Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Saturday April 23 2016, @10:12AM   Printer-friendly

Emacs org-mode is very powerful tool for personal knowledge management, but can be hard to learn, makes it hard to have the same content (notes) referenced in more than one place, and can be awkward for the hands. Finding other tools inadequate for various reasons, I wrote OneModel to meet my own needs, and made it available. If you touch-type, it is extremely fast for to-do lists and notes of all kinds, and I generate the project web site from part of its data. It is much easier to learn and faster to navigate than emacs, and you can have the same content in as many places as desired, without duplication.

But it wants to be more: It uses an internal structure that has big future ideas for knowledge management, like embedding code within groups of entities, or linking across OneModel instances, so you can choose to share data from your personal organizer, or subscribe to (or copy) data from other instances: like a wikipedia but where the internal knowledge is structured so can be used for computation, rich queries etc. Imagine asking a system: what villages in history had economic improvements in a 4-year period, all external conditions being equal, and what do those cases all have in common?--that is the long-term vision of the system. The vision and internal structure are intended as be a prototype of a platform to manage all mankind's knowledge as a usefully computable whole.

The web site has a few screen shots (remember it's an ugly prototype but works well! -- I have my calendar/life notes/todos/contacts etc in it now) and a demo system to play with without installing anything.

(It is written in scala, using a simple/approachable coding style that should be readable by most programmers with just minutes of scala knowledge--I hope--and uses postgresql for the data.)

I frankly don't mind if someone else takes the ideas and does a better job with them: we can do better than managing mankind's knowledge in the form of huge sophisticated piles of words: words are not the real knowledge but a superstrate over it, and they are hard to compute well. Feedback welcome.


Original Submission

 
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Saturday April 23 2016, @11:41AM

    by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 23 2016, @11:41AM (#336180) Journal

    I actually checked the public demo, and couldn't really figure out how to use it. All very confusing.

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   2  
  • (Score: 3, Funny) by RamiK on Saturday April 23 2016, @12:47PM

    by RamiK (1813) on Saturday April 23 2016, @12:47PM (#336189)

    That's hardly fair. You could state the same regarding emacs in general.

    --
    compiling...
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 23 2016, @12:53PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 23 2016, @12:53PM (#336191)

      emacs has history, heritage, infamy, buncha stuff like that. This thing got jack.

      • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Saturday April 23 2016, @01:08PM

        by RamiK (1813) on Saturday April 23 2016, @01:08PM (#336201)

        Sure it has all the bells and whistles, but does it give you carpal tunnel syndrome?

        Disclaimer: GuidSD user that edits his config with nano while installing until he can install vi like the good FSM intended. Well, vis actually. Vi \ vim makes me cry for all the poor children in Uganda and the poor developers forced to maintain that spaghetti code.

        --
        compiling...
      • (Score: 1) by lcall on Saturday April 23 2016, @01:40PM

        by lcall (4611) on Saturday April 23 2016, @01:40PM (#336208)

        Maybe this would help explain. Start at the top, or search for "gift ideas", for info on how I use OM and how that usage compares with emacs:
        http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.emacs.orgmode/104696 [gmane.org]

    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Saturday April 23 2016, @01:04PM

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 23 2016, @01:04PM (#336198) Journal

      I disagree. While it takes some time to learn to use Emacs effectively, the basics are quite simple. I at least didn't have problems editing files with Emacs right from the beginning.

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Sunday April 24 2016, @12:23PM

      by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 24 2016, @12:23PM (#336513) Homepage Journal

      The only thing that made emacs usable for me is that for ordinary editing it used almost the same keystrokes as the PerfectWriter I used long ago on DOS. So I just went on using them when I moved to a better operating system. I regularly use maybe ten control character combinations when I use emacs. Most of its power is unused.

      No, I don't think vim i any better in this respect.

      Back on DOS, before hard drives, PerfectWriter was pretty neat. Not much better was available there back then.

      I'm not looking forward to learning another set of unconscious keystrokes for OM.

      Even emacs's infomode is beyond the pale.

      -- hendrik

      • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Sunday April 24 2016, @12:26PM

        by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 24 2016, @12:26PM (#336515) Homepage Journal

        Perhaps OM needs a different user interface.

      • (Score: 1) by lcall on Sunday April 24 2016, @02:01PM

        by lcall (4611) on Sunday April 24 2016, @02:01PM (#336544)

        Thanks for the question. Maybe I'm starting to see better why people think it's hard.

        The thing with OM is:
        1) everything is on the screen, and reading it should be all you need to do at any given time. There are only 10 things options didn't create yourself at any given time, and only about 2-4 you'd use often. 1 2 and 4 being the main ones. That's why I haven't made a "user manual" (yet anyway)--there isn't much to tell that one can't get by reading the screen and trying it (or so i have hoped). And,
        2) everything else on the menu is something that was created and put there by the user, you, and arranged by you, and those get letters or other characters assigned dynamically. So if you create one entity, it is 'a', and you type a to go to it and do more with it. If you create a 2nd entity (sibling to a), it is b unless you reorder them with menu option 2. Next being 'c', and so on. If you create something new under 'a', it is 'a' when you are inside the first one. They are yours and you can make them however you want which is in effect making the keystrokes familiar. Sometimes I get mnemonics out of that ordering: I have one set of things (shown on the OM site also under getting started), one of my top menus or groupings I use , where I can remember what to type because mentally I associate them with letters of the alphabet and in that particular case it's handy. In other places I just get used to what I have put as 'a', 'b', 'c', 'd' etc.

        It is really easy to use I think, once you do it for a little while.

        Then maybe you can tell me what I need to say to new users to make the first couple of steps easier! :)

      • (Score: 1) by lcall on Monday April 25 2016, @05:12PM

        by lcall (4611) on Monday April 25 2016, @05:12PM (#337002)

        (...is what I should have titled my previous reply, just above)

  • (Score: 1) by lcall on Saturday April 23 2016, @01:37PM

    by lcall (4611) on Saturday April 23 2016, @01:37PM (#336207)

    The idea is, if you read the screen and try what it says, it just works. Like:

    In my OM instance, I can find my notes on a given topic, like gift ideas, for example, by simply typing "5gd" which jumps me to there. Or other combinations to find it on a different contextual path.

    You can move an entry up 5 by typing 22, or down 20 by 26, or up a level with 28, or down a level with 7x (to select the target entry), then 27.

    You can create relationships to other existing objects by typing 42, typing in a search string, and hitting x (or whatever letter from the search results).

    It's all on the screen.

    Maybe a demo video would be a better way to try to convey it.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by linuxrocks123 on Sunday April 24 2016, @05:17AM

      by linuxrocks123 (2557) on Sunday April 24 2016, @05:17AM (#336446) Journal

      I did something similar to what you did a while back, but kind of different, too. I wrote MailTask [github.com], which is an email manager, but contains within it a todo list as well, and the todo list is automatically populated with new or updated tasks when emails come in. I need to write docs for it, but it's definitely awesome, for me personally at least. Techies could probably get it working without docs if they really wanted to, hence the link

      I'd love other people to use it ... and since your submission got accepted, after I write docs, I'll wait for the queue to be near-empty someday and a story on MailTask as well :) But, even if other people never do, it was still worth it for me to write it -- because I use it and like it.

      I looked at OneModel and it doesn't look like it's for me; mind maps etc. were never something I found a lot of use for. But thanks for sharing.

      And regarding some of the jerks who posted (I saw at least one), don't listen to them; there are always jerks. And, I hope you get some more users, but, even if no one else ever uses it, you wrote something useful to you. And that makes it worth it. Congratulations.

      • (Score: 1) by lcall on Monday April 25 2016, @06:00PM

        by lcall (4611) on Monday April 25 2016, @06:00PM (#337021)

        Thanks. Best wishes! Feel free to stay in touch at onemodel.org if the mood ever strikes you. :)