RFI: the "MyGSD Wiki" theme

Following the sage advice i got from this “Joel on Software” blog post all those years ago (2002 -yikes!), this is my 1st draft outline of a Product Vision Statement for the TW theme that i (along w/ teeming hordes of other GTD aficionados, i believe) would like to have. It’s like this:

  • For busy people
  • Who need a trusted system for Getting Stuff Done
  • The “MyGSD Wiki” is a browser-based portable application
  • That supports all essential workflows described in the Getting Things Done book by David Allen in a package that runs on all your devices, with optional sync to your choice of cloud service.
  • Unlike other GTD-inspired software products
  • MyGSD Wiki is both fit-for-purpose right out of the box, AND (based on the user-scriptable FOSS platform TiddyWiki) can be easily customised to your particular needs with no code required, and no fees involved.

Now: while i can say a lot more about required features and my ideas about implementation, i’ve learned that i do better at this point to shut up and see what the more TW-savvy devs & “TWeakers” in this community have to say in terms of clarifying questions & possible answers.

What i can say is that i know enough to know that the above prescription could be filled by any one of many devs in this community w/o even breaking a sweat. Indeed: i’ve got my own jalopy of spaghetti-wire almost firing on all these cylinders, tho it involves a bunch of other people’s plugins & code i’d be hard pressed to name, let alone maintain, so… It’s a one-click install, with frictionless update process we’re looking for here.

What i can also say is: i’ll happily pony up a $100 bounty, plus a $10/month maintenance fee for a year of cloud-synced data and reasonable developer responsiveness to the GitHub issues queue. That’s just me, but if course i can’t be the only one who so wants this to happen, SO…

Who else will lend a hand in getting this turkey to fly?

2 Likes

Thanks for this write up @ludwa6 — well articulated what you’re looking for.

The way I read this, it’s a new Edition with setup, theme, and plugins. Is that a good way to think about it?

I understand the desire for turn key syncing, but it should be out of scope and is a separate concern. Especially since one sync solution can mostly serve any TW edition or instance.

You might specify as a requirement that “must work with TiddlyHost” or “works with Git Saver” as something you’re looking for.

I’ve written a lengthy post on cost expectations that should serve useful background and more context Expectations of costs

My completely spitball estimate is that a well tuned Edition would be in the ballpark of $5000 up front and $500/month ongoing to aim to fund.

Thank-you @boris for the constructive response. Responding in kind to your key points:

So it seems to me, with my limited understanding of Editions, which is based on the one i’m currently using (Mehregan) -the only Edition i’ve ever used, IIRC. While i must say that @Mohammad does an impeccable job of keeping his many plugins up-to-date via the Kookma plugin library, i did miss out on a timely update of Mehregan for want of a similarly foolproof update facility for Editions… So that is my one doubt about packaging this product as an Edition.

Indeed: good points that i hope might help to contain scope of development/ costs -which i must confess strikes me kinda like an Ice Bucket Challenge :cold_face: )

So: presuming you’ve applied that rate of $50/hr in the post you linked above, that would imply some 100 hours of up-front development work, plus 10 hours /month of maintenance work -correct?

Ignorant as i am of this development environment, i won’t presume to question those assumptions… Yet i would like to know what other developers might think about this?

Also, of course: i’m keen to hear if this proposed edition, as described in my Product Vision Statement, resonates with anyone else in this community as something they would want enough that they might consider contributing in some way. ???

1 Like

I’d be interested in supporting this development! I’ve bounced in and out of Things and OmniFocus and some other GTD/GSD software, but I keep realizing that I just prefer to be able to harness the power of TiddlyWiki, and that’s where all my current reference-notes, tasks, and ticklers live.

Still, it’s not been a priority for me (on my own) to hammer out all the details I’d need for contexts, waiting-on relations, repeated-task cycles, etc. Would love to have all that rolled into a package, knowing that I would not be stuck with any elements or gui choices that don’t suit my needs.

-Springer

2 Likes

From my perspective, for a well designed and maintainable edition for the given purpose this is accurate. If anything I expect the up front work would have the potential of exceeding 100 hours. While it might seem like most of this already exists in the wild, putting those pieces together does not necessarily lead to a well designed, cohesive and maintainable end product. Furthermore, there would probably be a need for the developer to familiarize themselves with the Getting Things Done book, unless we luck out and find someone already very familiar with it.

The alternative option would be to find a developer who wanted to work on this out of personal interest and who might be happy with a somewhat lower honorarium to give them the motivation to pursue that interest, but there would be far less accountability with that approach.

@simon this reminds me of your work on MonkeyGTD. I realize TW5 is a very different beast but would you be able to hazard a wild guess at how many hours it took you back then?

1 Like

No idea really. It was kind of an endless time sink.

I think the hard part is the design though. If you or someone can sketch out the UI, i.e. what forms, lists, widgets, etc, are needed to support all the essential workflows from the GTD book, and how they should be laid out and interlinked in an understandable and usable way, there’s probably people here that could build a prototype in a weekend or two.

Are any of the existing GTD/GSD TiddlyWiki, or non-TiddlyWiki systems any good as a starting point for the design?

Great to hear, @Springer !

As an ex-OmniFocus user myself, i can relate to the bouncing in&out dynamic; that is the most feature-complete GTD app i’ve yet found… But i found it too heavyweight to be sufficiently agile, and not so portable as TW.

Speaking of portability: i guess you are on Mac, right? Do you use iOS devices too? Using Quine2 as for mobile use w/ iCloud sync? Would love to know more about your UseCases and/or Workflows.

This is an essential cornerstone, from my perspective: to find a developer who is feeling the same itch that motivates this project. Also important from a maintenance perspective, to have that “eating our own dogfood” dynamic working for us. We want the developer(s) to get paid of course- that is also essential -but it’s a HowTo, not The Why.

Am so glad to have your voice in this conversation, @simon -not only because of your MonkeyGTD experience (most relevant!), but also because i tend to agree with @boris about making save-to-TiddlyHost (and/or GitHub) a requirement.

To your Q:

As mentioned above, OmniFocus provides the most feature-complete implementation for standalone use, but… Too heavy, and non-interoperable. At the other end of scale, Todoist is probably the most popular agile tool for a mobile inbox & task-list manager, but it is a mature commercial product that i (like everyone on this board, i guess) consider quite “stiff.” The one to beat, i would say, is the all-singing/ all-dancing (as per their “What-it-is” video) Notion.

That’s my nutshell summary of the marketplace, but putting that aside: i think we should just focus on essential workflows, and build out from there. In fact i took a little stab at creating a GTD app for own use almost 2 years ago, which has been sitting moribund on TiddlyHost for almost 2 years… So i just posted there an overview of the core workflows and 3 UseCases i want to develop. Please take a look; i’d love to know what you think, of: GTD Wiki — Getting Things Done the wiki way

As far as I know, neither Todoist nor Notion support the GTD methodology out of the box. This might significantly limit their helpfulness in terms of inspiration and design reference. Identifying a tool that implements GTD and does it well might be helpful, or for example a Notion template that provides the requisite functionality.

Also, horses for courses and all that but Todoist is the only task management app that has ever worked for me. :wink: In fact the workflow and code for Streams was derived from a TW based Todoist clone. My only gripe with Todoist is that I cannot host my own data, and that their design revamps over the last couple of years have taken away some of the things I valued the most.

Quite right, Saq. I haven’t used OmniFocus in a good few years, but even then it had a GTD mode (‘mode’ i mean generically; don’t recall how that config was packaged) that even David Allen called quite robust. As to Notion: i only know what i see in their promo and fanboy reviews (why should i invest in that product when i have TW? :wink:)

This helps, to have such insight from a serious user; thanks for that! For my purposes: you’ve taken the essential value from Todoist to support what i call “Agile Note-Taking” and “Agile List-Making,” and rolled it into Streams plugin -which i use the heck out of, b/t/w, and consider an essential part of this proposed product.

Probably … by far

---- may be OT, but I think it is a good example ----

I didn’t really track the time, that I did invest in the new PaletteManager Edition / Plugin. But I’m sure in sum I’m close to 100 hours already. And the polishing needed to make it ready for the core there is no end in sight. For the core all the UI text elements need to be translatable. – To know what needs translation, the project has to be “feature complete”. – My goal was to “not introduce new translatable text elements.”


The scope of The Ultimate GTD App “that scales” as described in by David Allen in the 2019 GTD summit has a much lager scope.

That’s right. Because if that would be enough, the existing editions would already have “taken over the market”. … But they didn’t.

As I wrote at:

https://talk.tiddlywiki.org/t/any-new-gtd-plug-ins-available-other-than-gsd5-cardo-and-projectify/4920/57?u=pmario

The underlaying structure is key. For that structure one needs to understand GTD in detail. So I did study the book in more detail.

As I wrote. I did study the book in more detail. My focus was from an “app developer” having the “user in mind”. Over the last weekend I did use Saq’s Streams-edition :wink: to outline 224 “elements of interest”, for an app, covered in Part 1 of the book.

Part 1 is an overview of the whole GTD concept and “the other parts” in the book are detailed descriptions about the elements defined in part 1.

The first heading in Part 2 is: Getting Started: Setting Up the Time, Space, and Tools

… What a coincidence. If we start an empty version of our trusted tool, we are greeted with GettingStarted.

… just some thoughts

3 Likes

In my earlier response, i neglected to mention one other important development:

This thread about GTD plugins, which i’m afraid i sorta hijacked (sorry @arunnbabu81 !) featured this link to a GSD5 variant that i consider quite relevant.

I know it’s just a demo of some tooling i don’t yet understand well enough to use (if indeed this is the intention- to engage interested non-technical users? -bit of in-context documentation could really help), but i’ll be watching this project w/ interest, and would love to engage in a dedicated conversation about it, if there be any other interested parties. What do you say, @arunnbabu81 ?

I think design elements can be used, but the UI implementation itself should build upon the new cascade mechanism that is part of the TW UI now.

It should make the UI more maintainable, theme independent and more flexible.

The gsd-plugins should all be independent from themes … if possible.

1 Like

From the non-technical user perspective, i’d like to know what this means. Ultimately, the aim should be (on the dev RoadMap, if not in initial release(s)) an essentially feature-complete package of software that let’s us know when there’s an update available with 1-click install to keep all code up to date. This has come to be the expectation of any software user for which users need to pay- and for polished FOSS packages as well- so i would ask: how can this be most easily implemented in a TW5 product?

Absolutely. From my perspective, the two key concerns to address are:

  1. Constraints. If you want something well polished and consistent then a part of that is introducing constraints in terms of what is and is not possible in terms of customization and integration of other plugins.
  2. Sufficient funding. The more polish you want, the higher the associated development and maintenance costs.

Sorry for the poor wording. … It’s been “dev-talk”.

I meant that the new edition should be based on the latest technology TiddlyWiki has to offer. Existing implementations started to be used years ago and had to use what was possible at that time.

All great to hear, Mario; your contributions here and in that mother-thread provide invaluable grist for the mill.

Mmm… Can’t wait to learn what emerges from that brainstorm, in due course.

I just have to point out (in case anyone failed to pick up on the irony) that master Allen was being semi-facetious in that presentation.

Ultimately: there is no “ultimate” GTD app, and never will be. “Horses for courses,” as Saq says… And i think you’re right-on in your recommendation that this app needs to present a drop-dead simple interface for Getting Started with just the first step (i.e. CAPTURE everything in a mind-sweep) and maybe the 2nd (i.e. PROCESS each item with minimal friction into one of a handful of lists).

Just to provide further context, I maintain an edition for a small group of close friends who have no idea what TiddlyWiki is. They have now been using it happily on a regular basis for almost two years during which I have pushed out updates maybe 7-8 times, and they have been able to update by clicking a single button. The updates mechanism is something I implemented from scratch and would need a lot more forethought and redesign if one wanted to use it for a larger audience. The other key part of what has made this successful is that they interact with a fully customised TiddlyWiki with a bespoke interface, and have no knowledge or expectation that they can tweak it. They use it as is and these constraints remove a lot of potential pitfalls.

2 Likes

This is well worth a RETWEET if we could do it here. :slight_smile:

Fantastic to know how you leverage TW so users never-ever need to be concerned with how it works. And also you update them seamlessly.

THIS kind of story is a USE CASE that needs telling again & again. ???

TT, x