Need Input on Mellel/Bookends/DevonThink App Combo

Feature requests, and in-depth discussions of features and the way Mellel works

Moderators: redlers, Eyal Redler, Ori Redler

Post Reply
J A Miller
Got the styles thing figured out
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:23 am

Need Input on Mellel/Bookends/DevonThink App Combo

Post by J A Miller » Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:53 am

I am preparing to write a thesis in biblical studies and am switching to the Mac. After some research, I have narrowed my options down to two: use native Mac apps - Mellel/Bookends/DevonThink - for my WP, bibliography, and database programs or emulate NotaBene. I will be using BibleWorks 7 via emulation alongside Accordance in OS X anyways so I am not against using NotaBene and switching will force me to move my previous WordPerfect 8 documents into a Mac format if I switch WPs. My questions are as follows:

(1) How well does Mellel export to MS Word? This may be a requirement for me in order to work with my thesis advisor.
(2) I would like input from any others who use Mellel in my field. I will be using a variety of languages (Eng, Heb, Ara, Syr, Grk, Germ), and am going to try Mellel because of its language support. However, I am also looking toward the future and would like to know if Mellel supports Akkadian and Ugaritic. I am not sure how this would be supported on the Mac or Mellel, but perhaps someone else knows.
(3) Any general information on the interaction of Bookends and DevonThink with Mellel would be appreciated.

Lastly, I would like to urge Redlers to include the following features: Dynamic TOC and Dynamic cross-referencing. If the last is not included by the time I am ready to begin writing (within the next month or so), then I will be forced either to continue with WordPerfect 8 or switch to NotaBene-both via emulation. The lack of these two features are show stoppers for me given the complexity of my work. I really want to use Mac native apps and Mellel looks attractive, but I really hope the cross-reference issue is addressed soon.

shades
Knows everything, can prove it
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:12 am

Re: Need Input on Mellel/Bookends/DevonThink App Combo

Post by shades » Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:51 am

Howdy. I use Mellel for Biblical studies (Hebrew, Greek, German, Latin, English) and find it very convenient and easy to use (Mac switching languages works well). I am not sure about Akkadian and Ugaritic as my studies have not moved in that direction. Styles are much better than Word, but moving between Word and Mellel may pose a problem with styles. Or you could use PDFs (if acceptable to advisor).

I have read about NotaBene and its capabilities, and I had hoped they would port the program to Mac OS X - I even wrote to them about 2 years ago asking for it. But no such success.

Right now aside from Word, NW Pro is the only one that supports cross-references. I have it, but have not used that feature so can't give a recommendation about it.
Rich
old, slow, and confused...but at least I’m inconsistent!

iMac 27" (10. 13. 8 ) and MBP 13" Retina (10. 13. 8 )

J A Miller
Got the styles thing figured out
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:23 am

Re: Need Input on Mellel/Bookends/DevonThink App Combo

Post by J A Miller » Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:57 am

shades wrote:Howdy. I use Mellel for Biblical studies (Hebrew, Greek, German, Latin, English) and find it very convenient and easy to use (Mac switching languages works well). I am not sure about Akkadian and Ugaritic as my studies have not moved in that direction. Styles are much better than Word, but moving between Word and Mellel may pose a problem with styles. Or you could use PDFs (if acceptable to advisor).

I have read about NotaBene and its capabilities, and I had hoped they would port the program to Mac OS X - I even wrote to them about 2 years ago asking for it. But no such success.

Right now aside from Word, NW Pro is the only one that supports cross-references. I have it, but have not used that feature so can't give a recommendation about it.
Do you also use Bookends or DevonThink?

I really need an all-inclusive package equivalent to NotaBene - I wish they would port over to OS X and I also e-mailed them about it, but I doubt it will happen. They now address this issue on their website by suggesting BootCamp or Parallels. They obviously did not update it for the introduction of Fusion.

DanZac
Knows everything, can prove it
Posts: 147
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:45 pm

Re: Need Input on Mellel/Bookends/DevonThink App Combo

Post by DanZac » Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:27 am

JAMiller,
I'm in Biblical studies and use the combination you are describing (you may be familar with the Bookends SBL Guide and format—I made those and maintain them for the BE developer).

To answer some of your questions: Mellel and NWPro offer the best language support on the Mac. I haven't used all the languages you mentioned, but you can be confident that Mellel handles unicode languages and fonts better than any other processor. Unfortunately, Mellel's export/import to Word isn't too great, but you have perfectly acceptable alternatives. I would exchange PDF's, and get your advisor to make notations with Adobe Reader. You can also consider doing editing and revisions via Google Docs. And the Mellel developers have indicated xrefs are right around the corner.

Bookends is a great app, and Sente should be mentioned too. It also works well with Mellel and actually has better note-taking abilities than BE. I'm currently working on SBL formats for the Sente developers as well and hope to be done soon.

Now as for Devonthink (by the way, use the pro version, and if you can afford it the pro office version if you are intested in scanning in paper articles). Devonthink surpasses the note database of Nota Bene a mile. Nota Bene doesn't view or index PDF and their contents (unless it has changed in the past year without mention on the website). Nota Bene is strictly text. DT indexes more than just text, but PDFs and html pages as well (and much more too!) The A.I. of DT is also superior to Nota Bene in my opinion. We should see the next major installment of DT (v.2) this year as well, which promises to be very very good.
DT's abiity to index PDF's is where the connection to Bookends or Sente comes in - you can index your BE or Sente attachments with DT which makes them searchable and viewable along with everything else in your database. And if you are handling many images, DT is a very nice place to keep and use this stuff. Thsi past summer I worked on a critical edition of a Pseudepigrapha book which entailed working with manuscript images. Having them all in one easily accessible place and immediately viewable was a very good thing.

I'm a huge DT fan, but I recognize that it is sometimes more than people need. I use it for organizing a lot more than just research. You may find that DT is more than you need. You can view PDF's right in both Bookends and Sente and take notes for the citation. Sente clearly shines in the note-taking aspect.

The Redlers have indicated a while back that there may be better integration with DT on the horizon, though I havent' heard much on it for a while. As Mellel files are viewable as attachments in BE now, I hope this will come with DT soon too.

This was a little bit of a rambling post but I hope it helps you out a bit. These are all great programs and together are workable, but the interaction between them does need some improvement. I have tried to initiate some of this, but in the end it takes the work of the developer's. Nota Bene shines because of its interconnectivity, but the Mac apps outshine Nota Bene's 3 individual parts (in my opinion).

p.s. Accordance is awesome! Just switch over from BibleWorks, don't bother running the emulator :-)

J A Miller
Got the styles thing figured out
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:23 am

Re: Need Input on Mellel/Bookends/DevonThink App Combo

Post by J A Miller » Tue Jan 08, 2008 9:03 pm

DanZac

Thank you for the information. I did see your BE SBL guide and format - a big plus for me. It is also good to know that this combination is useful for professional writing projects, because I anticipate a few in the future. I don't think I will dismiss BW quite yet. I am planning to only use Accordance initially to supplement whatever databases are unavailable in BW, but perhaps in the future this will change. At least initially, this will help keep the cost down for me. Also, I am planning on purchasing DTPro Office because of its OCR capabilities. Do you have any idea of a timeframe for when DTP Office will be revised?

DanZac
Knows everything, can prove it
Posts: 147
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:45 pm

Re: Need Input on Mellel/Bookends/DevonThink App Combo

Post by DanZac » Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:57 am

JAMiller,
glad I could help out a bit. I'm always happy to hear people switching to Mac - its soooo much better. And you'll love Accordance and not want to go back too :-)

As to DTpro Office, there has long been talk on a new version in the forums but nothing has been officially said. I'm hoping by mid-year, but who knows.

shades
Knows everything, can prove it
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:12 am

Re: Need Input on Mellel/Bookends/DevonThink App Combo

Post by shades » Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:24 am

Thanks, DanZac. This is helpful for me as well. I will begin examining DT Pro Office.
Rich
old, slow, and confused...but at least I’m inconsistent!

iMac 27" (10. 13. 8 ) and MBP 13" Retina (10. 13. 8 )

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 12 guests