Wiki And Outlining

Two ideas discussed below:

Some other points:

  • it's worth repeating is that Zwiki provides a glimpse of its Hierarchal Structure, at least the ancestry of the current page (see the top of the page).

  • even if you don't use an outliner to edit a Wiki Page, Active Renderer could theoretically provide a folding view of it.

  • bluesky: Node Web

  • Jul'2005: maybe it makes more sense to define at least 3 levels of structure for a single page has headings rather than bullets. Some SmartAscii formats make adjusting header-level a bit easier than sliding around all the bullet levels (Zwiki's format I find header-hostile.)

  • Jul'2005: maybe I'd prefer a Mind Mapping interface, or maybe that's an extra interface.


Walt says: Yes! And, if it were to appear any time soon, i must ask: where do you think such a tool might come from?

For my part, i've begun fooling arouind with EMacs, and am struck by the sensation that there's a way of making it do just about anything you want (not for nothing, i guess, is it called "the thermonuclear text editor"). From the little i know, there may be a couple of "modes" available that address much if not all of the need you describe: Wiki Mode (let's you write wiki on your desktop much as we do over the web) and Wiki Remote (for loading/ saving pages from a remote wiki via W3 - see <http://www.emacswiki.org/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?Wiki Remote).> Just to be clear on one aspect, tho: is it a personal itch you are talking about? Or do you think the masses might be ready for ST, if someone gives them a GUI to apply the ST formatting commands with?

If you want to discuss the idea further (nice to know i'm not the only one that cares about such things :-), you can e-mail me at "walt@algarvistas.net". Cheers, |/|/alt

Reply from Bill:

  • I'm not sure whether "the masses" will love it, but they would probably be willing to live with it in exchange for other benefits. They have to be sold. The biggest barrier is that I don't think ST is a real "standard" - even Zope's ST, used in Zwiki, isn't the same as the "standard" wiki markup.

  • I suspect the software wouldn't be that difficult, if you started with something that was already an outliner. Given that Radio Userland itself spits out OPML, I could see XSLT doing a transform to ST. Or Radio could be hacked itself to do this directly (maybe David Brown would be interested). Or maybe one of the Python editors, since they're outliners. Or EMacs itself, since I believe it has an outline-collapsing (Folding) mode...

  • I think there are 2 potential benefits driving my interest here

    • being able to collapse chunks of a page I'm not interested in at the moment, so I can navigate within the page (during an edit) more easily

    • just having a generally better interface than an HTML form textarea. Easy resizing of window, nice font.


Bill Seitz update Apr4:

Tony Bowden is interested in something in this area, too.

Or is it more oriented toward OPML? Dave Winer says Structures of written Web-accessible information is the common denominator. OPML is the connector.

If I wanted to integrated Wiki For CollaborationWare into Instant Outlining, I could see

  • defining an OPML-view method for Wiki pages, to render each individual page

  • having a "currently-active" container page, listing a small number of Wiki pages I'm currently working in.

  • have that render to "my outline", including (Transclusion) the contents of the individual pages.

  • make sure each page has its Wiki URL associated, so that someone wanting to respond would click to leave my I/O and enter that specific Wiki page to add a note.

This aims at a model where I'm working via wiki, but collaborating with others who are working via I/O. Or maybe we're all sharing a wiki, but using I/O as a notification/browse approach? I'm just thinking from what's possible, without having a well-defined goal... maybe what I really want is CoOutlining.

This is related-but-different-from the original idea on this page, which focused more on editing individual wiki pages via outlining tool.


For what it's worth, I've got my wiki spewing OPML RecentChanges:

http://www.decafbad.com/twiki/bin/recent.opml

Thinking it'd also be useful to toss in some limited OPML rendering of wiki pages, with hierarchical structure gathered from headings and each paragraph being a child heading. As you say, the main work is done in wiki, until/unless I can get some shared OPML-editing to wiki markup going. But if someone's subscribed to the OPML RecentChanges, they'll get notifications in I/O.

-- Les Orchard deus_x@pobox.com 5 apr 2002


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