Scripting News

Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution...

Concord, our GPL outliner

I've long felt that every operating system, web server and web browser should have a great outliner baked-in. If you were going to try to do that today, you'd release it under the GPL written in JavaScript. That's exactly what Concord is.

It's useful anywhere information is structured and organized. Like file systems, mailboxes, chatrooms, databases, documents, presentations, product plans, code, libraries, laws, systems of laws, contracts, rules, server logs, guidelines, principles, docs, manifestos, journals, blogs, podcasts, server, clouds, etc.

So when we set out to build a great JavaScript outliner, about one year ago now, there was always the idea that when it was complete, and relatively debugged, it would be released under the GPL.

Today, right now, it's ready.

If you're a programmer, beginning or advanced, no matter what kind of project you're working on, this imho should be part of your basic toolkit.

It's a bold move, I know. Maybe nothing will happen, but I don't think so. I think all kinds of greatness will come.

Right now there are a fair number of services that should have outliner interfaces, Evernote, Twitter and WordPress are at the top of my list. Now that I've become a GitHub user (no expert, by any means) I want to be able to organize my repo as an outline, and have an outline of all my repos.

I could use an outline editor for Google Groups. I am part of over a dozen of them. I really would like it to be just another outline in my browser-based desktop.

We did the heavy lifting of bringing an outliner to JavaScript.

Now it's up to you to take it to all the places it can make a difference.

The GPL is the right license for our goals. We want to encourage developers to add features compatibly, so that all outlines open, and can be edited in all environments. If commercial developers want to add private features to the outliner, we will try to work with them. We just want to be sure we can have a conversation about compatibility, and perhaps create revenue to fund development. If a non-commercial project emerges that breaks compatibilty, because the GPL is used, we will have the option of bringing their work into compatibility.

And this is just the beginning. We need lots of docs, and hopefully a community will develop to work on that.

This is an exciting moment!

A picture of a slice of cheese cake.

PS: I recorded a brief podcast about this release, as is customary.

PPS: Here's the FAQ announcing the open source release of Frontier in 2004.

9/16/2013; 7:22:09 AM

Men have emotions too

Earlier today I linked to a blog post I wrote on 1/1/98 entitled Men Stay Silent.

In the early years of this blog, I liked to write more gutsy pieces on January 1 and around my birthday, May 2. This one took a lot of courage because I wrote about what it means, to me, to be a man.

People tend to have cartoonish ideas about what's going on inside men, as if we're as simple as they think we are. Actually we're complete human beings, with the full range of emotions: sadness, fear, anger, joy, excitement and sexuality.

We start life with full expressive power, but somehow this gets taken away from us.

As we have stereotypes of what makes a good girl, we have them for boys too, preferring strength and silence, and only validating one emotion, anger. It shouldn't be surprising then, that most of our emotions come out in that form, because it's the only one allowed. And who wouldn't be angry if you weren't allowed to express the other emotions you have!

Nothing really has changed since 1998. I still try to hide my emotions, even when it's impossible to do so. Sometimes others interfere, sometimes we self-censor. Yes, I did cry when my father died. And had tears of joy watching Obama give his victory speech on Election Day in 2008. But nothing reaches closer to the real me than writing about who I really am, directly, without manipulating symbols. Having a friend let me be exactly who I am, without projecting his or her ideal of maleness on me, is pretty great too.

However, there is truth to the male stereotype. I do have strong feelings of honor and loyalty inside me. Fairness. I am genetically programmed to protect both children and women. I feel brotherhood, but I don't understand women and never will. But I adore them nonetheless for their femininity, as well as intelligence and creativity, not because I want to, rather because this is the way I am. And I've learned to listen, even when it's difficult to do so. This did not come easily. Listening is hard.

I'm glad the gender issues are coming up again. I want my women friends to have everything they're entitled to, and I take a very broad view of that. But I am not willing to sacrifice myself to that. I will still be true to myself. And I am not who you say I am. To be that would be to die.

I hope others can realize that their struggles are in some ways unique and in other ways universal. We all want to be heard. We all despise unnecessary limits. We're all confused about what it's all about, and who each of us is. Beyond that, we can wish the best for each other, yes?

One more thing, I did not write this as a lawyer would. I'm sure people will take offense at any number of things I've said here. A blog is for speaking freely, and that's what I've done here. If you don't like it, write it up on your blog. Anticipating lots of negativity, I've disabled comments for this post. I'm sorry if you feel a need to vent, it's not my job to provide you a place to do that. Namaste!

9/16/2013; 8:25:14 AM

The family archive

I went to the Mets game yesterday with Mom, and she brought along a couple of digital artifacts she found in the house, both from my father.

The first was an article he wrote in 1987 about idea processors. I scanned it and turned it into a PDF, and wrote it up on his memorial site.

The second was a photo taken in 2001 of me, Mom and my uncle (her brother) Ken Kiesler, also known as the Uncle Vava. I think you can tell by my eyes what Ken and I had been doing before the picture was taken.

A picture named daveEveKen.jpg

BTW, the Mets won, 1-0, in extra innings. We lost patience in the 10th inning and went with Patrick Scoble to eat excellent Chinese food on Main Street in Flushing.

Let's go Mets!

9/16/2013; 8:04:55 AM

It's even worse than it appears. © 1997-2013 Scripting News, Inc.