I got thinking about outliners today when I found the excellent articles on http://www.atpm.com/ :
- Outliner History
- Outliner Features-Part 1
- Outliner Features-Part 2
- Outliner User Interfaces
- There are more! Just search for "outliner" on http://www.atpm.com/
The problem is, no one thinks in quite the same way, so there is not really a one-size-fits-all outliner. Strangely, if you read around the web, most people's real favourite outliners are discontinued applications. Programs like MORE or NisusOutliner are very popular - and yet no longer sold! MORE is mercifully freely available, but as it is a Classic Mac application, using it is slightly frustrating and will be impossible on Intel Macs.
My problem is even tougher : I have never found an outliner that suits me as much as the standard outliner in the Apple Newton. There is something about the physical and tactile feel of holding a sizeable unit and using a pen to write and draw. The Newton enhances on the qualities of paper by letting you reorganise, edit, fold etc. Everything that outliner software does for you, but on a small tablet.
I still use my Newton, but the complexity in communicating between it and my Mac are too frustrating for normal use. If truth be told, the jeering I get when using it in public are probably more of a barrier!
I have often toyed with the idea of writing my own outliner application. Perhaps now is the time to actually do it. Maybe I will be lucky and Apple will release an OSX tablet soon, and I can Inkwell-enhance the outliner. Then, at last, my Newton can enter into a well deserved rest!
07:33 PM, 09 Nov 2005 by Mark Aufflick Permalink