Upgrade to a “Buy.”

June 27th, 2004  |  Published in Uncategorized

VoodooPad gets upgraded to a “buy” in under 24 hours. It took a little time, because I was so engaged by the premise I wanted to make sure I wasn’t overlooking anything too obvious. I wrestled with the idea of just resurrecting a personal wiki I’d set up a while ago, but as much as I love wikis for online collaborative stuff or as an easily updatable online scratchpad for “howto X,” anything that involves a web interface is going to feel uncomfortable. I also considered the EmacsWikiMode, but for as much as I like Emacs, I usually end up hating any mode besides html-helper-mode, and I’ve lost a lot of enthusiasm for that since markdown came along.

So back to VoodooPad:

The biggest appeal is the way it scrunches the distance between the document I’m working on and the filesystem at large to nothing. No darting out with the mouse to dig down through the Finder to get at an author folder or past edit plan: I just drag the link in once and it’s there on the author or project page along with my notes.

The second cool thing is its hat-tip to the Mac’s Unixicity. Shell scripts can be employed to fill pages with their output in a manner reminiscent of BBEdit’s squeal-inducing worksheets.

Third up is probably the capacity it has to share a pad over XML-RPC. I’ll probably be keeping my brain pad on a local network share for use from either the iBook or the eMac, but it’s cool to know I can pop open a port and get at it from the iBook away from home. It can also export to plain old HTML to provide a static and remotely accessible copy for use from machines without VoodooPad installed.

If I could change anything about it, it’d probably be to include some sort of outline or list functionality. There are a few people on FlyingMeat’s feature request board asking for the same thing. Maybe I ought to go over there and “me too!” one of them.

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