By Dave Winer on Thursday, June 09, 2011 at 9:15 AM.
Yesterday I wrote a howto. Nothing new about that, I've been writing howto's since I started programming many years ago.
What is new is that the process was so much simpler than it's ever been before.
Here's what I did...
1. Navigate to the My Sites section of my outline.
2. Press Return.
3. Enter the title of the howto.
4. Press Return and Tab.
5. Enter a subhead.
6. Press Return and Tab.
7. Enter a section. (A few paragraphs.)
8. Press Return and Back-tab.
9. Enter a subhead title.
That's how I wrote the document.
Now to save it.
1. Click on the title headline.
2. Add a nodetype, value = "howto".
3. Add a domain attribute (left blank here because the contents of the howto is still private).
4. Click the Save button.
In the browser I went to the domain. Boom. There it was. It just worked.
This isn't the first time we've gotten to such a place. MORE, circa 1987, had hierarchic rules that worked the same way. I could specify a style at the root level, and all the subtext would inherit it, unless it was overridden by a more deeply nested rule. That way you could use MORE to store not just a single presentation, but a whole library of presentations. Or a library of libraries.
Now we're writing publicly. But the same idea applies. Why should I have to start a new document just because I'm starting a new web page. Use the outline to organize it all. As a side-benefit, my web presence is nicely organized. Another thing I've always wanted.
I've been trying to find a way to explain to programmers why this is so cool. Our users already get it. But it hit me, this is just like object-oriented programming, without the programming.