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Multiple "modal" windows

research log citation view simultaneous data entry

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#1 Ashen37

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 03:31 PM

Good evening,

 

After a good couple of sessions on the Facebook forum, I've found that what I'm trying to achieve isn't possible - that is have the research log for a person open and be able to work on that and the person record / facts / citations at the same time.

 

I've tried splitting screens on windows 7 and 10, access the data base from the 2 machines at the same time (and very quickly stopped doing so), I've dual screened the laptop too but with no luck.

 

In my terminology - there was only one "active" window allowed at any one time, but I've been advised that the term is "modal" and this means only one window of this type can be open at any one time - so bang goes my hope of using 2.

 

Is this something that can be done in RM, or can I ask nicely that it goes on the development list?

 

many thanks,

 

Alison


A 37

#2 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 04:42 PM

Basically, it can't be done with RM's current modal window design. Non-modal windows have been on the RM wish list for a very long time. Only the RM developers know if non-modal windows will be included in the RM rewrite that is in progress.

 

The closest you might be able to come would be to have two completely different but identical copies of your RM database open at the same time on two different machines, or to have two completely different but identical copies of your RM database open at the same time on the same machine - one copy open with the regular RM and the other copy open with RM-to-Go. But this only gets you to two windows, and I think it also is likely to lead to disastrous results if your two "identical" copes of the database get out of sync, which they almost certainly will. Plus, it could be very confusing which of the two copies of the database that you were working on at any instant in time.

 

I'm a strong advocate for non-modal windows, and in general I think software that supports non-modal windows is much easier to use and much more user friendly than software that supports only modal windows. My only caution is that if developers are not very careful, non-modal windows can be implemented in such a way that the software is very confusing (especially for new users or users who are not especially fluent in using computers), so that it's quite possible for non-modal windows actually to make things worse. So I want RM to support non-modal windows, and for RM only to support non-modal windows in a way that makes things better, not worse.  :)

 

There are a few things you can do right now that can help a little bit. One is that it's possible to run RM's help facility in a totally separate window from RM itself. You do so by making a shortcut for C:\Program Files (x86)\RootsMagic 7\RootsMagic.chm.  (I'm assuming the default RM installation. You would have to adjust this shortcut if you don't use the default RM installation.)  Another is that you can view media in a totally separate window (and probably with a better viewer than the one built into RM) by loading your media files into RM as a File rather than as Media. That can be a mixed blessing because files loaded into RM as a File cannot be printed from within RM. Also, it's apparent from comments on this forum that many users prefer media files to open within RM rather than in a separate window despite the modal window problem. The last thing I can think of right now is that if you use RM's WebSearch View, there is an option to Use external browser which results in a totally separate window for the search rather than a modal window within RM itself. Again, comments on these forums suggest that a lot of users prefer not to use the Use External Browser option so that the data will appear in a modal RM window.

 

Jerry



#3 Renee Zamora

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 06:29 AM

I have Evernote open to enter information I want to go into the Research Log in RM later. Then I can just copy and paste as I'm ready to enter it into the program. I find this method of building information in Evernote also helps in copying into citations and facts and notes fields too. 


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#4 Vyger

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 07:25 AM

Is this something that can be done in RM, or can I ask nicely that it goes on the development list?

 

You could try opening the same database twice once using RM Desktop and once using RmtoGo.


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#5 Renee Zamora

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 09:33 AM

You could try opening the same database twice once using RM Desktop and once using RmtoGo.


I'm afraid that wouldn't work Vyger. It would cause the database to be locked because two separate programs are accessing it. 


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#6 TomH

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 12:29 PM

The SQLite database engine in RootsMagic, which should do all the operations on the database file except for the Backup function, locks the database file only for write, not for read. The lock persists only for the duration that a write transaction is open. So, in principal, one could simultaneously read on one instance of RM while writing in the other. However, RM complicates things because it writes even when you think you are just reading because it tracks in the database what your current view is. And then there is the risk of RM causing a self-inflicted error which appears to be from its failure to close a write transaction thus preventing RM from doing any more writing, such as Compact; that would also lock out another instance of RM from doing much with the file.

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