Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Sign of the Times?

TrunkNotes is being discontinued, as I just found out. The author of the program openly states his reasons in his blog post:
Trunk Notes has been in development since 2009 and unfortunately it has come time to say goodbye. Revenue from Trunk Notes in the past couple of years has been very low. The interest in personal wikis, especially when lacking a companion web or desktop app, just isn’t high enough to generate the sales needed for further development. To give an idea of monthly income from Trunk Notes - it is equivalent to about one hour worked on projects for clients. The lack of competitor personal wikis on the App Store is a very clear indication that not many people are looking for one.
I am sorry that he could not make a go of it. I am even more sorry because he seems to be right. The interest in personal wikis, while never really as enthusiastic as I would have wished, definitely has diminished over the last few years. "[N]ot many people are looking for one."

In my view, many people unfortunately don't know what they are missing. In any case, I continue to find personal wikis—and especially ConnectedText—most useful, but I obviously am in a fairly small minority—or so it seems. Too bad! I just hope that ConnectedText will continue to work for a long time.

Recently, in the spirit of "future-proofing," I have been playing around with personal wikis based on text files. LoneWiki is the winner in this department. It takes 15,000 entries exported from ConnectedText without the slightest problems, and while it is missing many of the functions of ConnectedText, it has enough of them to make me happy. To be sure, I am not using it as a replacement as of now, but it is good to know that it will be there, should it ever become necessary.

1 comment:

Thomas Teepe said...

Some random thoughts and questions.

We use glasses to compensate for shortcomings in our eyes that interfere with our everyday lives, and we use telescopes to enhance our eyes' capabilities beyond their natural limits.

How about our brains? What are the tools we use to compensate for the shortcomings in concentration and memory, in dealing with multiple bits of information, in seeing connections that are not obvious, in constructing useful models of the world around us?

In the area of "cognitive aids and appliances", what are the equivalents of glasses and telescopes? (The analogy reaches its limits here - it's difficult to reassemble a telescope, but it is common practice to add to our repository of thinking tools.)
What is the range of cognitive aids we can choose from? Personal wikis seem to be one among many other options, with particularly strong points in long-term verbal reasoning in a highly connected web of concepts.
Where do we rely on our own cognitive aids, and where do we avoid a cognitive challenge without adapting our cognitive aids?
Given the (mis)matching between our cognitive skills and the demands from our environment, what are the cognitive aids we need (for survival? for affluence? for fame?), and what aids seem to be expendable extras?
Seen over entire societies and generations, how do people come to learn and use their personal cognitive aids?
What part of this coupling between us and our cognitive aids is influenced by institutions, and what happens by individual interest?