Talk:Meta:Macs-only quandry

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Thanks --Merlin 10:07, 21 Mar 2005 (EST)


I think the right balance lies in talking about how to communicate and work with Windows and Windows Users which we all need to do. So, Samba, Virtual PC, and other technologies for collaboration are fair game but not discussion of Longhorn or XP for example unless it's about how Longhorn and XP can play with Macs/Unix



How about allowing Windows entries only if they specifically refer to how they apply to GTD?

..or tuck a single Windows page away somewhere?

I think that, like it or not, the 43Folders site and Google Group are becoming more of a GTD place than a 'GTD for Mac users' place.

But - even though I'm a Windows user I'm happy to stick to the rules, I think you made a good point when you said that there are plenty of other Windows sites that don't cater for Mac.

--K 10:18, 21 Mar 2005 (EST)


Oh how simple the world would be if everyone used Macintosh, just like me.

--Murdaugh 10:23, 21 Mar 2005 (EST)


The distinction I like to make--even if I don't always do it well--is that I have nothing particularly against Windows as a thing in the world or even as a tool. Frankly I could give a fig what kind of computer people use.

My interest with this site, however, is very much to appeal to Mac users and potential Mac users. Has been since day one, if you read back.

The trouble is that Windows is so ubiquitous as to seem "natural" (people with patches on their tweed elbows like to call this "hegemony"). So, if I tut-tut contributors trying to make this site about Buffy, Dokken, or, for that matter, the VIC-20, I think people would be mostly sympathetic to seeing how those things--while lovely and deserving of interweb attention--are not what this site is here for. But, Windows? "Jeez, everybody uses Windows, d00d...."

To be honest, my zen slap this morning was about a much bigger and more important issue to me: that my whole focus right now is on seeing larger patterns. And that making a dumb rule might get in the way of seeing those patterns emerge. Doesn't change my desire to keep this conversation friendly for Mac folks, but I am open to smart ways to guide it in a way that keeps everyone happy and engaged.

--Merlin 10:38, 21 Mar 2005 (EST)


One of the things I have enjoyed most about 43folders is that it is Mac only. However, I am stuck using Windows at work. My main concern is finding equivalent applications on windows that are found on the Mac. Like Quicksilver... I can't tell you how many times during the day my fingers reach for that key combination on Windows.

I wouldn't mind seeing equivalent links. So on the Quicksilver page a link to Equivalent Windows Software where kind souls could document some windows tips or tricks outside of the normal flow.

--Mocephus 11:21, 21 Mar 2005 (EST)


One of the things I have enjoyed most about 43folders is that it is Mac only. However, I am stuck using Windows at work. My main concern is finding equivalent applications on windows that are found on the Mac. Like Quicksilver... I can't tell you how many times during the day my fingers reach for that key combination on Windows.

I wouldn't mind seeing equivalent links. So on the Quicksilver page a link to Equivalent Windows Software where kind souls could document some windows tips or tricks outside of the normal flow.

--Mocephus 11:21, 21 Mar 2005 (EST)


I like that idea, it keeps Macs secondary to PCs in the context of 43f. You could have one page in the Wiki called 'Windows Equivalents'.

It could contain a simple list of the Mac apps with Windows equivalents bulleted below each:

Mac App Name

  • Windows App Name
  • Windows App Name
  • etc

Then any Windows pages that crop up can be moved out of the way on the 'Windows Equivalents' page.

As a Windows user, I'd be very happy with that plus it keeps 43f about 99% pure Mac.

What I do think you need is some kind of strategy, there is already a list of Windows software building on the main page, so the rule should be either strictly no-Windows (and hence deleted) or people automatically move any Windows posts to a set page.

I love the Wiki-idea though and I'd still be happy with it if Windows was a complete no-no.

--K 11:38, 21 Mar 2005 (EST)


I think the thing for me is that Life-hacks and GTD are about so much more than just software. A lot of us use Macs, some use Windows, but more than what platform we use I think it's more important to avoid this wiki becoming a stash of cute-software-and-moleskine porn. I'd encourage a de-emphasis of software in favour of procedures.

Indeed, I'd be quite happy to rewrite my OmniOutliner section to talk more generically about outliners and move the OO/Applescript stuff to a subsidiary page. Then it wouldn't matter what platform I used to come up with the original idea. Even David Allen keeps it super simple, using a stock PalmOS PDA.

--Fraserspeirs 11:35, 21 Mar 2005 (EST)


I have been using Apple computers since 1978 and Mac's since 1984. I have also been using PC's in one form or another since about the late 70's. Windows XP is required at my workplace so I must use it. I discovered 43folders on the PC, and have made most of my knowledge acquisition while on my work PC. The knowledge is then implemented on my Mac. My Mac has soul, a personality, and is cool. My PC is the equivalent of a rock hammer.

I guess what I am getting at is that this question will sort itself out. Because as with the basic premise of the ideas and concepts being introduced on these sites, good information will eventually force out the bad. As long as you occasionally remind everyone that this is a Mac-centric universe, then the process of this wiki will unfold as you intend. I really feel that those who will find this place will understand that the information is important. Maybe they will be interested enough to check the Macintosh out and discover why they need one.

You are doing great work Mr. Mann. Don't sweat the small stuff

--Markwst


An arbitrary no-windows, mac-only rule seems overly restrictive, particularly given that so much of the emphasis in GTD-style implementations is on workflow and process, and not on the particular tools you use. As for the wiki, it's all about organization. As the front page is organized now, the discussion of software tools is broken down by platform. Preserve that breakdown, and put the list of mac stuff at the top, and you'll preserve your emphasis on mac-centric gtd implementations. --brainwidth 12:12, 21 Mar 2005 (EST)


I agree that an arbitrary policy is not conducive to the type of discussions and information this site will generally attract. I think it will sort itself out, and as long as people that are UNIX- and Mac- focused contribute enough, those topics can stay in the forefront.

--Rjp 14:35, 21 Mar 2005 (EST)


Is there anyway to solve this with some css trickery? I'm thinking along the lines of marking up all Mac-centric stuff in a div with a class of "mac", all Windows stuff in a div with a class of "win" or whatever, and then have it displayed on the site with different color backgrounds? It'd have to be easy to mark up, of course, but it might make for easy scanning -- i.e. Mac users can easily skip the red sections (or whatever) if they don't care about windows software. As long as the color scheme is nice-and-purty and kept consistent :-)

-- Dan Brendstrup


I'm a Windows user first and a Mac user second. Some people have clubfeet, don't hate us because we dance different. That said, I've never found the Mac-first discussions on 43F offputting in the least. Likewise, I think it's useful to remember that not everyone who is more Windows than Mac is going to run through the town square, knock over three fruit carts and deface a few monuments. Oddly enough we too can be sensitive, thoughtful and respectful. :)

So I personally don't mind a 'focus' in the least, an arbitrary rule I find a little heavy-handed personally, particularly for a site I take to be about something else (and something bigger and more enlightened than which platform is better, etc. If you never mention Windows once in an article, Merlin, I'll never be disappointed or feel cheated ;), but I would think it odd that conversations need to be micromanaged in advance. Maybe just a standing rule than Mac vs PC arguments are verboten (which I personally would endorse at any legislative level) and see if it really does become a problem. If you mainly write about Mac techniques, the likelihood of this becoming a big Windows discussion hub seems low--but it would be nice if people like myself weren't officially pariahs (spirit-only is fine!).

--Grant 17:01, 21 Mar 2005 (EST)

Contents

[edit] Windows has a place

Here's my 0.02Eur: I have to use Windows at the office. Hence, I go for cross-platform tools like FreeMind. Pretty much everything I use is based on standard file formats or protocols, too (text, XML, IMAP, etc. - you get the idea), and I can compile all the UNIX goodness I want into Cygwin. There should be no reason "not" to mention Windows alternatives when we know about them.

--Rui Carmo 15:02, 21 Mar 2005 (EST)

[edit] Okay, I can evolve: keep talking

Thanks, all. This is a very useful conversation for me.

I'm leaning more and more toward keeping my mitts off of it and letting things take their course. Part of my reluctance is selfish; I'll confide that have I have 0 desire to put a lot of energy and time into a site that ends up being mostly about Windows. I just need to put that on the table. Less as a threat than a statement of purpose, one hopes.

On the other hand, if people feel it's more useful to have a completely free discussion, I'm game for talking about it.

I will be relying very heavily on all of you to police _all_ the pages for spam disguised as "useful information"; the full court press on me to dole out cups of 43F's surprisingly high Google influence to Windows pay-products has been going way up lately, so be ready for some enthusiastic boosters to find "opportunities" to mention their pet products in many places. I really don't want to reward these creeps or see my site turned into their personal link farm.

On the other hand, if stuff like Wikipedia is any indication, visitors and gnomes can be counted on to hold people's feet to the fire on what constitutes a worthy entry. I know enough about 43F's visitors to know they're an extremely smart bunch who can help me sniff out any foul play.

I'd still like to hear from more people on how this would work best from their perspective, but my inclination is to let the community guide the direction without fences, and I'll just keep to the mothership for my controversial and socially awkward fondness for Macs. ;-)

--Merlin 15:11, 21 Mar 2005 (EST)

I don't think a heavy hand will be required really. 43Folders already attracts a pretty Mac-centric crowd and the Windows users already have plenty of other sites they can go to (and have probably already gotten into the habit of going to). I don't think it's fair to ban Windows talk outright because there are people who need to use both platforms and there may be some very useful tips on how to get both systems to play nice with each other as relates to GTD.

I'd like to think it could be a useful place for Windows users to find Windows equivalents to the Mac apps that users here talk about so much (like Quicksilver). But honestly, there aren't as many of those apps for Windows it seems. People on that platform are so used to doing things in Outlook (or other monolithic suites) that using outside accessories probably sounds like an exotic idea to them. Suite culture reigns in the Windows world so I don't forsee too many people coming here from that camp looking for the Windows Quicksilver or the Windows TextMate. The only exceptions being those people who also use Macs, but they're covered by my first paragraph above.

I suspect that Windows users won't try to take over this wiki, and if they do, give them a windows section. It's not like the Mac section won't still be as easily accessible. Mac users are still going to come here for GTD info and they're still going to find it as it pertains to OS X regardless of whether or not Outlook winds up having more total pages due simply to attrition (if they need that much info to get it to work, then it's clearly inferior anyway. Think of it as a demonstration of what we already know). --ThePolack


I lost the battle of having a Macintosh-centric workplace years ago. So, while I personally love the Mac emphasis of 43F -- the blog, discussion group, and wiki -- I have to root for Windows based discussion as well. I will probably do most of my GTD tricks (once I assemble them) on my Palm, but knowing about complementary tools on both the Mac and Wind platforms is part of the reason I come here. -- TomK

[edit] Keep the Faith

If you don't trust us to build a useful site, why put up a wiki? If the blog comments and Google Group are any indication, this wiki will keep a Mac focus. So what if somebody adds a page for QuickSilver alternatives on Windows? When you put up a wiki you have to believe that this community of readers will do the right thing. We may argue about the edges of proper behavior, but that's part of any social endeavor.

Who among us hasn't had to deal with hundreds of emails, dozens of websites, books, and other media that need to be consumed, and organized? With our collective intelligence and experience, there should be no problem adding relevant content. -- Eric Balasbas

It's not the Mac users I was worried about, Eric. :-)
But your point is well taken, and as you saw above it's definitely the way the tide is turning. I trust you guys implicitly or I wouldn't spend the time I have to make a site that's completely editable by anybody. Right?
--Merlin 20:10, 21 Mar 2005 (EST)

I would prefer to find a hub of information for Mac-specific tools. There have been created many, many more graceful tools create for the Mac than for other platforms, and it is my favorite platform to work on. Unfortunately, I do not have one to use.

What this means is that while I can follow along and glean what I can from any Mac-specific pages, the amount of information I can gather is minimal. In the end, many are relatively useless, except for filing in the "in case I get a Mac" part of my brain.

I realize that you may want a site catering to Mac users, but I wish you could consider broadening your focus at least a bit to include those of us who are interested in the topic, but are limited in our available technology.

At home I use Linux and Windows, and own a Hipster PDA. --AllTom 21:47, 21 Mar 2005 (EST)


I would prefer the site to have a Mac only focus. But then again, I've sat through many a conversation with people that know a lot more about computers then me and I could never join in (or learn much) because they were only talking about Windows.

I would hate we do the same to Windows users that are looking to learn and give. Also, as more then a few people have said, many of us (me included) use both platforms. I wish that wasn't the case, and I am sure they do as well, but that is just the way it is.

Been on a Mac since 1989. But from 2003-2005 I was Windows only. During the "dark days" I found 43 Folders. I will admit 24/7 43 Folders got me to buy an iBook faster then I had planned. But at the same time I found a lot of value from the site, posts, and comments even when I didn't have a Mac sitting on my desk. I also have to admit I have a few $20 programs sitting on my Windows machine I like a lot. Programs where, after two months on my iBook, still searching for something as good on the Mac.

I would think you could have an entire section where us dual users talk about the best programs we can purcahse, and how we use them, to give us as close to a similar experience on each machine.

My gut is the people here will police this site themselves. I am new to the whole wiki thing (can't wait to play/learn), but it seems to be a natural extension of a blog. And as such, the sum of the members is superior to any single part (of course, not a dig at you Merlin). Lets find a way to talk about processes, hacks, project management, how to live a more fulfilling life, and have some sort of link to similar Windows software. Those that don't play by the rules get their posts axed.

As Mac users I think we all know what it is like not to be included, treated like second class citizens. This may sound "cheesy," but lets take the highroad. Lets not do to Windows users what they have done to us.

tommy --- [tommy.young@gmail.com]


[edit] Hi, it's us Linux users.

Until you mentioned it when creating the post about the wiki I didn't know that 43 Folders was Macentric. Here i've been enjoying things like bullclipping netflix dvd's to my door from my debian linux computer. There's a whole bunch of free software for linux (which should carry over to the latest osx right?) that makes my day super swell - I don't see why it shouldn't be included if appropriate. mac and linux are buds. --66.30.27.44 12:32, 22 Mar 2005 (EST) Erik Mallinson [gremaili=>coacalina.org]

43f has always dealt a lot with terminal based, text-only Unix tools, which run fine on OS X, which has as much claim to be a Unix as Linux does. But there are so many desktops, toolkits, weird dependencies, inconsistent behaviors (with each other, not just inconsistent with the Mac, which is to be expected) etc, that most Mac users are uninterested in running software that requires us to run X11. It's such a hassle for so little gain, even if we could, if we chose, flip back and forth between Aqua and Gnome or KDE.
I shouldn't say "we" when I'm only speaking for myself. But I think you'll find most 43f Mac users are very interested in stuff like remind and vim and even oleo, but much less so in the latest fugly and awkward Moftif-looking Linux GUI software.

[edit] A plea for sanity ;)

Sometimes a solution searches in vain for a problem. Same thing goes for rules. Sometimes they're put in place before anybody does anything wrong, anticipating trouble.

Also, Rules aren't so much made to be broken, as to be challenged, which we've seen here and on the google group the past few days.

A simple note about the fact that you (Merlin) are Mac-centric, and that the blog that spawned this wiki was Mac-oriented (and why) should suffice. Let the wikizens police themselves.

And just for the record, you can take my Mac when you pry my cold, dead fingers off the mouse. ;)

--RobertDaeley 18:51, 22 Mar 2005 (EST)

[edit] In which kum ba ya is gently hummed

Yeah, absolutely.
Given that I set off this bonfire, I've wanted to mostly sit back and just hear out anyone with an opinion, but I do think something like a consensus is forming that the site should go wherever the contributors take it without a bunch of arbitrary rules. And that's absolutely fine by me.
Based on what I've seen so far, we have some great gnomes emerging from the woodwork to make this into something good for everybody. I'll try to lead by example, bringing good stuff and having the same respect that I ask of others.
Like I say, people should feel free to keep talking and to contribute whatever they think is appropriate to the conversation and to the site. AFAIC, I'm ready to just keep plowing forward.
That work for everyone?
--Merlin 19:31, 22 Mar 2005 (EST)


Since we're all humming kumbaya now, can I break out the S'Mores? ;) --RobertDaeley 19:42, 22 Mar 2005 (EST)

[edit] Here's to Hoping I've Formatted this Correctly

I think we're all intelligent enough to translate between operating systems. It's more about the process and the good mojo here than the tools, or at least it is to me. Spending too much energy worrying about what OS we're talking about seems kinda silly. Of course this place will stay Mac-centric because it naturally *is* Mac-centric, but watching a budding os war on a simply awesome resource such as this is kindof a downer IMHO. I don't care if I ever see a Windows-slanted tip here, but a good tip is a good tip. I'd hate to not be able to contribute something for fear of it being deleted because it wasn't Mac enough. I don't have the energy or your great design to make a "$29.99 Labelmaker" sister site for GTD as it relates to bash/perl/some windows/palm/whathaveyou. :) --Chuy 01:11, 23 Mar 2005 (EST)

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