Call it a micki

I’m sitting here with Tom Stites talking about wiki maintenance, and what a pain it is. And it occurs to me that what I want in a wiki is MORE, the ultimate outliner — a program I dearly loved from when it was ThinkTank all the way up until I finally gave up on Mac OS9/Classic, which was the last thing it ran on. Nearly all my writing was done in MORE, because it allowed me to organize and re-organized hierarchies of topics, quickly and easily. It also helped me think, which is what one should be doing when one is writing stuff.

Wikis are flat. All topics are at the same level. This is fine for an encyclopedia, but lousy for, say, projects. Joint efforts such as are not flat. They have topics and subtopics. These change and move around, and this is where an outliner like MORE is so handy. With a few keystrokes you can move topics up and down levels, back and forth between higher-level headings… You can hoist any single topic up and work on that as if it were a top level. You can clone a topic or a piece of text and edit it in two places at once. I could go on, but trust me: it freaking rocked. There was no faster way to think or type. Hell, I’m typing this in one of its decendents: an OPML editor, also written by Dave Winer.

Anyway, just wanted to say, here in the midst of an unrelated local conversation, that wiki that works like MORE remains on the top of my software wish list for the world. Trust me: it would make the world a much more sensible place. And make both individual and group work a helluva lot easier.

12 comments

  1. Mike Warot’s avatar

    Since I have no way to see what MORE was really like, I’m not sure if this is anywhere near a good fit or not… but you might want to take a peek at WikidPad, which is Windows biased, but almost cross-platform (it’s possible to install on linux or mac) and open-source

    http://wikidpad.sourceforge.net/

  2. Dave Winer’s avatar

    Doc, the OPML Editor is open source, GPL.

    It also does almost everything MORE did, as an outliner.

    I’ve submitted a proposal to present at OSCON about the open source project, hoping to recruit developers for a Linux port and to maintain the C code base with me.

    Maybe this is something you’d like to get involved with?

  3. Britt Blaser’s avatar

    I posted a description of how we’re providing this in ORGware at .

  4. Keith Dick’s avatar

    Dave:

    I might be able to help with the port to Linux and maintenance.

    If you would like to discuss the possibilities, write to me using my Yahoo email address keithdick.

    (I couldn’t find a way to contact you privately on your site, which is why I’m trying to contact you this way.)

  5. Mike Warot’s avatar

    I tried it on the train on the way home, help doesn’t work when you are offline… 8(

    Where is the source available from? I tried a google search.

  6. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Thanks, Dave.

    I’ve tried pushing that before and not much happened; but times have changed, and I’d like to have another go at it. Let’s talk after Xmas about it.

    Britt, I think your whole comment didn’t quite make it.

  7. Britt Blaser’s avatar

    I posted a description of how we’re providing this in ORGware at
    http://www.newgov.us/8_294_0__Posts-&-Comments-outlined-aggregated-and-editable.html

    It offers an aggregated outline view of posts and comments, arranged by tags. And it does so because I too was a dedicated MORE user.

  8. Dave Winer’s avatar

    Sorry for not checking back here sooner.

    My email is dave dot winer at gmail dot com.

    You can download the Windows source here.

    http://editor.opml.org/kernel/

    The build instructions for Windows are there too.

    Probably the easiest way to get started porting to Linux is to use the WINE libraries. People have had some success with quick two-hour builds. If you put a week or two into it, I bet the whole thing would port. I’m not a Linux programmer or else I’d do it myself. My C gears are so rusty I can’t even work on the Windows version. If someone resurrected THINK C then I’d be in business! :-(

    To Doc, I’m into taking a very long term view of this project. We have a very strong basis in content management and outlining and there’s a built-in web server, and good tools to connect to Apache and the XML-RPC connect to Python is very good. Lots of good places to pick up the project you want as a user, to create web editing nirvana for an outliner guy (like both of us).

  9. John Zeisler’s avatar

    I liked ThinkTank and loved MORE. Nothing like it since. Would love to see where this idea goes.

  10. Aaron Barnhart’s avatar

    Really? I distinctly remember dumping MORE the moment I started working with Aldus Persuasion. I could just seamlessly move from outline to thumbnail to single page views and shift points around — once I mastered Persuasion I was (pardon the sideways pun) the toast of the marketing department.

    Of course, where is THAT app now ….

  11. Anon’s avatar

    Dokuwiki has namespaces. But there’s no mechanism for automatically updating all references if you move a page

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