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The ultimate outliner

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Posted by Hugh
Jan 16, 2013 at 01:50 PM


Dr Andus wrote:

>Also, I wasn’t implying that the “ultimate outliner” would need to have
>a huge number of features. It’s about having the right kind of features,
>and simplicity can be one of the criteria (e.g. to have a
>distraction-free mode, such as Scrivener).

I think simplicity - or at least, an interface that’s more or less intuitively understandable - is extremely important, and sometimes under-rated. (See previous threads on Neo and OmniOutliner, for example.) Some developers appear to have a talent for rendering complexity simple, others don’t. That’s one reason why I put Ecco Pro close to the top of my list of all-time greats.

>Plus, to achieve general interoperability, one would need some sort of a
>community consensus between outliner developers, which I just can’t see
>arising anytime soon (especially as development gets abandoned).

In my experience interoperability seems to be slightly easier on the Mac platform (although some may disagree). Harmony (some would say uniformity!) of UI, and a degree of commonality of import and export formats, usually including OPML, seem to be more prevalent. Applescript may also help extensively. And there are a few efforts, via either or both developers and superusers, to build closer co-operation in practical terms (e.g. Tinderbox with Scrivener, OmniFocus and OmniOutliner with Devonthink). Apple’s attempts to enforce sand-boxing of applications occasionally appear to make co-operation between apps more difficult, however.