not really possible in IQ, etc. (I won't repeat my post here.) 
 
IQ requires programming or learning the right syntax for culling information. Ex: in some places, the criteria is separated by ","  In other places the "|" is used. And finally words like "and", "or" with parenthesis, etc. To make it do something fancy you have to know how to structure equations or write in some kind of language whose name I don't even remember right now.
 
Some of this stuff is built into other programs. We've been talking about exel. Well, Excel has a list of ready made functions for users, etc.
 
Remember, I'm someone who loves the possibilities that IQ provides & I came from Agenda & Ecco Pro & a few others in between & after. Most people just want to get something done & are looking for the right tool. They don't want to build the hammer to knock the nail into the wall.
 
I'm on your side. Let me know  how I can help & I will do my best. I really want you to succeed.
 
--
Jan Rifkinson
Ridgefield CT USA
HP Blackbird Vista Ultimate SP-1

Re: Demystifying InfoQube

Quote:

To quote the blurb " InfoQube does not try and constrain you to a fixed information management system" but offers a more flexible apprach that gives you the choice to design the data management how you want.

Ok, there's the 1000 brands of soap again. Sometimes it's easier to have someone say "hey, here's the one, this what you need" It takes away the pain of decissions, but also the flexibility of individualism.

I seriously think anyone using IQ needs to spend time really mapping out what they want to do and implementing that map to IQ. The chances are that done this way IQ will outpace any other software.

If you want an easy ride, choose another application. It will give you a prescribed route that requires little planning, but ultimately stifle your work with limitations.

 

This is quite true. For IQ to reveal its true power you really need to think about how you want to work and organize your stuff -- of course, some already excellent suggestions are made in the sample DB. More to come.

IQ's flexibility  is/was also designed to solve specific but also varying enterprise organizational problems : with the help of a consultant who will be able to create all the grids, fields, filters, etc. that the user needs, it becomes a piece of cake. Much more flexible and easy to use and install than Access.

One thing that could be done in the future (and it's already started) is to have many sample database/configuration for different types of users. One Database which is more writer oriented, one geared towards project management, etc. At least, users will be able to see how it can be done.

This won't solve the most basic IQ "problem" though : users need to think and plan to get the best out of it.

Re: Demystifying InfoQube

> Maybe a basic prima database guiding users how to use IQ to best advantage?
 
You know that there's already a sample database provided with IQ, right ?
 
File -> New -> New IQBase with sample data

Re: Demystifying InfoQube

Pierre_Admin wrote:
 
  1. A rich text pane allows :
 
Viewing of a web page, email message, PDF, MHT, DOC, XLS files
 

How do you view PDF/DOC/XLS?  In the HTML pane, when I File>Open any of these formats, I see gibberish in the HTML pane. I get the same if I File>View.

 
 
 

Re: Demystifying InfoQube

There is a small bug, that you must be in browse mode when you do File>Open. After that, as you switch item, it switches automatically

Re: Demystifying InfoQube

Thanks folks, but I was hoping for comments as to whether or not this helps in demystifying IQ...

Re: Demystifying InfoQube

Pierre_Admin wrote:
Thanks folks, but I was hoping for comments as to whether or not this helps in demystifying IQ...
 
Pierre
I think it's good, (but I know all this stuff already so I cant really be a judge of it)
I think it should go in the manual too
I posted a link to here in donationcoder thread in the hopes some beginners will come and check it out and see if it's a good intro   

Re: Demystifying InfoQube

Pierre_Admin wrote:
Thanks folks, but I was hoping for comments as to whether or not this helps in demystifying IQ...
Sorry about that diversion; I should have started another thread.
 
It's a very good conceptual compendium, but there's a lot of mystery left, as to the HOW, especially if you want to use everything it's capable of.  I think a full manual, lots of sample applications,  and lots of templates will be equally important.
 
In case you hadn't read it closely yet,  gregory and Jan's comments in Need some opinions on the manual cross-references are quite perceptive.
 
What a great program-it can be simple, or mind-boggling, and it is quite addictive! We've just got to figure out how people can "get it" in hours instead of weeks or months.
 
 
 

Re: Demystifying InfoQube

Pierre_Admin wrote:
Thanks folks, but I was hoping for comments as to whether or not this helps in demystifying IQ...
 
Pierre,
 
OK, you asked for it...
 
My biggest problem has always been in trying to learn how to perform specific tasks/actions in IQ. What you posted above sounds great from about 50,000 feet, but once one starts trying to actually create something in IQ they need a lot more than a broad overview of features. You know well that I have always begged for better documentation. I am the kind of user who is not afraid to jump headfirst into anything, but I need a good manual to use as my life preserver! The online "Manual" here is a massive improvement over what was available when I started using SQLNotes, but it is still not an easy format for me to use. For example, when I decide to start a new database in IQ - something that I need to get done - not just do it as a "learning experience" -  I naturally run into one of the million or so things that are definitely NOT demystified in your post above. When I run into a sudden wall, I cannot look it up in a manual, but I must go online and open the online manual. I scan the topics - most of which I can only see after clicking on a higher-level heading - and in a lot of cases (too many!) I see a sparsely filled page with.....  more links! So I then must continue on this trek for knowledge to find my way past whatever is stalling me. And to be completely honest, I have never visited this site and found pages loading instantly, like most other sites do with my very-high-speed connection. Even when everyone here insists that the site is "running fast" that often means that it is only taking 20 to 30 seconds to load a page instead of the previous minute and a half. And that is not good enough for me to get the task done, the database I am trying to build. I need the data organized and don't have the time to crawl around looking for answers - which may or may not exist. The one specific answer requested above in this thread is a bug - sure, there is a workaround for it but if no one is here that knows the answer the poster might have to wait a day, which is much too long if they are working on something important!
 
Which is why every time I have tried to get something "real", something I need, done in IQ, I usually end up dropping it and opening "Organizer Program" 2 or 3 or 4 instead and building it there.
 
I'm really not trying to slam IQ here; I have had the license for quite a while and I still keep coming back to it to see if it is "ready". So far, though, it hasn't been able to do what I needed when I needed it.
 
Thanks!
 
Jim

Re: Demystifying InfoQube

Thanks Jim for your comments. I'll agree that the web site performance is at times very slow (at other times it is speedy) and I inform the hosting service and they "fix" it. I'll be changing when my contract expires, that's for sure.
 
The documentation is progressing in my spare time and thanks to devoted IQ users. Its structure was not really planned and everybody does his best to improve it.
 
But there is a feature that allows you to get all pages and sub-pages in one click. See Printer-friendly versions.
 
The point of this post, was to give the foundations of IQ. IQ is IMO built on a simple principle upon which everything else is a mere consequence of. If someone understands fully the basic principles, everything else could be deduced. Of course, this is easy for me to say, as I created this beast...
 
The equivalent for MSWord would be significantly simpler:
  1. You type something
  2. You press save
  3. You can print
 
 
As a complementary to these basic principles, a series of How-Tos is needed. There are examples already, but more are needed. You're certainly correct!
 

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