Getting started with LM PIM

What is LM PIM for?

LM PIM is a simple program that works on your LM Pro database. Its interface is conventional (contrasting that of LM Pro) and it adds special views and data structures for "Tasks", "Contacts" and "Appointments". This means that that you now have an option keep your personal planning in LM and combine it with your extensive database of text fragments.

 

However, note that the PIM functionality is limited. For instance, there is no emailing capacity. A graphical calendar display is lacking, but could be added in a later version.

News May 2006: Now also for LM2000, se information in the Yahoo Group May 2006!

What do you need?

LM PIM requires version 2.2 of LM Pro installed. Installation is simple: Just place the file "LM_PIM_Interface.exe" in your LM directory and run it.

 

 

LM Pro and LM PIM should not be run at the same time. Close down LM_PIM when you start LM Pro. LM PIM will open as you left it when you start again.

 

In fact, testing indicates that the two programs are able to run alongside without problems. In principle it should not be safe. Be warned that the simultaneous run is a test activity!

Installing it

Unzip the LM_PIM.zip file. Put the file "LM_PIM_Interface.exe" in your LM directory and run it.

LM PIM will create a subdirectory "pim_setup\" with default versions of the xml files that define what extra database fields that Tasks, Contacts, etc have.

 

To refresh your PIM installation, delete "pim_setup\". LM PIM will regenerate XML files and the INI file on next start.

 

Customizing it

On first start, the "XML fields" do not appear directly. Press Setup, and fill out customizing data. This must be done for each tab "Contacts", "Tasks", etc. Then restart. The fields will now appear.

 

Review your settings. You can make fields invisible (applies to the main table view) and you can define fields as date or numeric fields. Field widths are set by dragging the borders in the view.

 

 

 

Contacts, tasks and appointments

The default setup should support a traditional PIM use: You have a contact book, you plan tasks with a due date and you plan appointments.

Doubleclick column headers to sort the view according to data contained.

 

Doubleclick a line to get a popup detail view, this is where you update data. You also drag other objects to the tree. For instance, drag contacts and notes to a task or whatever structures you prefer. Drag from other popup windows or from the base view (icon to the left).

 

 

 

More about the link tree

The link tree relies on an additional LM database file "Links.*". (Until LM Pro version 2.3 is released, you should backup these "Links.*" files independently.)

 

A LM PIM tree is defined per top item, that is, all branches are defined per top item. They are not inherited from somewhere.

 

What is "RELATED"?  Related nodes are nodes referring the top node (directly) somewhere else.  You cannot drag to or from related nodes. Instead you doubleclick them to follow interesting links.

 

 

 

LM PIM Notes  = Integration with LM Items

What about "Notes"? Notes are LM Items integrated in the new program. You can create, update and delete LM Items as LM PIM Notes. The keyword functionality is included. (Only exception: You cannot create hybrid concepts in LM PIM.)

 

 

 

 

 

References and documents

LM Pro References system and LM projects pointing to external files are included. Of course you should be able to invoke files or executables, it is however not implemented yet (v.  1.003  Sept 15)

Finding data

LM PIM is great for querying data. Just write the word in Google manner on the line and press return.

 

Unlike Google, "," period signs should delimit words to make a logical "and".

 

To get a logical "or", use ";"

 

If you want to search several words exactly, just write them without quotes.

 

This syntax is the same as in the LM Pro search window.

 

Define in Setup which fields that should be targeted. Also specify if word search is "exact" (as in Google) or if substring hits count.

 

 

Set up a filter

There is more in LM PIM. By setting up a filter (the Setup dialog) you permanently exclude some data from the main view. A typical use is "Tasks not finished" or "Appointments today or later". Or "Rating bigger than 3".

 

The construction is mainly the same as in "search references" in LM Pro.

 

 

 

More about the Setup dialog

The first tab in the Setup dialog shows what fields are targeted when you press "Find". You also see your own display names for fields.

The second tab manages the filter. Give a name to your filter and you will be reminded on the status bar.

Note that you should be careful with the data types (tab no 3) or you might not get good results.

 

 

Finding LM PIM data in LM Pro

Now where does all this data go in regular LM Professional?


1) Notes are LM Items. Categories of LM PIM Notes are consistent LM Pro keywords

 

2) Tasks, Contacts and Appointments are "R::" projects. You find them on the tabular side of the project window. Position on it and flip the window: The input form shows.

 

3) References are "R::" projects, with a category not equal to "CONTACT",TASK" or "APPOINTMENT". These conventions and the import of references and LM PIM data will be streamlined in LM Pro 2.3

 

4) Documents are non-R:: projects with a file/URL reference.

 

What about "classical" LM Projects with items? They are not reused in LM PIM for technical reasons. However, the LM PIM Note window informs about connected LM Projects on the status bar,

 

What about the LM PIM trees? LM Pro does not represent them, you have them only in LM PIM.

 

Special issues

Defining new fields

Define new fields by editing the pim_setup\ files with a text editor (or even better with a XML tool).

 

LM PIM reads attributes and elements as they appear. Values of attributes or elements have no importance here. LM PIM forms shows the structure with indentation; however it is treated as a flat structure. Field names (Attributes and elements) must not have duplicates.

 

In LM Pro, the references system does handle multiple elements on the same level. In fact, LM PIM does the same but the table (view) representation will not take it.

Order of fields

The field order is taken from the XML file. (Note that some fields are mandatory and outside the XML definition.)

 

The field order is accumulated in the setup file and cannot be edited. To get a fresh reorder according to a new XML file, checkmark the "Clear field properties" box in Setup.

 

 

Data types

LM PIM XML data is (XML-of course) string data. To manage sorts and queries,

1) date

2) date-and-time

3) numeric

properties can be set on fields. Type conversion is programmed to follow your Window setup. That is 2005-09-15 and 4,5 is valid in Sweden, but not in the USA.

 

 

The XML data form

The LM XML data form displays a XML "chunk" of data in a standardized form. Branches are shown with indentation.

 

Node (element) contents are shown with an input slot only if the current data contains something there, Click on the label to open the edit slot if it is not there.

Attributes in the XML structure are assumed to be of limited length, while nodes take long texts (like 32KB). Note however that layout cannot show properly in a XML element since carriage returns are washed away as whitespace, etc.

 

The XML implementation in LM is programmed to be robust and simple. Do not expect that it contains interesting theoretical finesse.

Changing structures

You may well change the structure under way. What happens is that obsolete fields show in the update form, but not in the main view.

Update of an obsolete record to a new structure is not possible. You can do it manually in LM Pro by "Update" project, select "Edit XML Data" button. (In fact, this is not a big fault. MS Outlook works in a similar manner.)

Backup of data

LM PIM reads and saves structures and settings in the pim_setup\ directory.

 

Tree links are saved in Links.db and Links.px (or better Links.*).  Manage backup of these parts separately until a new version of LM Pro does it.

 

There are no big consistency issues here. An out-of-phase Links.* db part will make no damage.

 

Performance

LM PIM uploads, resorts or searches data within a second or two. This goes for a database of 1000-2000 records on a modern 2-3 MHz machine.

 

Future developments

The PIM program will be adjusted to user comments during September-October 2005. New updates of the program will be uploaded often to the files section of the Yahoo group.

 

If there is considerable interest, a graphical calendar sheet will be added in a version 2.

 

LM PIM will not work with LM2000.

 

 

 

Stockholm Sept 15, 2005

 

Gunnar Sommestad