Slug: a-rant-dave-omni-outlining-and-fud Date: 2001-04-26 Title: “A Rant: Dave, Omni, Outlining, and FUD” layout: post

I'm disappointed to see Dave's immediate, and dire, warnings against lock-in in reference to Omni's Outliner.

"Users beware, one of the lessons of the last round in outlining is that you don't want your ideas locked up in a proprietary format. That's why MORE had lots of import/export capabilities. Before you commit to Omni, ask them to clearly state that your work won't be locked up..."

Has Dave investigated Omni's product at all? Outliner uses a MacOSX-native plist file format, completely text-based, that is basically a serialized struct. It isn't any less open than OPML (Dave's serialized outline xml format)- it's text based, can be parsed by any environment (even those without an xml parser! Oh my!)

Dave has a definition of open, which means his format.
Sowing FUD is stupid.

"One more thing, be sure they have a good scripting interface. It's important." Who is it important to? Does it ever occur to Dave that every user out there is not a scripter, or programmer, or would ever give a rip that their outliner has a scripting interface? Frontier, and Radio, are not the archetypal outliners. They *are* powerful products which have benefited from the outlining paradigm, but to wave his hands and say "Hey - watch out! Their product doesn't have scripting and an xml format - how can they do that!?" is silly, and a dis-service to users.

I just bought a copy of Omni's Outliner- paid $21.12 for the beta. It's a rock-solid product with a lot of features.

Dave should lay off the hype, welcome Omni to the market, and see if there isn't something he can learn from them too. BTW - Dave's aspersions are especially out of line for a company like Omni, who have been writing great software for NeXTStep, OpenStep, WebObjects, and now MacOSX for over ten years.

Omni's software is solid and innovative, they are incredibly active in the developer community (even though they are not the platform vendor). P.S. Omni also gives away tons of source code - for the very frameworks that their products are built on.