Its about the Data

I have been playing around with Markdown, both for blogging and general note taking. It is a quick way to type headers, create ordered and bulleted lists without the hassles of a word processor.

But, it has another advantage. Because the file is a text file, it is program agnostic. I can use any text editor to read and edit the file. Why is this important ? It really was not that important when I stuck to textmate, but since TextMate2 is being set loose, I have collected a group of markdown editors:

Folding text is an interesting beast. Essentially it is a plain text outliner. How useful is that with things like :

It all comes down to portability and speed. I did not have high hopes for Folding text, but it has some interesting features. Outlining is relatively simple, and quick. As an aside – I think the key to all of these programs is limiting reader focus – outliners, scrivener, folding text – all have tools to limit the focus to one topic or thought while hiding all the rest. This is an important psychological tool and is a major advantage over any traditional word processor or text editor.

All the magic lives inside the program, but not the data. This means while I am examining the file when on my ancient G4 ibook (as I am now while my iMac is having its harddrive replaced), I can read it without any problems. True I can not due any of the fancy things that Folding Text does, but I can edit it. Throw in dropbox and I can edit the file virtually anywhere – imac, ipad, ipod etc…

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