Use CintaNotes to search and edit it's own settings
I got blown away when this came to me.
In short, the idea is to edit CintaNote's .settings file using CintaNotes itself, and searching settings using CN's great 1-key search.
To better understand the idea, please install and check out latest versions of these two programs: Opera browser and Miranda IM. In particular, check out their settings/options managers. They both have so many config options that they HAVE to have search over them. In case of Miranda, it would take very long to locate a setting of interest without search. In case of Opera, it's literally impossible to create GUI for every option it has, so they created a big categorized html+js page with handy 1-key search over them. Type opera:config in the address bar and check it out!
In case of CintaNotes, it could be a main menu option like "Edit settings", toggling CN from notes mode into settings mode, where user could start entering a setting of interest, like "title" to set focus title option. The mode could be made visually distinguishable by drawing wrench or gear icon, or making main area of different background color.
1. Search. CN already has plenty of options, and don't know about you guys, but when I need to edit an option, I open cintanotes.settings in notepad and use search anyway. And I expect the count of settings to grow.
2. Value "strong typing" using UI controls. If a setting is a boolean (0 or 1), the value can be set by a checkbox, if its a number - via numeric field (with up/down arrows), if it's a selection from a fixed number of values (enumeration) - a dropdown list, and if it's a color - via color dialog with #hexacode displayed. This way user has a very low chance to enter a value of wrong type. See Opera's opera:config as a reference.
3. Help tips. A small '?' icon can be displayed near every setting, that on hover (no clicks!) shows a brief hint about the setting. There's no place for this thing in a strict .settings file (unless it has comments). Again, check Opera for a better overview (although they have help tips loading from the web).
4. No more need in designing UI for various settings, and no need in considering which options deserve a UI block, and which are minor and could be left as text-only settings. The mechanism is easily extensible when new options appear.
Service d'assistance aux clients par UserEcho
I agree that the number of options will be growing, so I reckon sooner or later a separate options dialog will have to be introduced.
The approach that you suggest is very innovative, and I see that it will be really great for searching settings.
However, I don't see that it will be helpful enough for browsing different settings. Or do you suggest using tags for this? That would be really cool, but it needs to be really thought out in order to be really convenient. The main problem would be integration of various types of controls. Also unlike regular tags and notes, settings need to be translated. But the idea is awesome, thanks!
But real benefit for users will be in grouping settings.
editing will 'contain' all settings related for editing notes. Thus preventing this settings polluting other groups, like tags settings, visual, backup, time...
Firefox also brings the settings listings search results from all the settings 'as you type'