- April 16th, 2009
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Recently at work I’ve started an internal company wiki using Screwturn wiki. It’s a useful, easy way to keep internal documents about procedures organised.
One really noticable thing about Screwturn is its text editor. Or lack of a text editor. It’s not WYSIWYG, just a plain text box with a few buttons at the top to put some code in for you. When you first see it you get quite annoyed, thinking it really should be more like word. You have to learn their markup and inside the text editor it isn’t as readable.
However, after 10 minutes you’ve learnt the markup. You see how much easier it is to use the markup over clicking buttons – It doesn’t disturb you’re follow. But you realise something else: It is really good at making you not worry about the look of your document but instead focus on the content and the structure of the document.
What do I mean by the structure of the document. I mainly mean headers. In WYSIWYG editor we think of a header as text in a particular font at a particular size. This leads us to say, “I think a smaller font would look better for this instance” and choose the type of header based on what looks best instead of what creates the correct structure. While in screwturn, a header is just text with a certain amount of = around it.
The end result is we get a more consistent, cleaner, more professional document, and we get it done faster by not worrying about unnecessary font changes.
It’s an interesting thing that you can write documents faster and better in such a simple interface and makes you wonder how we can incorporate these concepts in future programs like Word.