Links and Readings on Plain Text

Via Manuel Morreale's People & Blogs series, I came across some interesting writing, thoughts, and links on focusing on and using plain text for our digital lives. This is interesting to me because I like the thought that plain text is (at minimum) the most durable text format that we have right now (as opposed to .doc or some other file type).

Here are some links / quotes on this topic:

"My Journey into the Plain Text Life - Intro"

Everything Buckets are selling you a filesystem, and removing the step of creating and saving a new file within that filesystem. That’s their primary value. Whatever organization scheme they may claim to offer, you can replicate on the filesystem. I promise. Even tags (symlinks, aliases - look ’em up). "The Case Against Everything Buckets"

Plain Text Project

Simple and Universal: A History of Plain Text, and Why It Matters

Tiny Brains - Low/No-Tech Productivity

Every few years a new company says you should use their special format. You have to pay them a monthly fee to use it — or keep all of your documents in their care. They offer some convenience or features, but at the cost of flexibility, portability, and independence.

When you store your writing in one company’s unique format, then you need that program to access it. Then the economy takes a turn, they go out of business, and your work is trapped in an unusable format.

You will outlive these companies. Your writing should outlive you. Depending on companies is not an option.

Plain text is un-commercial. It removes you from the world of subscriptions and hype. There will always be plenty of free, non-commercial software in the public domain for reading and editing text files. "Write Plain Text Files"

My website build is pretty basic, and is essentially built around plain text files (in Markdown) and a couple of templates and Python scripts. But all of it is essentially plain text. At the time, I was building the site to learn about the very basics of personal web framework building (if you could even call it that). But I also stumbled into a world of more digital simplicity, and hopefully by virtue of that, more resilience.

Tagged: technology, links, swipe file,