Colin Charles Agenda

Outliners

I started using OmniOutliner sometime since 2003. I upgraded to the Pro version in 2006. The software came bundled with a PowerBook I had (so thanks Apple!). This marks my tenth year with the software.

It is an indispensable part of my workflow. I use it daily. The total I’ve had to pay was for upgrades (some $24.95 and $30 – so still much less than the $69.99 fee). I can use it when I’m online or offline as it’s a desktop app! The one thing that always kept me coming back to OSX even when I used Linux daily was this integral piece of software – there were just no good opensource outliners.

I’ve always thought that the one thing I’d like to do in my spare time is write an outliner that lived in the browser. So I could use it on my laptop (online/offline), or on my tablets or my phones.

So it wouldn’t be hard to say that I’m excited by Little Outliner by Small Picture. This is Dave Winer writing an outliner for the web browser! 

However, lately, I’ve been thinking more about depending on tools that I have some control over. I’m getting back to my opensource roots even though I write this on a Mac. Big companies shut services down (look at google reader going away), and small companies have it a lot harder. 

I want to depend on Little Outliner. I would even pay for it. But I’m not sure I’d pay for it in such that I’d stop using OmniOutliner, as there’s a huge TCO gap (even $2/month makes you think desktop software is cheaper than the cloud). And without payment, I’m not sure this is a service that will be around in 2023 (i.e. ten years from today). And thats where I need things to be opensource.