Finally! The World Outline returns

Dave Winer: "I remember how excited the most intelligent Frontier users were when we gave them a glimpse of this concept, but then we turned to the Desktop Website idea, to the exclusion of work on The World Outline."

Yes, you did, and it really drove me nuts. I still think it's the best idea UserLand has ever had. I started working on a Cocoa-based outliner that would use OPML and support the world-outline concept, but I ran into my own limitations in Cocoa skill.

Now I have a LOT more skill at Cocoa programming, but I still have a major hurdle... it's one UserLand had for a long time too. Until Frontier 6, their outliner didn't word-wrap. If you typed more text than fit in the width of the window on one line, it marched along that line, requiring you to scroll left and right. Unfortunately, NSOutlineView has this same limitation.

I got OutlineXplorer to the point where it read OPML files and showed their node types, but stopped working on it because for the life of me I couldn't get it to wrap text! Speaking with Mike Ferris at Apple's Cocoa Kitchen dinner, I found out that NSOutlineView would NOT do what I wanted and I'd have to make my own control. Lovely.

By the way Dave, if you're reading this, I still remember very clearly when you told me on the phone that I'd never finish it. I don't know if that was meant to motivate or discourage me, but I won't forget it.

Written on March 13, 2002