Open Source Musings

opensource

Anyone remember the term desktop publishing (DTP for short)? It first came into the wider lexicon in the 1980s, and referred to the ability to use software on desktop computer to layout, typeset, and print, your own material like flyers, newsletters, books, and like.

It's been years since I've heard term desktop publishing uttered by anyone, but still goes on. Nowadays, though, a lot of that publishing is electronic only — publishing non fiction books, novels and short story collections, reports, and such in formats like PDF and EPUB.

Let's take a quick look at four open source tools that you can use to publish your words and ideas, whether for sale or just for sharing.

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(Note: This post was originally published, in a slightly different form, at The Plain Text Project and appears here via a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.)

Back in the early and mid-1990s, there was a boom in dedicated HTML editors. Those were a mix of code editor and WYSIWYG tools, which were designed to get more and more people publishing in the then-burgeonening World Wide Web. As the years passed, so did most of those editors.

Over the last while, something similar has been happening with dedicated Markdown editors. Not to the extent of their HTML-only predecessors from a few decades back, but there are more than a handful on the market.

Those editors range from being just glorified text editors to some which are quite good. One dedicated Markdown editor that I've been exercising a lot is Mark Text. It reminds me of an open source version of Typora. While not quite as polished as Typora, Mark Text is quite a flexible editor.

Let's take a look at it.

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There are more than a few free and open source task management applications out there. They run at the command line, on your desktop, and even on the web. They are, as you might expect, of varying quality, and with a varying number of functions. But there's pretty much a task management tool for just about everyone's needs.

Since early 2020, I've been trying to use Nextcloud as my personal hub. One app I've been experimenting with (again) is Tasks. Which, as the name implies, is Nextcloud's todo list manager.

Let's take a quick look at how to use it.

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(Note: This post was first published, in a different form, at Opensource.com and appears here via a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license.)

When you think of the word wiki, chances are the first thing that comes to mind is Wikipedia. That's not a surprise, considering that Wikipedia did help put the concept of the wiki into the popular consciousness.

Wikis, which are websites you can edit, are great tools for collaborating and organizing. But wikis usually require a lot of digital plumbing and a bit of care to use and maintain. All of that's overkill for personal use.

Enter TiddlyWiki, the brainchild of British software developer Jeremy Ruston. TiddlyWiki is very easy to use and is very portable.

Let's take a quick look at the basics of using TiddlyWiki.

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