what are the advantages of NWE over Mellel?

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martin
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Post by martin » 2006-05-01 17:11:21

We do have that special gemboyishness!

dave
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Post by dave » 2006-05-01 21:37:22

Well, that certainly helps, but we also have a picture of David Hasselhoff with a banana! That has got to bring us some good mojo, don't you think?

All hail the mighty Hasselhoff!

The Antiquarian
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Post by The Antiquarian » 2006-05-02 00:54:19

Jzents wrote:
The Antiquarian wrote:One word: unicode. I stuck with Mellel for a while because I discovered unicode (when Word for Mac didn't support it) and saw that it was the future of computing for those using non-Roman alphabets; at the time, NWE was very basic (didn't even do footnotes). But as I discovered more about unicode, I also discovered Mellel's less than perfect implementation of it. Specifically, combining diacriticals will not work with left-to-right languages, at least with the unicode font that comes built-in with OS X (Lucida Grande). Sometimes I just have to use them - and the last straw came when I had to use TextEdit (!) to make a teaching handout because Mellel, 'designed especially for scholars' as they tell us, could not make the combined characters I needed for my class on ancient Greek accentuation. As I wrote to them, there is no feature more important to the scholars I know than the simple ability to produce the correct characters with the correct diacritical signs. (Even the current version of Word for Mac can't do these unicode combining characters, nor - surprisingly enough - could Pages 1: I haven't tried Pages 2.) So I switched to NWE, which of course can manage all this, and since then have seen the further important advantage it enjoys of .rtf file format.
In what way do you find Nisus any easier to use here than any other app? I too often need Greek with accents. I just use the keyboard pallet and SIL Greek fonts which have the characters combined with the accents. Then I just pick the correct character/accent combination and presto. How are you doing it in Nisus? Thank you!

The distinction to be made is between Greek with precomposed diacriticals and with combining diacriticals. For most uses of ancient Greek, the precomposed versions are fine - and so can be handled adequately by Mellel or Word. However, not all diacriticals that I need in my work come in precomposed versions, and for these you need to be able to use combining diacriticals. As an example, you may need an alpha with a smooth breathing and an acute - no problem, there is a unique unicode "code point" for this combination. However, say you wanted to be able to add a macron to that combination, or put a circumflex over an omicron or epsilon, or a sublinear dot beneath a Greek letter: because these are not things you normally need in printed Greek literary texts, there are no precomposed glyphs for them, and you have to use combining diacriticals. My point was that NWE can handle these, while Mellel cannot. You can read more about the general issue of precomposed vs combining diacriticals here: <a href="http://www.tlg.uci.edu/~opoudjis/unicod ... omposed</a>
FILOSOFOU=MEN A)/NEU MALAKI/AS

Jzents
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Post by Jzents » 2006-05-02 06:22:18

The Antiquarian wrote:
Jzents wrote:
The Antiquarian wrote:One word: unicode. I stuck with Mellel for a while because I discovered unicode (when Word for Mac didn't support it) and saw that it was the future of computing for those using non-Roman alphabets; at the time, NWE was very basic (didn't even do footnotes). But as I discovered more about unicode, I also discovered Mellel's less than perfect implementation of it. Specifically, combining diacriticals will not work with left-to-right languages, at least with the unicode font that comes built-in with OS X (Lucida Grande). Sometimes I just have to use them - and the last straw came when I had to use TextEdit (!) to make a teaching handout because Mellel, 'designed especially for scholars' as they tell us, could not make the combined characters I needed for my class on ancient Greek accentuation. As I wrote to them, there is no feature more important to the scholars I know than the simple ability to produce the correct characters with the correct diacritical signs. (Even the current version of Word for Mac can't do these unicode combining characters, nor - surprisingly enough - could Pages 1: I haven't tried Pages 2.) So I switched to NWE, which of course can manage all this, and since then have seen the further important advantage it enjoys of .rtf file format.
In what way do you find Nisus any easier to use here than any other app? I too often need Greek with accents. I just use the keyboard pallet and SIL Greek fonts which have the characters combined with the accents. Then I just pick the correct character/accent combination and presto. How are you doing it in Nisus? Thank you!

The distinction to be made is between Greek with precomposed diacriticals and with combining diacriticals. For most uses of ancient Greek, the precomposed versions are fine - and so can be handled adequately by Mellel or Word. However, not all diacriticals that I need in my work come in precomposed versions, and for these you need to be able to use combining diacriticals. As an example, you may need an alpha with a smooth breathing and an acute - no problem, there is a unique unicode "code point" for this combination. However, say you wanted to be able to add a macron to that combination, or put a circumflex over an omicron or epsilon, or a sublinear dot beneath a Greek letter: because these are not things you normally need in printed Greek literary texts, there are no precomposed glyphs for them, and you have to use combining diacriticals. My point was that NWE can handle these, while Mellel cannot. You can read more about the general issue of precomposed vs combining diacriticals here: <a href="http://www.tlg.uci.edu/~opoudjis/unicod ... omposed</a>
OK, I can see that. I mostly work with classical Greek for philosophy or Koine for NT work. So I would not need what you are needing. But I played a bit in Nisus and could not see how you are combining two or more characters in one 'space'. Could you enlighten me on that point? Cheers and thank you!
Jeffrey Zents
jzents@mac.com

The Antiquarian
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Post by The Antiquarian » 2006-05-02 07:56:31

Jzents wrote:
The Antiquarian wrote:
Jzents wrote: In what way do you find Nisus any easier to use here than any other app? I too often need Greek with accents. I just use the keyboard pallet and SIL Greek fonts which have the characters combined with the accents. Then I just pick the correct character/accent combination and presto. How are you doing it in Nisus? Thank you!

The distinction to be made is between Greek with precomposed diacriticals and with combining diacriticals. For most uses of ancient Greek, the precomposed versions are fine - and so can be handled adequately by Mellel or Word. However, not all diacriticals that I need in my work come in precomposed versions, and for these you need to be able to use combining diacriticals. As an example, you may need an alpha with a smooth breathing and an acute - no problem, there is a unique unicode "code point" for this combination. However, say you wanted to be able to add a macron to that combination, or put a circumflex over an omicron or epsilon, or a sublinear dot beneath a Greek letter: because these are not things you normally need in printed Greek literary texts, there are no precomposed glyphs for them, and you have to use combining diacriticals. My point was that NWE can handle these, while Mellel cannot. You can read more about the general issue of precomposed vs combining diacriticals here: <a href="http://www.tlg.uci.edu/~opoudjis/unicod ... omposed</a>
OK, I can see that. I mostly work with classical Greek for philosophy or Koine for NT work. So I would not need what you are needing. But I played a bit in Nisus and could not see how you are combining two or more characters in one 'space'. Could you enlighten me on that point? Cheers and thank you!
The simplest way to access these combining diacriticals is through the Character Palette (I'm using OS X 10.3.9). For example, first type a Greek letter in Lucida Grande, then open Character Palette, setting the view to "Glyph", and the font to Lucida Grande. Scroll down to the row that begins 00380 (these are just a few of the dozens of combining characters available - play around with Character Palette!). Then double click on one of the diacriticals and it will combine with the Greek letter. If you try this with both NWE and Mellel you will see how much better the former is - particularly noticeable with a letter which already has a diacritical over it - and in fact even TextEdit can do this properly. In fairness, I should point out that Mellel has improved; in some cases it will work (sort of) with Lucida Grande, but when I first noticed a problem with it (in June last year) the product wouldn't do this at all with the Mac's in-built comprehensive Unicode font. As I said in my original post, this failure was my main reason for moving to NWE, and Mellel's implementation of this valuable Unicode feature is still unacceptable IMHO. Hope this helps!
FILOSOFOU=MEN A)/NEU MALAKI/AS

Jzents
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Post by Jzents » 2006-05-02 10:34:43

The Antiquarian wrote:
Jzents wrote:
The Antiquarian wrote:
The distinction to be made is between Greek with precomposed diacriticals and with combining diacriticals. For most uses of ancient Greek, the precomposed versions are fine - and so can be handled adequately by Mellel or Word. However, not all diacriticals that I need in my work come in precomposed versions, and for these you need to be able to use combining diacriticals. As an example, you may need an alpha with a smooth breathing and an acute - no problem, there is a unique unicode "code point" for this combination. However, say you wanted to be able to add a macron to that combination, or put a circumflex over an omicron or epsilon, or a sublinear dot beneath a Greek letter: because these are not things you normally need in printed Greek literary texts, there are no precomposed glyphs for them, and you have to use combining diacriticals. My point was that NWE can handle these, while Mellel cannot. You can read more about the general issue of precomposed vs combining diacriticals here: <a href="http://www.tlg.uci.edu/~opoudjis/unicod ... omposed</a>
OK, I can see that. I mostly work with classical Greek for philosophy or Koine for NT work. So I would not need what you are needing. But I played a bit in Nisus and could not see how you are combining two or more characters in one 'space'. Could you enlighten me on that point? Cheers and thank you!
The simplest way to access these combining diacriticals is through the Character Palette (I'm using OS X 10.3.9). For example, first type a Greek letter in Lucida Grande, then open Character Palette, setting the view to "Glyph", and the font to Lucida Grande. Scroll down to the row that begins 00380 (these are just a few of the dozens of combining characters available - play around with Character Palette!). Then double click on one of the diacriticals and it will combine with the Greek letter. If you try this with both NWE and Mellel you will see how much better the former is - particularly noticeable with a letter which already has a diacritical over it - and in fact even TextEdit can do this properly. In fairness, I should point out that Mellel has improved; in some cases it will work (sort of) with Lucida Grande, but when I first noticed a problem with it (in June last year) the product wouldn't do this at all with the Mac's in-built comprehensive Unicode font. As I said in my original post, this failure was my main reason for moving to NWE, and Mellel's implementation of this valuable Unicode feature is still unacceptable IMHO. Hope this helps!
Thank you for the detailed reply. I shall do some experimenting with this just to get the hang of it and to notice the differences. Thank you for your time, it is much appreciated. Cheers!
Jeffrey Zents
jzents@mac.com

Jzents
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Post by Jzents » 2006-05-02 14:06:34

There is one point where I have to give the advantage to Mellel. If you use iListen as much as I do you will have noticed that Nisus is not nearly as responsive as Mellel is when dictating. Nisus will often bog down and get very slow. Correcting text is not nearly as quick in Nisus as it is in Mellel. I have brought this up before with iListen's programmers, and they are convinced it has something to do with the way Nisus is checking for keyboard input (if I remember the contents of their reply correctly). I did forward this information on to the programmers at Nisus, but I never heard back from them and as far as I can tell the latest betas are no better than 2.5.
Last edited by Jzents on 2006-05-03 20:37:51, edited 1 time in total.
Jeffrey Zents
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Bob Stern
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Post by Bob Stern » 2006-05-02 17:32:42

Jzents wrote:Nisus will auto correct my common misspellings e.g., t e h for the, which Mellel does not currently do. Unfortunately, neither has the great auto-complete feature that Neo/OpenOffice does. The current implementation of that in Nisus is not usable.
SpellCatcher has a great Auto-Complete feature, which they call Shortcuts.
http://www.spellcatcher.com/

cgc
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Post by cgc » 2006-05-03 17:19:24

Like many of you, I debated over both Mellel and NWE before buying NWE. My primary concern was on being able to exchange documents and so I tested both applications with a simple document that contained tables, images, and text. NWE easily beat Mellel in this category and was much easier to work with other programs (e.g. Word).

I think NWE really does allow users to write and exchange files with Word users. We don't have to learn Mellel's styles (which aren't complicated but why should word processing be anything other than simple).

Aethetics are a concern, and NWE beats Mellel here too but providing a familiar interface that allows me to focus on writing.

Really, neither program is bad, it's personal preference. Both are much better than Word, Abiword, Mariner Write, OO Write, etc.

gemboy27
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still

Post by gemboy27 » 2006-05-03 18:16:17

I haven't played around with the others, I open them up and think "....okay...?"

and still, I am not a beta tester for anyone else
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education/Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Reiner
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Post by Reiner » 2006-05-03 23:46:39

cgc wrote:We don't have to learn Mellel's styles (which aren't complicated but why should word processing be anything other than simple).
because sometimes things which are real powerful aren't possible to be only simple? btw mellel's styles are not that complicated, they're not simple that's true, but they are real brilliant if you make more than writing letters.

MacSailor
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Post by MacSailor » 2006-05-05 06:54:20

Reiner wrote:
cgc wrote:We don't have to learn Mellel's styles (which aren't complicated but why should word processing be anything other than simple).
because sometimes things which are real powerful aren't possible to be only simple? btw mellel's styles are not that complicated, they're not simple that's true, but they are real brilliant if you make more than writing letters.
Agree on that.
Peter Edwardsson
..............................

SteveSamuels
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Nisus Tables <-> Word: Great

Post by SteveSamuels » 2006-05-10 08:39:34

I have no experience of Mellel, so can't compare. I want to point out, as others have, that the Word compatibility of NWE is excellent.

My colleagues send me Windows Word documents to revise (we don't use tracking). Although I own Office 04, I much prefer NWE: I open the docs in NWE and all attributes are preserved, especially
highlighting, which we use for comments.

I write my contributions using NWE and make a lot of tables, I either send an NWE rtf file back for my colleagues to open in Word, or I paste directly into Word 2004 and send a Word file back. Either way the tables convert perfectly

Steve

Mark XM
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Post by Mark XM » 2006-05-10 19:32:45

I haven't read the forum for a long, long time. I have both Nisus and Mellel. When I moved onto OS-X, I needed to find a word-processor and quickly picked up Okito Composer, which is the basis of NWE, so I have been a user of NWE since before the beginning! I liked it a lot, but there was much that was going to take time to develop, so I carried on looking round, and found Mellel.
I used Mellel for quite a time, but always found that the interface was in the way rather, and wasn't that keen on the appearance.
But the real thing that took me back to NWE, particularly as it develops much of the functionality that it needs, and that is the fact that I work with Chinese and therefore exchange documents with people using various flavours of Chinese Windows and various versions of Word.
Mellel is not that good for document exchange anyway, but when it comes down to Chinese it won't handle the Chinese characters. To open a .doc in Chinese in Mellel, you have to open it in TextEdit first and save it out as an RTF, then open that. Then when you have done editing, you have to export it to RTF, and then run that through TextEdit to ensure that it can be opened in Chinese Word.
There are some documents that come to me that I have to run through TextEdit anyway as not even NWE will handle them (Chinese Windows 97, I think) but they are few, and RTFs produced by NWE open reliably on Chinese Windows boxes.
Pages has too many problems, one of the worst being .docs exported from Pages won't open in Chinese Word, nor will they open in NWE in my experience.
As for merely being useful for writing letters ... I have edited books in NWE ... divided into separate chapters, admittedly, but then I wouldn't put the whole lot in one file anyway until right at the end.
Although I have found glitches in NWE styles, they function well on the whole; my problem is rather that Chinese people don't know about styles, so every document comes loaded with every single style that Micro$oft sets in Word, styles which the never use but don't know about turning off.
For outlining, I use OmniOutliner anyway as the basis from which I start all my writing, and if I have a need for real layout work, I use InDesignCS. And the same OmniOutliner outline exports straight into Keynote for tweaking as a presentation.
My top wishes for NWE ...
(1) Closer integration with OmniOutliner, à la Linkback, rather than having to use an exported RTF;
(2) An <Open from Template> menu option with assigned/assignable keystroke.
(3) The ability to flow text around graphics.
I still have Mellel, and update it continually, but for me, it's now there in case I want to use it, but in general I don't.
Mark

shades
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Post by shades » 2006-05-13 07:23:52

Since I am still using 10.3.9, NWE isn't quite what I need (SHIFT + Retrun does not work properly without 10.4).

The styles, auto-title, mentions in Mellel were hurdles, but I made the effort early and have not regretted it. Most of my writing is theological papers [Hebrew, Greek, Latin/Germa/English] and Mellel handles my needs very well.

Granted, I have always liked the feel of NWE better. But that doesn't help me write better for what I need.

But I keep both up-to-date, and use what is best for what I'm doing. Glad to don't have to make an ultimate choice!
MBP 2.4 GHz, OS X 10.5.6
NWP 1.2, Mellel 2.6, iWork 08

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