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About syntaxfree

  1. Alternatively, Evernote could have a simplified, standardized handwritten alphabet (like Palm's Graffiti, but hopefully more readable by human eyes) that the OCR can hack. This would be cool beyond words.
  2. If you're a casual programmer (I do some prototype and throwaway numeric code in my day job in MATLAB) and doesn't do stuff like object heirarchies across multiple files, snippets are the way to go. Ironically, since object wrapping isn't a core feature of MATLAB (it's there, but it's not idiomatic, and you never start out MATLAB code thinking of such things), the other use case for it is to keep track of the mathematical meaning of inputs and outputs to functions as they relate to your model, and sometimes the mathematical meaning of certain cryptic for loops and such. I mean, code comments are supposed to do that, but it's good to have that in a centralized place. Fair warning: code snippets I've done, the latter I'm planning to do for my next project. Last project I hand wrote so many emails explaining code to PHP people (who were going to run it in Octave and call from the web server) that could be avoided by keeping progressive documentation in Evernote and emailing periodically. Can I take this space to thank profusely the EN team for the ability to send notes over email independently of having a configured email client?
  3. I have half a foot in academia, but I'm not an academic myself -- we're a think-tank producing white literature, but rely heavily on the progress of academia itself. There's a good application for Macintosh called Papers.app; it will scan your .pdf covers and match them against JSTOR and such. I used to use that very extensively -- the metadata tracking is just fabulous -- it's iTunes for PDFs. But I recently dragged in all my collection into Evernote simply because I can't haul my Macbook all the places I need to be anymore, and I had no use for the extreme metadata tracking -- particularly since I don't do my own bibliographies, I send out the source PDFs so they can be checked and so on. So what I do is essentially an iteration of my "search and tag" routine. When I have some free time, I search for stuff that's been on my mind and tag the results. (Sometimes it's more automatic; I can flat out tag anything that answers for "Visa" as a receipt). If you're focused on one research area you can probably do some very fine tagging. That said, it's possible that Papers.app is the right knife for this meat.
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