Fargo: Outliner for Bloggers!

Finally! Fargo is an online tool for writing in outlines to a WordPress blog.

Very good. Outlining has been underestimated as a writing tool – but there was barely any way to edit content without a desktop software – like OmniOutliner – this way. I was using Userland Software (Frontier with Manila – later Radio) for blogging … but switched to WordPress a while ago. Dave Winer continued the core software with the OPML Editor – and has begun to mix it with web technologies.

The stuff Dave Winer usually is working on isn’t always usable by everyone. But it is original and nerdy. And it always is an inspiring playground. He writes software for himself. But it does things that others like also. Like outlining.

Update June 2014

Dave Winer talked about the mechanics of change in the web at the State of the Net conference in Trieste last week.

I am following Dave’s work since 1996. He is a developer. He tends to say he is a software developer, but that doesn’t really explain it well. He does not develop software — I’d say he develops through software.

I am very glad to hear that his former employee Brent Simmons wants to resurrect Frontier. Frontier was an application invented by Dave in the early 1990ies that integrated a database with a scripting language in a way that allowed to be creative with code (and later the web). It was not a tool accessible for an average user, but nevertheless it took away a lot of complexity made you able to solve complex problems with it yourself.

Frontier allowed to create a completely own understanding of what you regard as data and text and work the web with it. You could take anything from anywhere to anything with it and transform it into what ever you wanted… and keep a record of everything along the way. One could to this today, but it became much harder. Too hard. Looking forward to a new version.

SIGraDI 2012

I will be giving a keynote presentation at SIGraDI 2012 conference in Fortaleza in the middle of November and I am looking forward to that.

It has been quite a while I visited northern Brazil for a conference. I was presenting on the 1st Software Design Conference in Campina Grande, Paraiba, in 1996. The Internet was a pretty new thing at that time. A lot has changed in the past sixteen years. The Internet and the World Wide Web were still pretty new things in many places of the world. There ware barely 0.5 million internet users in Brazil at that time — and now there are well over 50 million. I was introducing »Interface Design« and applied that to the new activity of Web Design. Websites have been very simple things at that time that basically anyone could do professionally in almost no time by just following some basic common sense principles. There was no CSS, no dynamic manipulation of HTML with JavaScript and web layouts were done by abusing tables with invisible borders. Since that time everything has matured: the technology, the standards, the design know-how, the business and the educational agendas.

Testing World Outliner

This is just a test with the WordPress editing tool of Dave Winers OPML Editor and Word Outliner software.

I owe Dave Winer a lot. He invented Frontier (which apparantly is running at the core of the OPML Editor). It got me into Blogging in 1996. I experimented a lot with it at the time an even wrote a bunch of plugins for that system. Out first univeristy blogging server was based on Frontier and UserLands Manila.

Dave is also an innovator of a rare kind and writes at scriptingnews.com. He is a developer by trade but also an Internet pioneer (or the other way around) — thinking about Internet culture and business like few do. He is always someone to listen to. He may be very subjective and personal from time to time — but we all are sometimes. He may be even wrong about things — but when he is right, he is often is dman right about it.

I lost track about what Dave is doing acouple of years ago (obviously still the same after all), but maybe I should tune in to him again. I also don’t know if I will spent more time with the World Outliner tool. But being able to edit my WordPress blog with it is a plus.