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Topic: Zim Desktop Wiki (Read 4269 times)

  • Frenzie
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Zim Desktop Wiki
Already during Opera's lifetime I started looking for alternatives to Opera Notes. I didn't use it anymore besides providing an easy means to insert text into websites. I looked at popular alternative applications like Tomboy Notes, but they just didn't satisfy me. But for the past few months I've been using Zim, and it's been quite satisfactory.

I might add some more on how I use it, but this tiny link dump will actually tell you more than I could.

http://ajy.co/linux/zim-desktop-wiki-more-than-taking-notes-part-1/
http://ajy.co/linux/zim-desktop-wiki-more-than-taking-notes-part-2/
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/linux-and-open-source/how-to-use-zim-a-multi-tasking-desktop-wiki/

  • ersi
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Re: Zim Desktop Wiki
Reply #1
I have been trying to use it for a while now. Seems to be good for saving large snippets of text and format them, but I would like to hide the formatting options.

- There's an option to use a different main font, but not colours. I'd like to set a dark background, similar to Oblivion (Tango dark) theme in Gedit.
- Is there an option to prevent timestamp being inserted in each new note? It's quite enough that it becomes the filename and is a header when opened in a plain text editor. Inserted as text in the note too it's overkill.

I like the fact that the notes get saved as separate files in plain text, so that they are readable with anything. So, I like how it creates files, but the interface does not seem to be so customisable.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Zim Desktop Wiki
Reply #2
Zim uses GTK, which means you could use Parasite to inspect the application, similar to how DragonFly or Firebug can be used to inspect webpages.

http://chipx86.github.io/gtkparasite/

You can use the information gleaned from an inspection to set up some kind of custom environment in ~/.gtkrc-2.0 akin to a userstyle, which could be used to e.g. hide toolbars and change colors. I briefly explained the process on MozillaZine.

Edit: I was looking around on the Zim Wiki and it actually contains instructions (more, especially under the heading "GtkRC file"). I won't remove what I wrote above because it is generically useful and goes beyond Zim.
- Is there an option to prevent timestamp being inserted in each new note? It's quite enough that it becomes the filename and is a header when opened in a plain text editor. Inserted as text in the note too it's overkill.

Yes. The default templates are located in /usr/share/zim/templates/. Copying over the /usr/share/zim/templates/wiki/Default.txt template to ~/.local/share/zim/templates/wiki/Default.txt should do the trick.

I like the fact that the notes get saved as separate files in plain text, so that they are readable with anything. So, I like how it creates files, but the interface does not seem to be so customisable.

I'm open to different suggestions. I think Zim has earned a permanent place in my software stack, but some notes or drafts might be better served in other ways.

  • ersi
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Re: Zim Desktop Wiki
Reply #3
Thanks for these suggestions. I like to study and try out configuration files, particularly in a sensible format.

Today I spent most of the time looking for the setting or file to change the date format in Cinnamon's screensaver and, for my disappointment, it seems not to be there. There's a spot in the source file that should be modifiable, but this would mean compiling cinnamon from source, right? https://github.com/linuxmint/cinnamon-screensaver/blob/master/src/gnome-wall-clock.c#L173 Here they didn't forget just a configuration setting, but also a sensible default, such as system locale format.

I'll be looking into Zim's configuration files now. Maybe there's even a community sharing their modified files? That would be awesome :)

  • Frenzie
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Re: Zim Desktop Wiki
Reply #4
Cinnamon has its own screensaver? Xfce on Debian and Ubuntu simply comes with XScreenSaver. There's a lot of good stuff there. Back on Windows, a long time ago, I used to run the Electric Sheep screensaver. It can also be setup in XScreenSaver (or maybe/hopefully it happens automatically by now).

That clock thing sounds awful inconvenient, but if the Mint people set their stuff up right this backporting guide should do the trick for completely trouble-free compiling. I think you should be able to use sudo apt-get source cinnamon-whatever instead of the first few steps but I'm not completely sure.

I haven't looked into any Zim communities; at the very least there's a mailing list. As another rather generic tip, the Arch Wiki is often more useful to me than the Debian or Ubuntu Wikis unless it pertains to something Debian-specific.

  • ersi
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Re: Zim Desktop Wiki
Reply #5
Cinnamon has its own screensaver? Xfce on Debian and Ubuntu simply comes with XScreenSaver.
Cinnamon's screensaver shows time and date (unfortunately fixed at English format) on the desktop background image.

Unity screensaver (also uncustomisable) shows nothing. It really saves the screen of laptops by being blank dark. For home computer you'd still want customisability of course.

KDE default screensaver shows a pretty slideshow.

In all these desktop environments you can fall back to Xscreensaver, with some hassle.

By screensaver I mean what happens when I lock the screen intentionally. Otherwise I have set my screen to lock itself and go blank in a short while, ten minutes.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Zim Desktop Wiki
Reply #6
Ah, you have a household with children. Yeah, I don't use lock screen. My screensaver is just there to be potentially entertaining when I turn the monitor back on. Whenever I leave I simply turn it off.