Thursday, May 24, 2007

Supercharge your to-do list

Over on the sinister secretGeek log, Mr. Geek's singing the praises of a text-driven todo file as a make-shift means of communication between multiple (two) developers through a source repository.
I've done the text todo file thing in the past too - it's drop-dead simple and it works.  I'm sure some people are aghast, but do you really need or want to fire up Excel or Project to track tasks?  Do you want to spam one another with e-mails tracking the itches you're scratching as well as what you're getting done?  It's imperfect, but it's easy and it works with a couple people.
That said, the concept of a shared text file is sort of... barbaric.  We live in the age of The Internets and The Internets have newer and better and shinier for us.  A wiki would do a good job of replacing the t-file; you can tag items and search and find stuff, plus it has built-in revision control so you can easily cut and paste or clean items off of your pages and they'll be available to you later if you didn't mean to delete them.  Not that I'd ever make a mistake like that.
But who wants to set up a wiki?  You've got to install the package, you've got to work out the dependencies and then have a way of securely publishing it so that only the right people can see it.  For two people, this absolutely feels like overkill.  But still... a wiki sure would be nice.
So, uh.  Why not use TiddlyWiki instead?
For those of you not hip to it, TiddlyWiki is a standalone wiki, implemented in an HTML file and it works splendidly.  There's a GTDTiddlyWiki out there if you've drank the GTD Kool-Aid (I haven't).  I don't know that it has all the internally-implemented revision control that a more full-fledged wiki has, but it does have tags and search features built right into it and it requires nothing more than a browser (it's just an HTML file, guy) but if you sync it up with your source repository often enough, hey wow you've got revision control there.  Nothing more to futz with and you're still sharing a text file between developers.  It's just a shinier text file.
Or you could hang back in the stone age.  Hey, your call.

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