Office & Productivity Software forum

Question

Software for a legal dictionary / legal encyclopedia

by Flapjak87 / August 2, 2013 1:11 AM PDT
TL;DR: I want to make a personal knowledge database / wiki / dictionary. What software should I use?


Dear CNET community

I have a law degree and I'm working as an assistant attorney at a law firm in Denmark. I have a lot of scattered notes, documents and links and I would really love to have that one place to put all my legal knowledge.

Therefore I'm looking for software to help me create a personal knowledge base / encyclopedia / dictionary - a place where I can something up in the future.
(I know there are plenty of English law dictionaries, however I am looking to creating my own one regarding Danish law.)

"Need to have"-features:


1) The ability to create a "wiki page" for each topic

2) Search

3) Categories / trees of topics / #hashtags
4) Links to other pages (like Wikipedia)

"Nice to have"-features

1) "import words from text document feature" (I would love to be able to take a text/PDF file (e.g. a new court ruling) and have the program search through the words. If it contains words that already have a page in the encyclopedia, I can choose to "link" the document to that page - if the text file contains a word that does not already have a page, I can choose to create a page) (this feature would ROCK)

2) both a desktop application and a web-app

3) iOS / phone App for taking quick notes - or an import feature from the iPhone's Notes app

4) Some sort of drag-and-drop feature where I can easily link documents (e.g. court rulings) to a certain topic (e.g. bankrupcy)

I would of course prefer a free, open source and beautifully maintained program, but I am also willing to pay for the right features.

Thank you for reading through this. If you can point me in the general direction of a program with all or some of these features, I will be very grateful!

Thanks in advance

Mathias K.L.
Denmark
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All Answers

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Answer
What comes close?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 2, 2013 1:21 AM PDT

Let's hear what you found so far. Today we have google, sourceforge and more so I'm sure you've found something, even if it's not integrated.

Also, free tends to be as-is and not beautifully maintained. LibreOffice is great, OneNote is not bad but what you wrote sounds more like -> vertical integration <- where we tie it all together for work and process flow. That's no app!
Bob

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Evernote
by Flapjak87 / August 2, 2013 1:59 AM PDT
In reply to: What comes close?

Hi, thanks for replying

I think I have searched for the better part of 10 hours in total over the last few weeks. I've tried to look at Microsoft OneNote, Google Docs, some WikiFarms and a lot of smaller programs that claim to do it all (tm) for businesses.

The problem with Google Docs is that it takes a lot of time to manually update documents and files. The problem with making a wiki is that I have to do several thousand pages. I would really love some form of automated feature for creating new pages from the words in a document (see below).
<div>
I'm currently looking into Evernote.

With Evernote, I can create different Notebooks and make entries, just like my own wikipedia.

What I would really love would be the first feature listed as nice to have:

"1) "import words from text document feature" (I would love to be able to take a text/PDF file (e.g. a new court ruling) and have the program search through the words. If it contains words that already have a page in the encyclopedia, I can choose to "link" the document to that page - if the text file contains a word that does not already have a page, I can choose to create a page) (this feature would ROCK)"

If I could get that one feature, I could live with some other flaws.

Thanks
</div>

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Evernote and OneNote are similar in my view.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 2, 2013 2:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Evernote

It appears you want a vertically integrated app or system. As you have discovered such is something we have made for us or we write ourselves.

As to Google Docs, why that when we have LibreOffice, DropBox and Gdrive? I won't write how these work together as my thought here is that speed vs function is always a tradeoff.
Bob

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Making an encyclopedia
by Flapjak87 / August 2, 2013 2:17 AM PDT

Hi Bob

I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean by vertical integration.

Basically, I want to make an encyclopedia with all Danish legal terms. That means several thousand pages / entries / items or whatever to call them.

Google Drive and Dropbox will let me make thousands of documents, but I don't want that - I want an encyclopedia.

Wiki sites will let me make a wiki, but it will take me years do manually create thousands of wiki pages.

Therefore I am looking for a different piece of software.

I really want this killer feature that I have described where you can scan a document with hundreds of words and get the option to make new pages (/entries in my personal encyclopedia) only for the words which aren't already there.

AFAIK, OneNote and Evernote don't have that feature, unfortunately.

Mathias

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Which is why it takes thousands of folk to make them.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 2, 2013 2:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Making an encyclopedia

Wikipedia is a fine example of collaborative work. However in the legal profession such may not be possible since would you ever stake your career or client's outcome on such a work? I can't answer that.

There's a reason why there are books and more on this but let me simplify my words here. It's integration and automation that you appear to be after to create your Wiki site.

Since a site can be on the web or local, I won't differentiate between those.

-> It appears you want an app to pour text in and get Wiki pages out.

That's not a great spec but it's a start and that's where we start when creating new projects. But the way, all things are projects if you listen to Tom Peters -> https://www.google.com/#safe=off&sclient=psy-ab&q=tom+peters++everything+is+a+project

At this point you are at the beginning of a project. You may have asked if there is a ready to use Danish app for this but I don't see it in English so all I can add is it's time to create it. Those that need it usually create such.
Bob

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I guess I should have been more clear..
by Flapjak87 / August 2, 2013 3:15 AM PDT

I am aware that Wikipedia have thousands of contributors, but that's missing the point to be honest.

I want advice on getting a piece of software that can help me and make it easier for me to personally do the work to create my own knowledge base. An example:

I have just started my knowledge base / wiki / encyclopedia / dictionary / whatever and I have only made two entries/pages:

- Laziness
- Fox

In these entries I have written all that I know about both the subject of laziness and about foxes.

<div>Now I take a piece of text

"The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" and use the "killer feature" that I have described several times above.</div>
The program would then recognize a number of new words:

- the
- quick
- brown
- jumps
- over
- the
- lazy
- dog

As a user, I would then be presented with the choice to check the box for any of the words and make a new entry. Let's say I would choose to have (empty) pages created for:

- dog
- quickness
- jump
- brown

As a user, I would also be able to mark the words "The" and "Over" as irrelevant words that I never want an entry with.

This example may sound silly, but it would be an absolute killer feature to create a list of all the words to be used in a legal dictionary. I would be sure that I would never miss a single legal phrase or term.

That would be awesome. So if you can help me with such an app, you would be my hero, dude.

Mathias

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Sadly I never saw such an app.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 2, 2013 4:38 AM PDT
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Okay, thx
by Flapjak87 / August 2, 2013 5:14 AM PDT

Okay then, thanks for your time today, Bob!

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