Interview with Aaron Swartz

In this interview, Aaron makes reference to the problem that Pepys (my wysiwiki) sets out to solve: the disconnect between reading a wiki and editing it.

While wikis have achieved some of this, there?s still a lot to be done. Tim calls them the ?poor man?s? equivalent. For example, wikis aren?t WYSIWYG and make it too difficult to use links and other advanced features. And you can?t just see a typo and correct it, in situ, you have to find the edit link, then find the typo again, then correct it, then find the save button. You can?t use images or spreadsheets or any of the things that have been common in word processors forever.

These are all things on Pepys' upcoming feature list and right now it solves the disconnect by allowing live editing, linking and formatting. The original wiki solved the problem of stale documentationby making it easy to edit, correct and create new pages. Pepys takes that a step further and makes it insanely easy to do it - just type and the links appear, ready to click on.

Having a wiki be that much more live, makes a big diference how you use it. I keep it open all the time and jot down things as I think of them. It's all in one place and searchable. In fact, I just switched to it and played with the Find Pages function. I noticed a bug which stopped the results window from being closed properly. I just clicked on the home button, then on BugList and added it to my list of bugs that need looking at. It took about 30 seconds and I have a permanent record of it. This has got to be the killer development philosophy: develop software that you would want too use yourself.

Permalink: http://blog.iandavis.com/2004/01/interview-with-aaron-swartz/


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