Hypothetical piece of software that would make noding better, faster and much more fun. While the current Web-based interface is as good as Web interfaces get, it's as cumbersome as they all are. The present forms are already usable as a back-end for clients such as autonoders and could be used by an INE, but if there was a dedicated Everything Noding Protocol, we could have no end of great free software noding clients hooking up to it. Of course the Web interface would still continue to exist, after all it's just another front end. A good Integrated Noding Environment would feature:

  • Toolbars and docks, that is: the search bar and all of the nodelets become resizable, movable, rearrangeable and detachable
  • Continuously updated, scrolling Chatterbox working like an embedded IRC client
  • Continuously updated, scrolling New Writeups nodelet
  • Custom nodelets, e.g. the Mighty Magical New Would-be Conservative Writeup By DMan Alert-O-Matic Nodelet
  • Comfortable, flexible query interface for Everything User Search results -- makes node tending easier
  • As many different views on E2 nodes and features as you want and they all stay in sync! No refreshes anymore!
  • What-You-See-Is-Roughly-What-Neaders-Will-Get HTML noding component with non-barfacious performance (unlike, say, UNIX Netscape's textbox)
  • "Softlink this node to..." dialogue
  • "Softlink to this node from..." dialogue
  • "File nuke request for this writeup/node" button
  • "File title editing request..." dialogue
  • "Move writeup..." dialogue
  • Bookmark manager (like the one in Opera or such)
  • Metanode manager
  • Suggestion manager: lets you record suggestions coming in via /msg or new writeups, sort and prune them by importance, and keep them in a to-do list
  • Spell checker
  • Scoring and subsequently sorting and/or pruning writeups by rep, by noder, by subject, by content, by links, by length
  • Printing Everything2 subsets of interlinked nodes as decent, scientifically-looking output (LaTeX?) where nodes become chapters, writeups become essays in subchapters and links become page references. If you put some work into weeding out nonsensical links, nodes and writeups, this could render some pretty decent books from Everything.
  • To-Node list
  • DayLog-O-Matic wizard
  • Node statistics: Find out what all those downvoted writeups by yours truly have in common. Find out what made your cool writeups cool. Comes with bells, whistles, charts, XP forecasting (think stock analysis) and animated "Annoying Bob: Your Personal XP Development Consultant" cartoon character
  • Neural Net Noding Style Analyser: Will warn you if one of your writeups is likely to get downvoted before even submitting it. Yay!

Yeah. And all that working as a local client application only transmitting the data that's actually needed, without constantly refreshing huge bulky clunky HTML pages in a huge bulky clunky Web browser. Ideally, it should be a GNOME application with a good Windows port so we can use it at work, too.

Another idea: implement it as a Mozilla extension. Mozilla has got a good DOM implementation to interact with E2's present Web interface, and with all the XUL, componentisation and scripting in it, developing an INE in Mozilla should be easy. After all, there is already an integrated Zope development framework for Mozilla.

If you've got more ideas, add a writeup or /msg me. This is exciting! Maybe one day we'll have an Integrated Noding Environment. Till then, allow me to dream a little.

Also, it is notable that this all is possible with no changes whatsoever to E2 itself. You could go and code such client, and interface it with some HTTP & text parsing, glue, perl & lynx or whatever you wish.

You know, this actually wouldn't be so tough. Presuming the e2 gods would be willing to publish their database schema (which, I'd guess, is probably documented in the Everything Core download?) and set up a user with SELECT/INSERT/UPDATE access (which, I admit, would be sketchy), some-or-all of these great things could be implemented in Perl/tk without any platform trauma.

I'd volunteer to build the thing, if access and support was supplied me by the powers that be. Or maybe I ought to download from everydevel.com, set up an everything of my own, build the interface on my own desktop first... Hmmm.. This could be a real fun project. Watch this space for news...

Man alive... The everything administration interface is one complicated sumbitch! The Slashcode is trivially simple to admin compared to this.

I'd expcted to download and install it and I'd have an e2-like world on my desktop to fool with, but it ain't so! What we use here is a deeply customized setup. Whoo.

Now, mind, I've only been playing with it for an hour or so. I'm expecting a sort of trancendant, ephiphanic moment as I suddenly "get it"... But it hasn't happened yet.

SO... Now that I've played around a little more, and my epiphany hasn't occurred, I'm exploring alternative approaches.

How bad would it suck if this thing communicated with e2 over HTTP? It could pretend to be a web browser, make requests carrying the right goods, and parse apart the resulting HTML to get the data it's wanting to display to you.

That would be real sensitive to changes in how the HTML is layed out, but might take less customization for each Everything installation. Anybody have any thoughts about that?

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