VO features I'd like to see

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VO features I'd like to see

Steve Litt
I'm almost completely satisfied with VO exactly the way it is. Since it
acquired textboxes, it's everything I could ever want in an outliner.

Somebody suggested quick navigation to the parent, to the next sibling, and
the previous sibling. Those would be very handy, although certainly not
necessary (I've lived without them for nine years now :-).

Clones would be nice if they weren't so darn difficult, because clones are the
last basic outliner feature not possessed by VO. Cloning would be very handy
for a programmer designing programs with VO, but I don't do much of those any
more so that's not a red hot need for me personally.

Groupware would be very nice, although I can't even begin to describe how it
would work, and it's obviously very difficult.

BY FAR my greatest VO desire might not be VO at all, but instead a GUI, "user
friendly" VO workalike with a Microsoft-like interface so I can get the rest
of my family into outlining. I think we've flirted with a "user friendly VO"
before and IIRC it was glitchy and non-powerful because we had to stretch the
Vim engine too far to accommodate something that's always in insert mode.

I don't think using Vim as the engine is practical, but I want to keep the
software completely file-compatible with VO, and to the degree possible
feature-compatible.

I just read about a free software Delphi-like development environment that's
available and can compile to Linux and Windows. I understand it develops
executables so that deployment is a snap and they needn't have any special
stuff to make it happen. I might be able to create it with that.

Or maybe Java (urghhhh).

I'd imagine the basic editor would be fairly easy. Body text would be more of
a challenge. Checkboxes would be a nightmare. But by far the most challenging
thing would be to have VO keystrokes serve as hotkeys for the menu driven
system Ugh!

Nevertheless, this is so important I might do it even though I have little
time. I fantasize about my whole family outlining the same files -- me with VO
and them with what -- VO-Friendly? :-)

Thanks

SteveT

Steve Litt
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Re: VO features I'd like to see

Lucas González
10 years ago I daydreamed about cooperatively editing an outline.
"Cothink" :-).  http://www.gulic.org/almacen/01_www/copensar/sole.html
 Some "expanded features" at the end.

There's even some GPLed C code, in that page.  I wanted it in console
mode, so that it could be useable in a calculator-sized computer.
"ThinkPC" :-).  THAT would be my greatest VO desire: always on, carry
around, almost no battery use.  I keep dreaming.

Lucas

2009/10/1 Steve Litt <[hidden email]>:

> I'm almost completely satisfied with VO exactly the way it is. Since it
> acquired textboxes, it's everything I could ever want in an outliner.
>
> Somebody suggested quick navigation to the parent, to the next sibling, and
> the previous sibling. Those would be very handy, although certainly not
> necessary (I've lived without them for nine years now :-).
>
> Clones would be nice if they weren't so darn difficult, because clones are the
> last basic outliner feature not possessed by VO. Cloning would be very handy
> for a programmer designing programs with VO, but I don't do much of those any
> more so that's not a red hot need for me personally.
>
> Groupware would be very nice, although I can't even begin to describe how it
> would work, and it's obviously very difficult.
>
> BY FAR my greatest VO desire might not be VO at all, but instead a GUI, "user
> friendly" VO workalike with a Microsoft-like interface so I can get the rest
> of my family into outlining. I think we've flirted with a "user friendly VO"
> before and IIRC it was glitchy and non-powerful because we had to stretch the
> Vim engine too far to accommodate something that's always in insert mode.
>
> I don't think using Vim as the engine is practical, but I want to keep the
> software completely file-compatible with VO, and to the degree possible
> feature-compatible.
>
> I just read about a free software Delphi-like development environment that's
> available and can compile to Linux and Windows. I understand it develops
> executables so that deployment is a snap and they needn't have any special
> stuff to make it happen. I might be able to create it with that.
>
> Or maybe Java (urghhhh).
>
> I'd imagine the basic editor would be fairly easy. Body text would be more of
> a challenge. Checkboxes would be a nightmare. But by far the most challenging
> thing would be to have VO keystrokes serve as hotkeys for the menu driven
> system Ugh!
>
> Nevertheless, this is so important I might do it even though I have little
> time. I fantasize about my whole family outlining the same files -- me with VO
> and them with what -- VO-Friendly? :-)
>
> Thanks
>
> SteveT
>
> Steve Litt
> Recession Relief Package
> http://www.recession-relief.US
> Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/stevelitt
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> VimOutliner mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://www.lists.vimoutliner.org/mailman/listinfo
>
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Re: VO features I'd like to see

Martin DeMello
In reply to this post by Steve Litt
On Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 10:24 AM, Steve Litt <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> BY FAR my greatest VO desire might not be VO at all, but instead a GUI, "user
> friendly" VO workalike with a Microsoft-like interface so I can get the rest
> of my family into outlining. I think we've flirted with a "user friendly VO"
> before and IIRC it was glitchy and non-powerful because we had to stretch the
> Vim engine too far to accommodate something that's always in insert mode.
>
> I don't think using Vim as the engine is practical, but I want to keep the
> software completely file-compatible with VO, and to the degree possible
> feature-compatible.

Have you drawn up a detailed feature list yet?

martin
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Re: VO features I'd like to see

Matěj Cepl
In reply to this post by Steve Litt
Steve Litt, Thu, 01 Oct 2009 00:54:57 -0400:
> I just read about a free software Delphi-like development environment
> that's available and can compile to Linux and Windows. I understand it
> develops executables so that deployment is a snap and they needn't have
> any special stuff to make it happen. I might be able to create it with
> that.
>
> Or maybe Java (urghhhh).

I wouldn't do it. I am not a card-carrying member of RMS fanclub, but I
like SFLC podcast (http://www.softwarefreedom.org/podcast/) and I like
their discussion (mostly about Mono) why it is better to use community-
maintained languages (http://www.softwarefreedom.org/podcast/2009/
jul/07/0x11/). Do you really want to be bound to mercy of Borland (they
are authors of Delphi, right?), when there are many other good
multiplatform environmnets (Python/Ruby/Perl/etc./C/C++ on Qt/Gtk+/wx)?

Best,

Matěj

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Re: VO features I'd like to see

Steve Litt
In reply to this post by Martin DeMello
On Thursday 01 October 2009 04:29:50 Martin DeMello wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 10:24 AM, Steve Litt <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> > BY FAR my greatest VO desire might not be VO at all, but instead a GUI,
> > "user friendly" VO workalike with a Microsoft-like interface so I can get
> > the rest of my family into outlining. I think we've flirted with a "user
> > friendly VO" before and IIRC it was glitchy and non-powerful because we
> > had to stretch the Vim engine too far to accommodate something that's
> > always in insert mode.
> >
> > I don't think using Vim as the engine is practical, but I want to keep
> > the software completely file-compatible with VO, and to the degree
> > possible feature-compatible.
>
> Have you drawn up a detailed feature list yet?

No, let's start that right now.

FEATURES:
* Exact same native format as VO
* Implements following features on version 0.1:
        * Editing done in multiline input window
        * Expand/collapse
        * Promote/demote
        * Wraps body text (lines begining with :space)
        * Does not wrap normal headlines
        * Interoutline links (conform to VO standard)
        * Executable lines (conform to VO standard)
        * Search, search/replace (won't be as full featured as Vim)
        * Color coded indentation
        * Maybe checkboxes if I'm capable of it
        * File->print does the right thing natively
* All preceding features available through menu
* Most of preceding features available through Ctrl+Z commands:
        * Ctrl+Z,,1
        * Ctrl+Z,,cp
        * Ctrl+Z:w
        * Etc
        * Intent of product is a bridge to real VO
* Ctrl+Z commands are listed on menus
* Perhaps some tools on toolbar marked with ,, commands, with full tooltips
* Sane cut and paste

FEATURES IT WOULD NOT HAVE
* Multiple buffers: Run two instances instead
* Vim keystrokes: Rewriting Vim is just too big a job
* Clones: at least until VO has clones
* Hoisting: Too difficult to do reliably


MANIFESTO/PRIORITIES
The main priority of VO was authoring speed. This will not be the case with
the new outliner, whose priorities will be these three in no particular order:
        * Free software outliner for non-Vim, non-Emacs people
        * Way to share outline files between Vim and non-Vim people
        * Training tool to migrate people to "Real VO"

With the new software, most operations will REQUIRE a mouse or else keystroke
driven drilldown of menus.

The new software will be something Bill Gates would call "intuitive" or "user
friendly." A non-initiated computer user who knows about outlines (maybe from
Miss Krenwinkel in 7th grade) will be able to sit down and use this software
without a manual or help file. It won't be fast -- I certainly wouldn't settle
for that amount of software interference, but it will be intuitive.
       
How's that for a starting feature list?

Thanks

SteveT

Steve Litt
Recession Relief Package
http://www.recession-relief.US
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/stevelitt


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Re: Re: VO features I'd like to see

Steve Litt
In reply to this post by Matěj Cepl
On Thursday 01 October 2009 06:31:46 Matej Cepl wrote:

> Steve Litt, Thu, 01 Oct 2009 00:54:57 -0400:
> > I just read about a free software Delphi-like development environment
> > that's available and can compile to Linux and Windows. I understand it
> > develops executables so that deployment is a snap and they needn't have
> > any special stuff to make it happen. I might be able to create it with
> > that.
> >
> > Or maybe Java (urghhhh).
>
> I wouldn't do it. I am not a card-carrying member of RMS fanclub, but I
> like SFLC podcast (http://www.softwarefreedom.org/podcast/) and I like
> their discussion (mostly about Mono) why it is better to use community-
> maintained languages (http://www.softwarefreedom.org/podcast/2009/
> jul/07/0x11/). Do you really want to be bound to mercy of Borland (they
> are authors of Delphi, right?), when there are many other good
> multiplatform environmnets (Python/Ruby/Perl/etc./C/C++ on Qt/Gtk+/wx)?
>
> Best,
>
> Matěj

Precisely! My last post was a little misleading -- I'm contemplating a free
software IDE SIMILAR to Delphi, not Delphi itself.

The Delphi-like environment I mentioned is called Lazarus. It's an IDE for a
language called "Free Pascal". Here's their Help->About blurb:

=======================================
License: GPL/LGPL

Lazarus is an IDE to create (graphical and console) applications with Free
Pascal. Free Pascal is a (L)GPL'ed Pascal and Object Pascal compiler that runs
on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD and more.

Lazarus is the missing part of the puzzle that will allow you to develop
programs for all of the above platforms in a Delphi like environment. The IDE
is a RAD tool that includes a form designer.

As Lazarus is growing we need more developers.

Official: http://sourceforge.net/projects/lazarus/
Tutorials: http://lazarus-ccr.sourceforge.net
=======================================

If "Free Pascal" is anything like Borland Turbo Pascal from the 80's and early
90's, it's not a good language, it's a GREAT language. Believe me, if my
customers had been accepting of Turbo Pascal, I would have never written a
line of C -- I never found ANYTHING that could be done in C that I couldn't do
in Turbo Pascal, although in fairness back in those days I didn't know how to
write callback routines, so it's perhaps an unfair comparison because I doubt
Turbo Pascal had a way of writing references or pointers to functions.

SteveT

Steve Litt
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http://www.recession-relief.US
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/stevelitt


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Re: Re: VO features I'd like to see

Tim Roberts
Steve Litt wrote:
> If "Free Pascal" is anything like Borland Turbo Pascal from the 80's and early
> 90's, it's not a good language, it's a GREAT language.

Free Pascal was patterned after the Object Pascal in the early Delphi
releases.  It is a pretty cool language.

> Believe me, if my
> customers had been accepting of Turbo Pascal, I would have never written a
> line of C -- I never found ANYTHING that could be done in C that I couldn't do
> in Turbo Pascal,...

Yes.  VCL and the object model in Delphi 2 actually helped me to
understanding MFC and C++.  The Delphi model seemed to be so much more
sensible.

Now, I'm a Python freak instead...

> although in fairness back in those days I didn't know how to
> write callback routines, so it's perhaps an unfair comparison because I doubt
> Turbo Pascal had a way of writing references or pointers to functions.
>  

Well, the pure, original Jensen and Wirth Pascal included the ability to
pass functions and procedures as parameters to other procedures (I
happen to have my dog-eared copy of the 1974 "User Manual and Report" at
hand), although they didn't include a way to define function pointer
variables.  Turbo Pascal certainly did.

--
Tim Roberts, [hidden email]
Providenza & Boekelheide, Inc.

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Re: Re: VO features I'd like to see

Steve Litt
On Thursday 01 October 2009 15:14:26 Tim Roberts wrote:
> Steve Litt wrote:

> > although in fairness back in those days I didn't know how to
> > write callback routines, so it's perhaps an unfair comparison because I
> > doubt Turbo Pascal had a way of writing references or pointers to
> > functions.
>
> Well, the pure, original Jensen and Wirth Pascal included the ability to
> pass functions and procedures as parameters to other procedures (I
> happen to have my dog-eared copy of the 1974 "User Manual and Report" at
> hand), although they didn't include a way to define function pointer
> variables.  Turbo Pascal certainly did.

If Turbo Pascal had function pointers, then there was absolutely nothing I
couldn't do in Turbo Pascal. I used to directly  address memory (who can
forget B800?). And they had a complete interface to the DOS interrupts and the
BIOS routines.

My first programming job used a Jensen and Wirth like Pascal (Whitesmith
Pascal, to be exact). It was frustrating because there were always things I
couldn't do without tons of mazelike workaround, and I found myself writing
the tough stuff in C. Then I discovered Turbo Pascal on my Kaypro 2x CPM box,
allowing me to do anything I could conceive of.

SteveT

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Re: VO features I'd like to see

Martin DeMello
In reply to this post by Steve Litt
On Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 8:40 PM, Steve Litt <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> The new software will be something Bill Gates would call "intuitive" or "user
> friendly." A non-initiated computer user who knows about outlines (maybe from
> Miss Krenwinkel in 7th grade) will be able to sit down and use this software
> without a manual or help file. It won't be fast -- I certainly wouldn't settle
> for that amount of software interference, but it will be intuitive.
>
> How's that for a starting feature list?

Looks good. Two questions: first, have you looked at existing
outliners and seen that they do not do what you want? Also, are you
attached to the idea of a stand-alone executable? QtRuby would be a
good choice of language/framework if you aren't.

martin
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Re: VO features I'd like to see

Noel Henson
In reply to this post by Steve Litt
On Wednesday 30 September 2009, Steve Litt wrote:

[snip]

> BY FAR my greatest VO desire might not be VO at all, but instead a GUI,
> "user friendly" VO workalike with a Microsoft-like interface so I can
> get the rest of my family into outlining. I think we've flirted with a
> "user friendly VO" before and IIRC it was glitchy and non-powerful
> because we had to stretch the Vim engine too far to accommodate
> something that's always in insert mode.

This is and always has been possible. I can't find the old thread just now
but we just need to do the following things:

1. Determine which features need to be accessed easily from insert mode.
2. Assign meta and/or control keys to those functions.
3. Enhance the GUI menus a bit.
4. Add a toolbar.

The same would have to be done for common plugins like checkboxes. I don't
think it's more difficult than this.


Noel

--

------------------------------------------------------------------
  Noel Henson
  www.noels-lab.com Chips, firmware and embedded systems
  www.vimoutliner.org Work fast. Think well.

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Re: VO features I'd like to see

Steve Litt
In reply to this post by Martin DeMello
On Friday 02 October 2009 05:38:48 Martin DeMello wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 8:40 PM, Steve Litt <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> > The new software will be something Bill Gates would call "intuitive" or
> > "user friendly." A non-initiated computer user who knows about outlines
> > (maybe from Miss Krenwinkel in 7th grade) will be able to sit down and
> > use this software without a manual or help file. It won't be fast -- I
> > certainly wouldn't settle for that amount of software interference, but
> > it will be intuitive.
> >
> > How's that for a starting feature list?
>
> Looks good. Two questions: first, have you looked at existing
> outliners and seen that they do not do what you want?

Hi Martin,

I've looked at LEO and it's not what I want (though it looks amazing for what
it does). Other than that, I just kind of assumed that other outliners would
not use VO's tab indented native format. Maybe I should research that more.

Does anyone know of existing outliners that use VO's native format and have a
fairly good feature to feature mapping with VO?

> Also, are you
> attached to the idea of a stand-alone executable?

I'm not sure I understand. Besides a stand-alone executable, what choice would
you have except a web-app? I won't make this thing a web app -- there's too
much configuration and other stuff when it'sa  web app. But certainly qtRuby
doesn't need to be a web app.

If you mean can it be interpreter driven (perl, python, ruby), that's
possible, but I'd rather not ask the user to install something he or she might
not already have installed.

Think how nice it would be to tell the user "Put voeasy.exe in c:
\windows\executables (or whatever)" and type voeasy master.otl. Contrast that
to "download and install Ruby as per the instructions on http://...".

> QtRuby would be a
> good choice of language/framework if you aren't.

I'll have to try that sometime. Unfortunately about 6 months ago I went back
to Perl from Ruby because I like Perl's regex much better than Ruby's (or
Python's).

Thanks

SteveT

Steve Litt
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http://www.recession-relief.US
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/stevelitt


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Re: VO features I'd like to see

Martin DeMello
On Fri, Oct 2, 2009 at 8:06 PM, Steve Litt <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I've looked at LEO and it's not what I want (though it looks amazing for what
> it does). Other than that, I just kind of assumed that other outliners would
> not use VO's tab indented native format. Maybe I should research that more.

It depends. If you want to preserve the look and feel of VO
(especially having the entire outline tree in a single text area) then
that would probably involve writing something from scratch (scintilla
looks like a good starting point, in that case).  But if you just want
file and feature compatibility, you could start with an existing
project (to leverage the work that went into making the ui) and change
the load and save code, then add any missing features. That said, I
just spent some time googling around and open source outliners are
surprisingly thin on the ground - so far, the only halfway-suitable
ones I could find are treeline [http://treeline.bellz.org/], jreepad
[http://jreepad.sourceforge.net/] and tkoutliner
[http://tkoutline.sourceforge.net/wiki/]

> I'm not sure I understand. Besides a stand-alone executable, what choice would
> you have except a web-app? I won't make this thing a web app -- there's too
> much configuration and other stuff when it'sa  web app. But certainly qtRuby
> doesn't need to be a web app.
>
> If you mean can it be interpreter driven (perl, python, ruby), that's
> possible, but I'd rather not ask the user to install something he or she might
> not already have installed.

Yeah, I meant something that would require the guy to install an
interpreter first versus something that worked with just an exe.

martin
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Re: VO features I'd like to see

Steve Litt
On Friday 02 October 2009 13:00:39 Martin DeMello wrote:
> That said, I
> just spent some time googling around and open source outliners are
> surprisingly thin on the ground - so far, the only halfway-suitable
> ones I could find are treeline [http://treeline.bellz.org/], jreepad
> [http://jreepad.sourceforge.net/] and tkoutliner
> [http://tkoutline.sourceforge.net/wiki/]

Ugh :-0

I couldn't get to treeline's web page, jreepad had insufficient docs to quickly
know how to run it, and tkoutliner errored out when I ran it, and besides, I
saw its native format, and you'd never want to edit that directly.

You know Martin, I'd like to go back in a time machine and bring back air from
1988-1994. What was it about the golden age of outliners that produced
Thinktank, More, Ideafisher, Grandview and Ecco? What was in the air that
people back then loved outlining and drove an industry?

What extinction event killed 90% of the desire to outline? And how do we get
it back?

SteveT

Steve Litt
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Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/stevelitt


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