Preparing for a short vacation, I was amazed when the kids started creating
packing lists. Then my wife. The tools were myriad -- OpenOffice writer,
notepad, Linux, Windows, but everyone made their own. Without my suggesting
As Sylvia was making one for the entire family, I notice it was organized as
an outline, and I suggested maybe we could make it on my computer. I
mentioned I had special outlining software.
She asked if it would get the tabs right without needing to repeatedly hit
tabs to indent. I said yes. I could see a gleam in her eye.
She asked if it would run under Windows. I said yes, although when I first
created it it did not.
At that point she said something to the effect that once again I gave away
something I could have sold. She asked me if I'd ever made a dime from
VimOutliner. I said "remember the money I made in Dallas -- I couldn't have
done that without VimOutliner. VO helped me write my new book, and upgrade my
She remained unconvinced. Then I told the story of how I made version 0.1.3,
which only a mother could love. And how other people jumped in and created
better folding, checkboxes, calendering, and yes, a Windows version. You
could see the lightbulb go on in her head as she got her first understanding
of the win-win nature of free software.
When we get back, I think I'll give some VO lessons.