Plug-in Demo

In Little Outliner 0.39 we will start to explore the idea of web-based outliner plug-ins. Right now, it's just a demo, an illustration of how the idea may work when developers can add functionality to the outliner through web services.

How to demo

1. To enable the demo, choose Preferences from the Outliner menu, and click on the Demo tab.

2. You'll see a checkbox that enables the plug-in demo. Check it and click submit.

3. Choose Import OPML from the Outliner menu. Enter this URL into the dialog.

4. Now place the cursor on the top-level headline, My presentation, and click the new icon (screen shot).

5. In a few seconds a preview of a presentation should appear. Step through it by clicking on the arrows in the lower right corner of the window.


You can edit my slides or create your own.

The top level headline is the title of the show. Its subheads are the titles of slides. And the text under each slide are the bullet points.


You can create a finished presentation that you can send to others by clicking the Publish button in the lower left corner of the Preview dialog.

Note that since this is just a demo, all published presentations will be automatically deleted one month after they are published. So if you want to keep a copy you should download it before the month is over.

The idea

This part is for developers.

When the user clicks the icon, a dialog opens, and calls a web service. It returns HTML code that is displayed in the dialog.

There is a single parameter to the service, the OPML text of the outline pointed to by the bar cursor.

The plug-in then processes the OPML in some way, and returns HTML which is then displayed in the preview dialog.

The HTML text could simply be a message saying that the process worked. Or it could be, as in the case of our demo, a rendering of the outline.

Why this is useful

Outliners are a good way to compose content for rendering.

Is this open?

Yes. OPML is a simple format that anyone can process. Nothing hidden there.

And the idea of an AJAX web service also is very open. We use jQuery to make the call. As long as you can receive a call from jQuery you should be fine.

The presentations are displayed by reveal.js.

This is just a demo

Right now we don't have a way for users to add items to the plug-in list, that's why it's just a demo. But it's not very far from being a for-real feature.


Here's a blog post about plug-ins.

Posted: Sun, 31 Mar 2013 16:31:16 GMT