William Jiang

JavaScript,PHP,Node,Perl,LAMP Web Developer – http://williamjxj.com; https://github.com/williamjxj?tab=repositories

How to manage daily notes and files?

Everyday we need to write down some notices and remarks about our work routines and details. For example, today I wrote down the following messages regarding to daily work and technical details:

(1) Drupal configuration information, database info, admin user and password, installed modules and some specific notices.
(2) extract some excellent information regarding on Drupal development from web articles.
(3) record my developing details and schedule.
(4) record table structures and its design details and reasons why and how.

I put this information into a single file name like `date`_project.txt.
The number of such files are increasing. How to manage them? How to retrieve useful, accurate and certain information in a efficient and quick way? Different people have different choices.

There are 2 choices on my hands: Using Visual Studio environment or using UltraEdit-32.

(1) Visual Studio (I used VC 6++) is quite excellent on these file management and retrieve.
(1.a) First creating a Workspace to hold on the whole project, such as PHP developing.
(1.b) Second creating project under the workspace as many as possible, for examples, under the ‘PHP developing’ workspace, we can create projects of ‘my PHP’, ‘CMS’, ‘MVC’, ‘social networking’, ‘misc’ etc.
(1.c) In a individual project, add text file to hold content. It is pretty intuitionistic and easy to add/remove files under a certain projects.
(1.d) So it is quite clear and reasonable to divide the hiberarchy to 3 levels:
Workspace -> Project -> Files
(1.e) The most valuable thing which I like best is the retrieving function: just using F4 key!
For example, I want to find a keyword ‘htmlentities’, of course, it scatters into different files and very hard to find out all of them without a integration environment.
But in VC, just select search from menu bar, then search the project, or the whole workspace, or any certain directory you want, it will list all the files which include the information, and use ‘F4’ to step in and continue, the information retrieving become much easy and simple!

My long-time developing experience tells me the VC environment is so useful and helpful to speed up daily routine works.

(2) UltrEdit-32 is another choice for the management and retrieving. It is lightweight, also has 3 levels structure:
Workspace -> Project -> Files
And rapid searching function. However, it is a simple version. Not easy and convenient like VC.

The advantage is that it is cheaper and easy to find out, and like VC, it can manage almost all types of files, so it is an alternative of VC.

(3) I also tried Eclipse or Dreamweaver, they are far behind of VC studio on such things.

(3.a) EClipse seems want to add everything into its environment, but it is complex and hard to use. It beats back many people when they try to remember all the shortcut keys. It is not a successful integration environment on such thing.

(3.b) Dreamweaver, which I use mostly for PHP development, can retrieve keyword under a certain project (It has not the concept of workplace), So it is 2-level management instead of VC’s 3-level management.

From Menu bar, ‘Edit’ -> ‘Find and Replace’-> ‘Find in: Entire Current Local Site’ -> then ‘Find All’ (Ctrl+F).
It also retrieve and list the keyword in all files. Similar like VC.

Dreamweaver can only cover PHP related files, some common file such as .txt files or .sql files, except advanced configuration, it can’t support.

I am not a Microsoft fan, my favorite tools are ‘vi’ and ‘dreamweaver’, but VC 6++ environment is quite excellent for project management purpose.

So my conclusion is that, if you desire to improve work performance and efficiency, Microsoft’s Visual Studio integration environment is a ideal way to practice.

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