Constraints for Mobile SoftwareΒΆ

This post is mostly just an overview of Epistle by Matteo Villa, which is–to my mind–the best Android note taking application ever. By the time you read this I will have an Android Tablet, but it’s still in transit while you read this and that’s a topic that dissevers it’s own post.

Epistle is a simple notes application with two features that sealed the deal:

1. It knows markdown, and by default provides a compiled rich text view of notes before providing a simple notes editing interface. While syntax highlighting would be nice, we’ll take what we can get.

2. It’s a nice, simple application. There’s nothing clever or fancy going on. This simplicity means that the interface is clean and it just edits text.

For those on the other side there’s Paragraft that seems similar. While in my heart of hearts I’m probably still holding out for the tablet equivalent [1] of emacs. In the mean time, I think developing a text editing application that provide a number of paradigmatic text editing features and advances for the touch screen would be an incredibly welcome development.

In the end there’s much work to be done, and the tools are good enough to get started.

[1]I want to be clear to say equivalent and not replacement, because while I’d like to be able to use emacs and have that kind of slipstream writing experience on an embeded device, what I really want is something that is flexible and can be customized and lets me do all the work that I need to do, without hopping between programs, without breaking focus, that makes inputting and manipulating text a joy. And an application that we can trust (i.e. open source, by a reputable developer,) in a format we can trust (i.e. plain text.) Doesn’t need to be emacs and doesn’t need lisp, but I wouldn’t complain about the lisp.

2011-11-07

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tychoish is a blog about software, science fiction, community, music, knitting, and economies with particular attention to their past and future histories. Produced in Brooklyn by tycho garen.

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