Does Birch make iOS more or less likely


#1

Continuing the discussion from Birch 0.1.0 “Dev” release:

I think it’s unlikely that I’ll be doing an iOS editor. But I think it makes it more likely that you’ll be able to edit Birch outlines on iOS for two reasons:

  • First as I expect to continue supporting as much of the existing formats as I can you should still be able to use whatever your current workflow is. Ie edit TaskPaper in Editorial. It will be “lossy”, but that’s only a loss of you are using new features. If you are happy with current TaskPaper behavior, it shouldn’t matter.

  • But more important, it should be easy for Birch to read/write OPML without any lossy behavior. I don’t know for sure, but I expect that tools like OmniOutliner do OPML. So in that case you’ll actually have (I think) a better iOS experience since you’ll be able to do outlining things on both Birch on Mac and outliner of choice on iOS and have all the data round trip. I “think”. Haven’t actually tested all those tools and details of how they handle OPML yet.


#2

If this turns out to be the case, then that will be great. OPML is well represented on iOS.


#3

I notice that Jesse’s Birch code already contains a solid BML to OPML function.

All it will need is a few extra lines to write out the Birch key/value pairs as OPML attributes, and some decisions about the format in which to write out date values (pure UTC ? Taskpaper yyyy-mm-dd HH:MM ? something else ?).

(Worth checking what the OPML-consuming iOS apps are doing, or can read, if they are using date and perhaps duration attributes - I forget the details of what OmniOutliner was doing when last seen, for example )


#4

And I personally find iThoughts much the best iOS outliner – not only does it read/write and sync OPML, it’s also now acquiring the capacity to filter branches and nodes by any project data (dates/completions etc) that they may have.

A very good iOS counterpart to xPath filtering of projects and tasks in Birch …

(And Craig Scott, the iThoughts developer, has an exceptional track record of supporting a range of outline and mindmap formats – I wonder if he would consider adding Birch .bml to the range of file formats read and written (with data attributes) by iThoughts on both platforms.