myBase Desktop v7.x User's Manual


  1. Installing myBase Desktop

    • GNU/Linux

      For GNU/Linux, simply extract the downloaded .tar.bz2 package into your home directory, by using a GUI archive tool, or running the command: 'tar jxvf mybase.tar.bz2'; then you can double click on the file 'myBase.run' within X11 file manager; Or, run the command line 'myBase.run &' in Terminal; You might also want to create a launcher for myBase.run on the X11 desktop for the convenience of double-clicking on it to launch the program.
    • Mac OS X

      For Mac OS X, open the downloaded .dmg package file, then drag the myBase icon and drop into the system Application folder, then you can double click on the program's icon to start it.
    • Windows

      For Windows, run the downloaded setup program and follow the instructions; You'll need to select the target directory and program group name; Then you can double click on the program's icon to start it.
  2. Uninstalling myBase Desktop

    Before uninstalling myBase Desktop, you'd need to first create backup for your .nyf databases.

    • For GNU/Linux

      Remove the directory in which the program's .tar package was extracted.
    • For Mac OS X

      Delete the installed myBase icon from within the Application folder.
    • For Windows

      Open Control Panel, double click the "Add/Remove Programs" icon, click "myBase Desktop", then click "Add/Remove", and "Yes" to remove it.
  3. Building up databases

    To build up a database, you'd need to create a new .nyf database at first by selecting the [File - New database] menu item, then you can add info items within the outline view, input text in the HTML editor, insert files into info items as attachments, and selectively make info items linked with other info items or the calendar, apply labels/tags, make hyperlinks, and assign custom icons to individual info items. See below for detailed instructions.

    1. Creating databases

      Before you can input your data within myBase, you'll need to create a new database (.nyf file) at first, whereby you can input your data and organize them in the tree outline form. In order to create a new database, please select the [File - New database] menu item, the 'Create new database' dialog box pops up, whereby you can determine the target .nyf database file path and set a password for data security.

    2. Adding info items

      The new database is automatically open when created. Now you can insert some new info items in the outline tree view by selecting the [Outline - New child item] or [New sibling...] menu items. Each info item accepts a rich text as default note. Clicking on an info item within the outline view, its default text note will open in the rich editor, whereby you can edit or format the text with ease;

    3. Adding attachments/shortcuts

      Each info item accepts a collection of files as attachments. The attached files can be either a real file inserted and stored in the database, or a shortcut linking to an original file on disk or URL (web resource). To insert files as attachments, please select the [Attachments - Add attachments] menu item; To insert file shortcuts, please select the [Attachments - Add shortcuts] menu item.

    4. Adding label items

      Labels (or tags) can be used to categorize info items. myBase implements a label tree which accepts unlimited hierarchical labels in the tree structure. Clicking the [Labels] Tab on the left hand side, you can add labels and sub labels by selecting the [Labels - Add child items] or [Add sibling ...] menu items.

  4. Organizing info items

    Basically, you can organize info items in the tree outline form, myBase implements additional organizing methods, such as item links, symbolic links, linking with calendar, and labeling etc.

    1. Moving info items

      Info items can be moved up/down by selecting the [Outline - Move item up/down...] menu item; and can be moved to another info item, by selecting the [Outline - Move to ...] menu item.

    2. Item linking

      Each info item can have a list of related info items, which will be listed out for reference when the item opens. Double-clicking on a related item will jump and open it up. To have an item linked with another one, please select the [Outline - Link info item] menu item, the [Browse outline] window appears whereby you can select a target item to make an item link.

      The item links can also be inserted into HTML notes as hyperlinks, so one can click on the hyperlinks to open the target items. To insert an item link into HTML notes, right-click on a highlighted text within an HTML note, select the 'Edit hyperlink ...' menu item, then press 'Info Item' button so you can select a target info item to link;

    3. Symbolic linking

      Symbolic links are a special kind of info items which can be inserted into the outline tree. Symbolic links behave more likely shortcuts to real info items. There're several synonyms that may describe the concept, such as virtual-node, shortcut, clone-node, transclusion, reference etc. One can create a symlink just containing a reference to another real item. Comparing to the real item, the symlink doesn't save its own data. When clicking on a symlink, it simply displays content of the referenced item instead of its own. If the referenced item is also a symlink item, it goes forward on the chain till the real item is reached, or an endless loop is detected. Within myBase, you can create as many symlinks as you see fit. The drawback is that when you copy/export a branch contains symlinks, they're ignored. To insert a symbolic link, please select the [Outline - Symbolic link] menu item, then specify the target info item to link.

    4. Each info items can be linked with a calendar date by selecting the [Outline - Link calendar] menu item. By default, the associated calendar date will be displayed in title text in the outline tree. The calendar date attributes can be combined into queries when searching databases.

    5. Labeling info items

      Addition to the basic tree structured outline, the label tree implements second method for categorizing info items. To label an info item, please select the [Outline - Label info item] menu item, the [Browse label tree] window pops up, wherby you can select and check one or more appropriate labels to label the info item. The label tree can be precedingly created within the label tree view, and you may also add labels while applying labels.

    6. Using custom icons

      Each .nyf database can store a collection of bmp/png/jpg/gif image files (16*16) as custom icons, which can be applied to info items and label items. The custom icons are displayed in front of the title text of associated items within the outline view. Before assigning icons to items, you'd need to first insert some 16*16 bmp/png/jpg/gif files into the database as custom icons, and then the imported icons can be applied to info items or label items. To insert image files as icons, please select the [Outline - Custom icons] menu item, the [Custom icons] window pops up, wherby you can press the [Add] button to insert image file as custom icons; To apply icons, double click on a desired icon, or select an icon and press the [Apply] button.

    7. Sorting items

      Info items or label items can be sorted by title text or date modified in ascending/descending order. The sorting utility rearranges child items under an item or in the whole sub branch. To sort child info items, please open up the outline view and select the [Organize - Sort child items] menu item. To sort sub labels, please open up the labels view and select the [Organize - Sort child items] menu item.

  5. Database maintenance

    1. Setting password for data security

      It's recommended to set a password as soon as you create a database. Note that the database password is unchangeable once it's been set. If in the case that you'd have to change a database password, please consider to replicate the entire database into a new database, by selecting the 'File - Maintenance - Replicate database ...' menu item, that allows you to set a different password for the new database.

    2. Undeleting info items and files

      Modifying a text note trashes the previous revision into the recycle bin, and sets the new one as current; Deleting an info item (branch) also trashes it into the recycle bin. This way, we get a chance to undelete and retrieve them if needed. To undelete trashed entries, please select the [File - Maintenance - Undelete items] menu item, a popup window appears, whereby you can select trashed entries to undelete.

    3. Optimizing for size

      myBase by default stores all outdated revisions and trashed entities within the database. This may waste some disk space and may bloat the .nyf database file, the inbuilt zip utility automatically compresses every entries though. If you'd want to optimize database for size, please select the [File - Maintenance - Empty recyle bin] menu item first to wipe off the trashed entries, and then select the [File - Maintenance - Optimize for size] menu item to eliminate fragments from within the .nyf database file. After this operation, all trashed entries are wiped off permanently.

    4. Backup Database

      Creating backup for important databases is always highly recommended. To create a backup for the currently working database, please select the [File - Maintenance - Create backup] menu item, then you can customize the file path and file name for the backup files. In addition to the inbuilt backup utility, you can create backups by simply copying the .nyf files from within file system.

    5. Replicate Database

      The [File - Maintenance - Replicate database...] utility helps replicate whole content of the current database to a new one that can be initialized with a different password. The generated database is automactically done with size optimization, so it is useful as well when you want to eliminate space fragmentation from a database and make the database file size compact.

  6. myBase provides the [Find as you type], [Search with index], [Find partial workds] and [Search with RegExp] utilities. The first two utilities are based on index data for fast find with the boolean search capability; while the [Find partial workds] and [Search with RegExp] are scanning-based and capable of handling regular expressions, and searching for partial words you input.

    1. Indexing databases

      Before you can use the [Find as you type], [Search with index] features, you'll need to built/update index data. To build/update index, please select the [File - Maintenance - Update indexes] menu item.

    2. The [Find as you type] feature allows you to search for a boolean phrase as you type it. Pressing F3 moves input focus into the edit box whereby you can type in a search phrase.

      Note that it's index-based, please be sure to first build or update index data.

    3. Both [Find as you type] and [Advanced search] support the boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) in search phrases. You can type a search phrase like this: w1 AND w2 OR w3 OR w4 NOT w5. For the boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), they can be abbreviated with the equivalent charaters (+, |, -) or (&, |, !). Therefore, you can also type the search phrase like this: w1 + w2 | w3 | w4 - w5. Note that a blank space must be added after each boolean operators, otherwise the operators are skiped.

    4. myBase also implemented the [Use regular expression] feature, which matches regular expressions you input. Select the [Search - Advanced search] menu item, then enter a regular expression (only pattern string, like this: wj{1,}soft\.com), results if any will be listed in the query results window.

      Note that this feature doesn't require index data, it simply scans content of the database in the scope.

    5. Find in text

      This utility looks into the current note text for words you input, it behaves like the 'Find' command in Windows Notepad, select the 'Edit - Find in Text ...' menu item, then type in a word and press the 'Find Next' button, the next match occurrence will be highlighted.

    6. List recently modified entries

      This utility scans the whole database for the entries (info items, notes, attachments and shortcuts) modified within a specified date period, e.g. today, this week, last week, this month, etc... To list recently modified entries, please select the [Search - List recently modified entries ...] menu item, then select a date period from within the dropdown list to search with.

      Note that this utility doesn't require index data, it traverses the outline tree and looks at timestamp of each entries.

    7. This utility scans the specified disk directory tree for words or Regular Expressions you input. You can select to search file names only, or file content, or both. When you select to search file content, it attempts to parse documents by utilizing the corresponding IFilters installed on Windows system. As it takes too much time to parse all the documents in a query, this plugin maintains an internal .nyf database to cache the file content, so lately searching the documents may get faster. The cache database is located in your home directory.

      Note that this utility doesn't maintain an index database internally, it may take quite a while to go through a whole file system, so it's recommended to restrict the search range to the folder as close as possible to target files.

  7. FAQs

    1. How do I get started with myBase Desktop?

      First of all, you'll need to download a copy of myBase Desktop that is appropriate for your system platform (Linux/Mac/Windows), and then have the program properly installed on your system.

      Using myBase is simple. Before you can input your own information, you'll need to first create a new .nyf database, then insert info items into the tree outline in the left-side pane; Each info items accept rich text and attachments in the right-side pane. All information will be compressed and saved in the .nyf database file. Below is a simple list of essential instructions using myBase.

      • To create a new .nyf db, please select 'File - New database' menu item,
      • To insert info items in the tree outline, please select 'Organize - New item ...' menu items, which inserts new info items as either sibling or child items as you see fit.
      • To insert files as attachments or shortcuts, please select 'Attachment - Add attachments/shortcuts' menu item.
      • To save changes, select 'File - Save' menu item, or press 'Ctrl+S'.
      • To import materials from other sources, select the 'Capture - Import...' menu items.
      • To export info items, select the 'Share - export ...' menu items.
      For demonstration, myBase Desktop includes a sample .nyf database which can be loaded by select the 'Help - Sample database' menu item.
    2. Does myBase load a whole database into computer Memory?

      No. myBase implemented the 'Load on Access' feature, it only loads the currently working items into RAM, with almost all the rest of content stay in the storage, til that some content must be loaded into the computer RAM for viewing or editing.

    3. Does myBase use a lot of hard disk space?

      myBase doesn't use any more disk space than its binary package. You'll need enough disk space to store your own database files. myBase provides a set of utilities for database maintenance, such as the integrated zip utility, 'Empty Recycle Bin' and 'Optimize for file size' etc. All these efforts help make databases compact and save disk space.

    4. Does myBase lock users data? Once data saved in myBase are they always myBased?

      No. myBase doesn't lock any users data in it, you have the convenience of exporting all of your database as a directory tree in file system at any time.

    5. Does myBase encrypt data?

      If you set a password when creating your database, the database will be automatically encrypted when adding any data.

    6. What is an appropriate size for an individual database (.nyf files)?

      myBase 7.x integrates the 64-bit storage library and a single database size can be extended up to 8EiB, so you can make your database as large as you see fit. However you may want to keep database size smaller by utilizing the shortcuts and hyperlinks feature instead of adding attachments for the convenience of backing up and syncing your database over network.

    7. Is it possible to run myBase Desktop on a USB stick?

      Basically myBase Desktop works from within any accessible directory in file system, including removable disk drives (e.g. USB sticks). You can put myBase program files onto USB sticks, and you may also put your .nyf database files on removable disks and run with myBase. However, for safety and stability considerations, it's not recommended to open .nyf databases for editing from within a removable disk drive, in case of any potential USB I/O problems with the removable disk that may cause damage to the working databases. If you have to do so, please be sure to preserve backups of your databases.

    8. How do I register (unlock, activate) my copies of myBase with my license keys?

      Registering myBase Desktop

      • Select the "Help/Register..." menu item;
      • Enter your registration name in the 'User name' field;
      • Enter your license key codes in the 'License key' field;
      • Press 'OK' button to save the license key;

      Having problems registering?

      • In case of typos, it's always recommended that you copy/paste license key codes, instead of typing them manually;
      • The license key consists of 2-line codes, so please be sure to input the both lines exactly.
    9. What type of files/documens will be indexed and searchable?

      myBase requires appropriate file parsers to first parse documents, and then create indexes for the documents. For Linux/MacOSX, myBase provides inbuilt file parsers for HTML/TXT/RTF documents; For Windows, myBase attempts to parse documents according to file extension names by utilizing Windows IFilters installed on the system. The IFilters for MS-Office and HTML documents are integrated within Windows 2000+; For other type of documents (e.g. .pdf) to be searchable, you'd need to install the corresponding IFilters provided by manufactories. When new IFilters are installed, you'd need to clear and rebuild the index data for the relevant documents to be re-indexed and searchable. For example, in order to make .PDF documents searchable, you'd need to install Acrobat Reader or any of available PDF IFilters before updating indexes data.

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  8. Howtos

    1. How to save disk space with myBase databases?

      All information is automatically compressed with the integrated zip utility and saved in .nyf databases. In most of cases, you don't need to care about the disk space usage. Although, there're still a few tips that may help save disk space, and make databases run smoothly and safely.

      • When you delete an info item or an attachment, it's only marked as removed (junk), so that you have the chance of recovering them in the case that you'd want them back later. That's to say, deleting info items or attachments doesn't free up any disk space, and the .nyf database file size does not shrink. If you'd like to purge the junk, and make the .nyf databases compact and save disk space, please try using the 'File - Maintenance - Empty recycle bin, Optimize for size' utilities.
      • In order to organize a large number of documents, it's recommended to insert the documents as shortcuts or hyperlinks, instead of insert attachments. myBase provides the Relatve path feature, which helps manage the shortcuts/hyperlinks to local files.
    2. How to apply relative file paths to shortcuts/hyperlinks?

      myBase implemented the 'Relatve path' feature, which helps create links to local files with relative paths. To do so, you'll need to first put documents into the directory where the current .nyf database file resides, and then insert the documents into myBase as hyperlinks or shortcuts, the 'relative path' is automatically applied. When triggering the hyperlinks/shortcuts, the relative path is evaluated. The 'Relative path' feature helps maintain the consistency between the .nyf database and the linked documents, and keep the links functional even after they're moved together to elsewhere.

    3. How to rename an info item?

      To rename an info item, simply press F2 or click twice on the info item, or select the 'Edit - Edit/Rename' menu item, then the item title goes into edit mode, whereby you can edit the title text. In addition, you can also copy the currently selected text from within the content to the item title. To do so, please first select a text in the text content, then select the 'Edit - Copy text to title' menu item.

    4. How to change the default formatting for text content

      When adding new info items, the item notes will be initialized with the default formats (font/size/color...). To change the default text formatting, please select the 'View - Options' menu item, in the 'options' dialog box, you can change the default text formatting under the 'Edit' tab.

      Note that the default text formatting only applies to info items newly added thereafter, but not affect any existing contents.

    5. How to multi-select info items?

      With myBase 7.x, the outline view supports multi-selecting. To select multiple info items, just move mouse cursor in the outline view with left mouse button held down, this have a series of info items selected. In order to select individual items, please hold down the Ctrl or Shift key modifiers while selecting info items.

    6. How to customize the keyboard shortcuts?

      To customize keyboard shortcuts for the menu items, please edit the keyboard_shortcuts.ini file by using a plain text editor (e.g. notepad), save changes to the .ini file and then re-launch myBase to let it take effects. In addition, to customize shortcuts for plugin menu items, you'll need to edit the corresponding .js files, which reside in the ./plugins sub directory.

    7. How to undelete attachments or info items?

      Please select the 'File - Maintenance - Undelete Items' menu item, in the 'Undelete items' popup window, all info items including trashed items are displayed in a tree view, then you can choose to undelete the info items or attachments with ease.

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  9. Notes

    1. About the file extension names (.nyf, .bak, .ssgindex, .dbindex)

      • The .nyf file contains titles, notes, webpages, images, attachments, everything of a myBase database.
      • The .dbindex file contains index data created for each .nyf database to enable the Fast-Find feature.
    2. What's the difference between Attachments and Shortcuts within myBase?

      When you insert a file as attachment, the whole file is copied into the database, and the database file size usually gets larger. When you insert a file as shortcut, only a file link is inserted into the database, rather than copying the whole file, it won't bloat the database file. If you have a number of (larger) files need to organize within myBase, it's recommended to insert them as shortcuts with the relative path applied.

    3. Upgrading exisitng .nyf databases to Ver 7.x

      For better cross-platform support, myBase Desktop 7.x has upgraded its storage and concont formatting; If you have .nyf databases built up with old versions of myBase (e.g. 4.x, 5.x, 6.x) for Windows, and would like to get them to work with myBase 7.x, please follow this,

      • Download and install myBase Desktop 6.3.9+ on a Windows PC;
      • Open the .nyf database within myBase Desktop 6.3.9+;
      • Select the [File - Maintenance - Replicate from RTF to HTML ...] menu item, determine a new database file name, and type in a password if you want to encrypt your new database, and press OK button;
      • After the replication and conversion finished, your new .nyf database will work with myBase Desktop 7.x on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows;

      Unlike the RTF text format, the HTML text format doesn't support OLE objects embedding into the text content; If any existing databases containing OLE objects, the conversion utility tries to converted them into thumbnail images in resulting HTML contents, with no support of double-clicking to view/edit any more.

      Note that the "File - Maintenance - Replicate from RTF to HTML ..." utility tries to convert RTF formatting into HTML as much as possilbe, but the conversion may not be perfect, as HTML formatting is a totally different text format than RTF, so you may need to preserve the old databases for later reference.

    4. Opening attachments externally with associated programs

      When you open attached documents (i.e. attachments, not shortcuts) with associated programs, the attachment must be extracted and saved into a temporary directory, whereby external programs can access to them. myBase keeps an eye on the externally working documents, and tries to update the database if any changes are made to the documents, but this operation only performs when committing changes to the database, as myBase doesn't accurately detect if the documents have been closed by associated programs during the period. myBase only cleans up the temporary files at exit; If a document is opened with an external program, it remains in the temporary directory til myBase exits. You will need to actively have the externally working documents closed as soon as you finished editing the documents, and also note that:

      • If you close a database without precedingly closing the externally working documents, the changes made to the doucments may lose;
      • If you re-open a document which is still opened externally, it may fail, or make conflicts on the differnet revisions, that depends on behaviour of the associated programs;
      • If you re-open a document which has normally been closed since last opens, myBase is unsure of the status, so you may be prompted with a message: "The attachment file might have been opened previously. Re-open it anyway?";
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  10. Troubleshooting

    1. Password forgotten?

      Please be sure to save your passwords in a secure place after setting passwords to protect your databases. If you lost your passwords, you might have lost access to your database, we suggest that you try to first list out all possible passwords you ever used, and then try them one by one.

    2. Why are the editing tools grayed out? I cannot edit anymore.

      If the database was open as Readonly, please try to close and re-open it without the 'Readonly' attribute. To do so, select the 'File - Open Database...' menu item with the Ctrl key held down, locate the target database file and press the 'Open' button.

      Note that current text note can be temporarily set as Readonly by selecting the 'Edit - Edit/Rename' or 'File - Maintenance - Lock database' menu item. If this is the case, simply select the menu item again to remove the 'Readonly' flag.

    3. Failure loading a database?

      If you experienced an error message like this: 'Invalid version tag in ...', it indicates that the database might have got corrupted, and you'd need to retrieve data from a most recent .bak file. To recover the database from a .bak file, simply rename or copy it as a new .nyf file.

      If you experienced another error message like this: 'Failed to open the database...', it's more likely that the database is already open within another myBase instance. If this is the case, you can simply switch to the previous myBase instance. Otherwise, the .nyf file might be in use by some other programs, for example, the Anti-virus/malware utility might be running in background and actively checking it at that time.

    4. Nothing found when searching a database.

      The [Advanced search] and [Find as you type] utilities are based on the index data. Before searching, you'd need to build/update index data by selecing the [File - Maintenance - Update index] menu item. Otherwise, you'd want to try the [Find partial words] and/or [Use regular expression] option.

    5. No support for SSG-3 databases within Ver 7.x

      When you attempt to open a .nyf database created with old versions of myBase (e.g. 4.x, 5.x, 6.x), it may fail to open with a popup message like this: "The database has a signature of the storage library (SSG-3) which is no longer supported in the new cross-platform system". As indicated, myBase Desktop 7.x doesn't support the old version of storage library (SSG-3) any more, you'll need to upgrade the .nyf database with the new SSG-5 storage library. In order to upgrade the .nyf database, please follow this;

      • Download and install myBase Desktop 6.3.9+ on a Windows PC;
      • Open the .nyf database within myBase Desktop 6.3.9+;
      • Select the [File - Maintenance - Replicate from RTF to HTML ...] menu item, determine a new database file name, and type in a password if you want to encrypt your new database, and press OK button;
      • After the replication and conversion finished, your new .nyf database will work with myBase Desktop 7.x on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows;
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