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Re: Discover Getting Thing Gnome and Zim, potential for collaboration


> I just discovered a nifty new python-gtk app that enables GTD usage:
> Getting Thing Gnome.
> http://gtg.fritalk.com/

This looks more like a task manager. This functional difference being
that the main data type of Zim is a text blob (like a textarea field
in HTML) as opposed to a varchar in Getting Thing Gnome (like a input
field in HTML). Correct me if I'm wrong.

> If you try it out, you can see similarities with Zim in the structure and
> in the workflow. I was wondering if both projects could not benefit from
> each other in particular given that Zim is being rewritten in python-gtk.
> Both apps have (or wants to have) a plugin system to add supplementary
> features.

>From Zim's point of view, the ability to have a single-line datatype
as opposed to the text blob would be the main change. You might want
to look at lists in Zim, which although do not collapse work in a
similar fashion.

> GTG would benefit from Zim's wiki like text input in task description (and
> support for multiple cancel input for example).

What is multiple cancel input?

> Or Zim could inherit a better task manager than what's currently in Zim.

>From what I understand the desire to improve Zim's task manager has
been expressed. Specific recommendations are very, very welcome! I use
a different application (not to different from GTG) for task

> In any case, for now I have no perfect GTK+ application that let me handle
> my preferred GTD workflow:
> 1/ While I read mail/IRC/Web, I discover something interesting that I
> might want to look into (or I receive a task to do). That's the
> Inbox part of any GTD app, I should be able to drop a mail/URL/paste there
> as quickly as possible directly from within the respective application
> (mutt/x-chat/iceweasel).

This would be great! Each app would need its own plugin. For instance,
a Firefox extension that bookmarks pages to within Zim. Please float

> 2/ When I sort the GTD Inbox, I want to create tasks in a GTD aware
> application (that would be GTG) or decide that the piece of information
> that I have stored doesn't need any action but I want to keep it for
> reference in my notes (that would be Zim).

Here you stress the need for two applications for two timeframes:
Past: keeping notes (Zim)
Future: managing tasks (GTG)

I suppose that you would like an archive feature to move items from GTG to Zim?

> 3/ When I work and check my tasks, the tasks can contain references to
> other material (say design notes). Thus I would want to be able to click
> on a link inside GTG and have Zim open up on the given page (because I
> like Zim to draft such documents).

Again, this is where you would benefit from using a Zim page for your
GTD, with the items organized in a list. The list could contain links
to specific Zim pages.

> I hope that this message will foster some collaboration and gives you
> ideas on how you can reach such a level of integration. The result would
> be a really powerful framework to organize time/projects/information I
> think.

I see that Zim could incorporate these features, which would allow
either collaboration or the use of Zim for GTD:

1) A link framework where Zim would recognize links from external
applications. For instance, to link to the Zim notebook Linux and the
page Debian/apt-get a link may look like this:

2) Improvements to the lists, such as folding. This seems to be GTG's
major feature. Other improvements to the lists could include tagging
individual list items, and setting metadata for the list items such as
expiry date. However, I do not believe that the wiki format that Zim
uses supports such features, and I do not know if the main Zim
developer (Jaap) would be open to proprietary extensions, even given
the fact that the wiki format is not a standard format.

> For reference, I'm currently using a java app for my GTD workflow
> together with Zim (http://www.zim-wiki.org/) for notes. The java app is
> ThinkingRock (http://www.trgtd.com.au) there might be some interesting
> ideas to take there.

You are the one familiar with the app, let's hear what features you
think Zim could incorporate. Be specific, and assume that we are _not_
familiar with ThinkingRock.

> I like the review screen in particular, that's what
> I'm using most of the time.

What do you like about it? Be very specific.

> I also use the possibility to print reports
> so that the piece of paper near my computer always has an overview of all
> the tasks that I have scheduled for the current week (and I write new
> tasks on it while on phone with customers, so it's also a secondary inbox).

Here you see the conflict between an app made for tasks (future, as I
mentioned above) and an app made for notes (past, as I mentioned
above). Either could be used for the other's purpose, but it would not
be ideal. Implementation of your suggestions would change the focus of
Zim, which in my opinion would be a good thing in this specific case.
However, I do not represent the Zim development team and I could
understand where they would disagree.

In any case, I will file a few feature requests for List improvements
and possible external linking support. That might entail a full API,
so I'd like to think about what external apps would want to do with
Zim other than link to pages. We've already identified the bookmarking
of pages as well, and I am sure that there are other functions.

Thanks, Raphaël, and I hope that you take the time to write specific
details as to what specific features Zim could incorporate from the
other apps in your workflow.

Dotan Cohen