Qercus is a desktop database software that allows records to contain an arbitrary selection of fields. Several data types are recognised, including text, numbers, images and web addresses. In Qercus databases the data is structured in various ways to allow many forms of searches: For example by data value (float, integer, word search etc.), by the names (tags) of field and record types (which can be declared arbitrarily), and by using parent-child relationships between records. This high level of flexibility makes Qercus well-suited for storing notes and observations. It can also be used for conventional 'card-index' databases such as cataloguing collections. The inspiration for this software is Blackwell Idealist (long discontinued, still no comparable replacement), which academic users in particular found to be very useful. An example database of books is supplied, but Qercus is not intended only as a bibliographic database.
Fields may be inserted, re-ordered, or changed to a different type arbitrarily in any record using buttons to the left of each field (picture 1). The macro-button field makes it possible to embed searches and other commands within any record to assist navigation. For example, a macro-button to find all records of a particular type can easily be added. Each record and field type has its own editable colour/ style (picture 2). Picture 3 shows fields open for editing. The to-do list includes implementing the macro language, and implementing text and phrase indexing and searching. Up to six hit-lists (records found by searches) are available. Parent-child relationships were only added with v0.13a and the present GUI design may yet be improved.
This software is distributed as a zip file. and was developed and tested on Kubuntu Lucid. To make it work Python 2.5 or 2.6, Canonical Storm (deb package python-storm) and PyQt4 must be installed. The author would welcome contact from anyone who is interested in working on this project. The forum link is a MediaWiki page on sourceForge.
- Fixes to path handling, particularly for the "any url/file" type field. These should not affect Linux users - the mods. are to permit use of backslashes in filenames on Windows machines. You can, for example, create a button that opens a directory with MS explorer, Nautilus etc. I am informed that the bug on the Ubuntu Unity desktop described below is not fixed in the 12.04 beta release.