Fargo 0.61 -- Identity

In this release we connect identity and outlines. This is someting we've been working towards from the day we started Small Picture. Actually quite a bit before that, if you've been following my writing on Scripting News.

The idea is simple. Every outline can have a name. The name is much shorter and easier to remember than the URL assigned to it by Dropbox.

For example: dave.smallpict.com. And when you want to view this outline in Fargo, you can leave off the domain and just ask it to open dave. When you do that you'll be viewing the public embodiment of me, the whole thing.

This is the stuff I want to show you. The private stuff doesn't get named.

You can think of it as the outline equivalent of a website. But it's bigger than a website, because it can contain websites. That's part of a future step we're going to take, which is already pretty far along (in its third generation, btw).

Those are the high-level ideas. I'll be writing more about that on my blog. Now to the practical.

Naming an outline

You can name any outline anything you want, as long as:

1. It hasn't already been named.

2. The name you want to use is available.

3. The name is 4 characters or more.

4. It contains only alphabetic and numeric characters, or hyphens.

To give an outline a name, click on its tab and choose Name outline in the File menu. A dialog appears. Screen shot.

Enter a name. As you're typing, you're given an indication whether the name is available.

When you're ready click OK. Be sure this is the name you want to use because it can't be changed or deleted.

Be kind

Right now there is no charge to create a name because these are early days, and you're helping us debug a new feature.

So just name one or two outlines. If people abuse the feature, we'll delete the names and put a price on each.

Making a name equal to you

You can name any outline, but only one outline is you.

To say which one that is, choose Settings from the system menu (upper-right corner of the window). In the first panel, named You, there's a new place to enter your Profile URL. Screen shot. This should be the address of your outline. If the name you chose is "mitch" then your profile URL is: http://mitch.smallpict.com/.

Note: If you want to use another system for your profile you can point to that page from this spot. But other features may depend on it being hosted by us, or fully compatible with our implementation.

Editing your profile

You will notice that if you go to your profile page now, it's blank.

If you edit your outline and add a top-level section called profile -- the contents of that page will display when you go there.

Screen shot.

Using the URL

Your profile is automatically pointed to in the Community Feed when you post something new there.

That way people who want to know who you are when reading something you wrote will be able to do that easily, by clicking on the eye icon that appears in the left margin when the highlight your name with the bar cursor.

You can also include your outline within other outlines, or other people's outlines.

Opening a named outline

You may have noticed that the Community Feed is a special kind of outline in Fargo. When it's open in a tab it's called a "watched" outline. That means that whenever it updates the icon in front of its name changes to a lightning bolt, and when you click on it, you'll see the changed text.

Named outlines work the same way. If you choose Open By Name in the file menu, and enter the name of someone else's outline, you will be able to watch changes in that outline. This works extremely well if you're collaborating with other people and want to keep up to date. We call this Instant Outlining.

Posted: Tue, 14 May 2013 04:00:00 GMT