Why VimOutliner on Windows?

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Why VimOutliner on Windows?

Steve Litt
Hi all,

We now seem to have several Windows users using VimOutliner, and I'm wondering
why. Windows (and Mac) have several excellent outliners available.

Is part of the reason that you like free software (free both as in beer and as
in speech)? Is part of it the lightning fast keboardability of VO? Are there
other reasons?

How many of you Windows users migrated from other outliners, and what
outliners did you migrate from?

I think most of the early Linux crew worked with other outliners before coming
to VO. I know I worked with (and loved) Grandview, and also MS Word outline
view. Both became unavailable when I switched to Linux.

Looking back on those two excellent outliners, I appreciate VO's keyboarding
speed, which to me more than makes up for missing features (we don't have
Grandview's cloning or MS Word's ability to switch between outline and
document view). The other thing I appreciate is VO's simple native fiie
format, allowing me to read my outlines without VO, and to write programs to
manipulate my outlines.

SteveT
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Re: Why VimOutliner on Windows?

David J Patrick
On 9/4/06, Steve Litt <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> How many of you Windows users migrated from other outliners, and what
> outliners did you migrate from?

My first outliner was the best (yes, even quicker and more intuitive than VO)
"Thought" outliner, a component of SuperRom (a fantastic 32K rom chip
for the TRS80 model 100/102)  got me good and hooked, and forever
changed the way I tackle complex ideas.
Later, I used MSWord outline view with much success, and tried EVERY
other outliner avalable for Windoze, and later linux, in search of
something that works as well as Thought (approx 8k of code) So far, VO
is it.
>
> I think most of the early Linux crew worked with other outliners before coming
> to VO. I know I worked with (and loved) Grandview, and also MS Word outline
> view. Both became unavailable when I switched to Linux.

in linux GUI land, Tomboy is worth looking at.
djp

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Re: Why VimOutliner on Windows?

David J Patrick
In reply to this post by Steve Litt
On 9/4/06, Steve Litt <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> How many of you Windows users migrated from other outliners, and what
> outliners did you migrate from?

My first outliner was the best (yes, even quicker and more intuitive than VO)
"Thought" outliner, a component of SuperRom (a fantastic 32K rom chip
for the TRS80 model 100/102)  got me good and hooked, and forever
changed the way I tackle complex ideas.
Later, I used MSWord outline view with much success, and tried EVERY
other outliner avalable for Windoze, and later linux, in search of
something that works as well as Thought (approx 8k of code) So far, VO
is it.
>
> I think most of the early Linux crew worked with other outliners before coming
> to VO. I know I worked with (and loved) Grandview, and also MS Word outline
> view. Both became unavailable when I switched to Linux.

in linux GUI land, Tomboy is worth looking at.
djp

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Re: Why VimOutliner on Windows?

Matthew Weier O'Phinney-2
In reply to this post by Steve Litt
On 9/4/06, Steve Litt <[hidden email]> wrote:

> We now seem to have several Windows users using VimOutliner, and I'm
> wondering why. Windows (and Mac) have several excellent outliners
> available.
>
> Is part of the reason that you like free software (free both as in
> beer and as in speech)? Is part of it the lightning fast
> keboardability of VO? Are there other reasons?
>
> How many of you Windows users migrated from other outliners, and what
> outliners did you migrate from?

I'd never used an outliner before, unless you consider HTML <ul>s and
<ol>s outlining.

I started using VOL because I was (and am) proficient in vim (I use it
for all my text-based tasks, from programming to email to journaling),
wanted a tool for outlining my ideas and potentially tracking
progress, and wanted a tool that I could easily use in multiple
environments.

I've been using VOL for several years now, both on linux and more
recently Windows. It's always a part of my base vim install. Vim allows
me to write and edit *anything* blazing fast, and VOL allows me to
outline similarly. The folding features make it easy to create
summarized lists, the checkboxes allow me to track progress, and
tools such as otl2html let me format my outlines for my colleagues to
read. Because it's straight text, I can also easily pull the contents
into wikis with a few quick regexen, giving me portability.

--
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Re: Why VimOutliner on Windows?

Charles Burkins
In reply to this post by Steve Litt

On Sep 4, 2006, at 7:58 PM, Steve Litt wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> We now seem to have several Windows users using VimOutliner, and  
> I'm wondering
> why. Windows (and Mac) have several excellent outliners available.
>
> Is part of the reason that you like free software (free both as in  
> beer and as
> in speech)? Is part of it the lightning fast keboardability of VO?  
> Are there
> other reasons?

Although I do like free (as in speech) software, for me the reasons  
are that:

1. It's text based (i.e. works well in revision control systems).
2. It's available for Win32, OS X, FreeBSD, and Linux.

At work, I use Windows, OS X, and FreeBSD. At home I use Windows, OS  
X, FreeBSD, and Linux. I keep some of my key notes in a personal SVN  
repository, and use VO on them. That way, I can access them from any  
of my computers, they are auto-magically merged together, and I can,  
with a small amount of difficulty, access them from nearly any location.

I've tried using the outliners available for Mac OS X (my preferred  
OS), and they are sweet, and sometimes more powerful than VO. But if  
I'm working on Win32 that day, my notes are unavailable. Add to that  
the fact that if one is proficient in Vim, VO is fast to use, and the  
benefits outweight the lacks.


-Chuck


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Re: Why VimOutliner on Windows?

Ross Boylan
In reply to this post by Steve Litt
On Mon, 2006-09-04 at 19:58 -0400, Steve Litt wrote:
...
> I think most of the early Linux crew worked with other outliners before coming
> to VO. I know I worked with (and loved) Grandview, and also MS Word outline
> view. Both became unavailable when I switched to Linux.
There's always xdosemu on linux.  It used to be the case that grandview
would use all the CPU in this mode, but with recent releases that
problem has gone away.

Unfortunately, also with recent releases the very nice handling (by
xdosemu) of VGA mode seems to have vanished as well.

The other problem I have with GrandView is that I've hit the memory
limit, and so can't add more to my main outline.

I mostly don't use Windows, so this isn't a response to your original
query.  At various times in the past I've tried the outline features of
MS Word and WordPerfect, as well as emacs, and I've always found them
incredibly clunky.  They might be tolerable for creating an outline, but
not for manipulating it.  Perhaps they are better now, but it mystified
me that people considered them viable alternatives to dedicated
outliners.

--
Ross Boylan                                      wk:  (415) 514-8146
185 Berry St #5700                               [hidden email]
Dept of Epidemiology and Biostatistics           fax: (415) 514-8150
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA 94107-1739                     hm:  (415) 550-1062

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Re: Why VimOutliner on Windows?

Ben Armstrong
Ross Boylan wrote:

> On Mon, 2006-09-04 at 19:58 -0400, Steve Litt wrote:
> ...
>  
>> I think most of the early Linux crew worked with other outliners before coming
>> to VO. I know I worked with (and loved) Grandview, and also MS Word outline
>> view. Both became unavailable when I switched to Linux.
>>    
> There's always xdosemu on linux.  It used to be the case that grandview
> would use all the CPU in this mode, but with recent releases that
> problem has gone away.
>
> Unfortunately, also with recent releases the very nice handling (by
> xdosemu) of VGA mode seems to have vanished as well.
>  

Why not use dosbox instead?

http://dosbox.sourceforge.net/

I just did a quick test and it seems to work with Grandview.

Ben

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Re: Why VimOutliner on Windows?

Tim Roberts
In reply to this post by Steve Litt
Steve Litt wrote:

>Hi all,
>
>We now seem to have several Windows users using VimOutliner, and I'm wondering
>why. Windows (and Mac) have several excellent outliners available.
>  
>

I've tried several, and never found one that didn't require a "lifestyle
change".  That is, I would have had to modify my thought patterns to
conform to their way of thinking.

If you have a list of suggestions I should try, please let me know.  To
paraphrase a famous quote, VimOutliner is the worst possible outlining
tool, except for all of the others.

>Is part of the reason that you like free software (free both as in beer and as
>in speech)? Is part of it the lightning fast keboardability of VO? Are there
>other reasons?
>  
>

One MAJOR reason is that I have the source code.  If there's something I
hate, instead of just complaining about it, I can go fix it.  Another
major reason is that I use command-line tools for many things, and VO
stores things in human-readable form.

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

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Re: Why VimOutliner on Windows?

Andy Todd
In reply to this post by Steve Litt
Steve Litt wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> We now seem to have several Windows users using VimOutliner, and I'm wondering
> why. Windows (and Mac) have several excellent outliners available.
>
> Is part of the reason that you like free software (free both as in beer and as
> in speech)? Is part of it the lightning fast keboardability of VO? Are there
> other reasons?
>
> How many of you Windows users migrated from other outliners, and what
> outliners did you migrate from?
>
[snip]

I'm like Matthew, I came to VOL because I use Vim for everything. I
suspect that I use Vim because I can do everything from the keyboard.

I also like that it's free software (in both senses of the phrase) but
its not the primary driver for me.

The other main reasons I use Vim is similar to most of the other people
who have replied - it's cross platform (I regularly use Mac OSX, Windows
and Linux). The reason I use it to write my outlines is because it works
with plain text files.

I store all of my working files in a Subversion repository so plain text
is a bonus. Like a couple of other people in this thread I also have a
number of utility scripts that process these files. Plain text is all I
need, if I want fancy output I can use tools like ot2html.

I haven't previously used any other outliners in a serious fashion. I've
played with MS Word's outline features and with OmniOutliner on my Mac
but neither really 'clicked' for me. OmniOutliner nearly did until I
needed access to some information in an outline document and didn't have
my Mac with me.

I also dabbled with Emacs, but I'm over that now and the medication is
working very nicely.

Regards,
Andy
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Re: Why VimOutliner on Windows?

Peter Princz
In reply to this post by Steve Litt
Steve,

On 05/09/06, Steve Litt <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> We now seem to have several Windows users using VimOutliner, and I'm wondering
> why. Windows (and Mac) have several excellent outliners available.
>
> ...
>
> SteveT

I'm like Matthew and Andy from this respect: I live in vi (gvim
recently), use it for programming since 1995 IIRC, on Digital Unix,
Linux, Solaris, Windows, etc.
VimOutliner has its merits on its own, but what it attracted me is
that it's implemented as a vi plugin, and thus integrated seemlessly
into my preferred working environment.

Despite ralising there are more and more Windows users, I'd say
*don't* put special effort into serving Windows users. In contrast,
keep vimoutliner crossplatform exactly as crossplatform vi (gvim) is.
I happen to use Windows as a corporate standard right now, but I will
change job next Friday and don't know which OS I will face at my new
place the next Monday. But it's sure I'll install gvim and vimoutliner
on the first day and copy my outline file on the new computer. :)

Have a nice day,
  Peter

--
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Re: Why VimOutliner on Windows?

Tim Roberts
Peter Princz wrote:

>
> Despite ralising there are more and more Windows users, I'd say
> *don't* put special effort into serving Windows users. In contrast,
> keep vimoutliner crossplatform exactly as crossplatform vi (gvim) is.


Yes, this is exactly the right advice.  I'm a Windows user (although
with vim and Python being my primary tools, perhaps not a "mainstream"
Window user), but I didn't actually realize that VimOutliner was
fundamentally targetted at Linux until I read the start of this thread,
and that's exactly how it should be.


> I happen to use Windows as a corporate standard right now, but I will
> change job next Friday and don't know which OS I will face at my new
> place the next Monday. But it's sure I'll install gvim and vimoutliner
> on the first day and copy my outline file on the new computer. :)


Exactly.  When a client want me on-site using their equipment, by the
end of the first day I have gvim, Python, VimOutliner,  putty, and
UnxUtils installed.

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

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