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gnat (29)

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Journal of gnat (29)

Tuesday May 21, 2002
10:51 PM

Life in Hell

[ #5134 ]
No public review of the Blogging book today because an author turned in a rushed job late. Argh. So now I've got another late night fixing it, hoping to make a review tomorrow.

I'm playing with Radio Userland and having fun with the outliner. I'm slowly picking up what all the fuss was about. It's not that outlining is revolutionary or fun, it's just that sometimes it's easier to structure your thoughts with a little help from the editor.

Word does outlines, but it's like using a bulldozer to brush lint off your shirt. Emacs does outlines, but like everything else in emacs it requires fourteen hands and a fetish for the Ctrl key to use. I'd use vi, only I don't use vi because I was abused by a beep when I was a child and the trauma still haunts me.

OPML? Haven't played much with it. Heard that (much like Radio's HTML) it's a bit of a hit-and-miss thing in terms of standards compliance. I just like thinking in terms of nested lists. Don't hate me because I'm hierarchical.


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  • vi - outlining (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Odud (1047) on 2002.05.22 2:50 (#8683) Journal
    folding in vim seems pretty good these days - I don't know how it would apply to document outlining - but I have it switched on by default for my perl stuff to tidy away the subroutines until I want to look at them. I think it is defined by the syntax file and so I guess it should be possible to fold at chapters, sections, subsections etc.
  • FYI, Simon Kittle wrote a handy-dandy Text::Outline module. It never got uploaded to the CPAN, Simon appears to have dropped off the face of the Internet and his site is no longer answering calls. I was able to dredge up a Google cache; you might have better luck : Text::Outline&hl=en
  • Radio Blog (Score:3, Funny)

    by Matts (1087) on 2002.05.22 8:01 (#8692) Journal
    Why does your radio blog have a link on it pointing to Is that where all the porn is? ;-)
    • Radio is a Windows program that runs in the background, serving web pages from Those web pages are how you interact with it. It's nifty.

      Those URLs are convenience URLs for people who are also running Radio. Click on the OPML Coffee Mug and it takes you to a "subscribe to this outline" page with the URL of my outline already filled in.


      • So is the outline editor also a windows program, or is it a web frontend thing?
        • The Radio application, which commonly runs in the background, can pop up windows. At this point it's a little like a cross between a software IDE and text editor. The only file editor it offers is the outline editor--code, docs, and web pages are all outlines to Radio. Everywhere you look there's a hierarchy :-)

          So to edit an outline you leave the web interface behind and use Radio's native GUI functionality directly.


          • You can have a free 30 day trial. It's worth playing with. And in a few hours there'll be docs on getting started with it as Essential Blogging goes to wide-open public tech review :-).


  • If you're a PalmOS user, you might want to take a look at ShadowPlan []. It gives you hierarchical lists which are about a zillion times more betterer than the standard PalmOS notes application. When you sync to your desktop, each of your lists is sync'd to an XML (OPML I believe) file. I use public transport and find a pocket sized outliner to be invaluable for jotting down random thoughts while commuting.