Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Outliner Market Not Dead
Posted:3/5/1999; 10:34:57 AM
Topic:Frontier and PIM's
Msg #:3654 (In response to 3646)
Prev/Next:3653 / 3655

Hmmm...might be something to that - trying to do well two distinct things results in less than optimal results for either. This product may also suffer somewhat from focusing, it appears, almost completely on selling to K-12 markets. Doing so may have cut them off from awareness of the needs of wider currents and bigger fish in the business and web markets. Too bad, because I think the potential of this product for web development is very high. I mean, I come from a library background, and I have spent most of my career *organizing* information in ways that enable people to find it with as little effort as possible (see my article on hypertexting//classifying/info organizing at: - don't email from the links there though), and this work has mostly involved classifying the info (whatever its format - paper, digital, VHS, etc.)

This is no different when organizing information that appears in web formats/pages. But yet - damnit - there's no tool out there that's really good at this, even though no task is more important in the whole list of tasks needing doing when producing a web site (see the O'Reilly book "Information Architecture," written by librarians, for more proof of this). We have some terrific tools for this in creating online catalogs when we're focusing on traditional libraries (which have paper content but ironically, use non-paper access systems), that enable use of thesauri and controlled index terms. for instance, but little in the same vein for dealing the peculiarities of web contents. Oh, I forgot, there is one product that can do controlled indexing pretty well - HTML Indexer ( And there is another (I forget it's name) that can do web-based construction of thesauri to enable you to figure out your index terms. HTML Indexer is a bit costly though at $200.00, and it has no classifying facilitie that one could expect from outliners.

Hey Dave - there's a idea: a standalone product that combines powerful outlining with powerful HTML capabilities with controlled indexing capabilities (like that in HTML Indexer)and a thesaurus construction facility directly integrated with the outliner. $500.00 for such a babe would be a bargain, and I know lots of people who'd kill for her.

Cliff Urr

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