inessential by Brent Simmons

Fargo: Outlines as Websites

Small Picture’s Fargo 0.8 connects outlines and blogging. An outline can be an entire website.

Small Picture is Dave Winer and Kyle Shank. Occasionally other iOS and Mac developers ask me if they should follow what Dave is working on. The answer is yes.

Dave has been a big part of some big things, some of which I’m sure you love: outlining, inter-application communication on Macs, blogging, RSS and OPML, and inter-application communication over the web.

And he’s always been a voice for freedom, for openness over lock-in, for a human and humane web.

I used to work at UserLand Software, which was Dave’s company in the ’90s and early 2000s. And I quite frequently had no idea where he was going with something. It took me a couple years to be interested in RSS! But I knew enough to pay attention and give the technology time to mature — and to give myself time to understand it.

If you’re like me, a Mac and iOS developer, right now you’re thinking about iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks. You’re figuring out how to make a living on the various App Stores. You’re watching the WWDC videos and wondering what cool new things you can do.

And you might look at Fargo and not know right off the bat how it’s going to change the world or even be relevant to what you’re doing. I don’t know either — yet. Which is totally fine. I’m going to pay attention and let it sink in, and you should too.

I’ll put it another way. I can take a good idea and make a nice app, but Dave can make a good idea.