Last update: Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 8:09 AM.
How Roots work
    • On the world-outline mail list, Brian Hendrickson asks if each blogpost is a root. "In other words, do I create a new blog post by adding a new root?"
    • The answer is you can do it that way but you'd quickly fill up the Roots page, so you probably want to use the worldoutline's ability to store many nodes of different types in a single root.
    • At the top level of the world outline application are roots. Each root contains an outline and some attributes.
    • An outline is something that can be stored in an OPML file. It contains a nested structure of text and attributes. A collection of text and attributes is called a node, or a headline, depending on the context.
    • Examples of attributes are type, created, domain, pgfnum, url.
    • type is the most basic attribute. Most nodes don't have a type attribute. The ones that do give the world outline a clue about how to render the text underneath it. So a blogpost type node will contain paragraphs of text. The text you're reading right now is subordinate to a howto type node.
    • I would start with a single root. When it gets big you can create another and move some of your work into it. But the outline structure is a very powerful way to organize your web writing and design work. As soon as you start another root you're stepping outside the outline. There are reasons to do it, when your single outline gets big, but until it does -- you're better off staying within a single outline.
    • I write a lot of blogposts. Every worknote I write is a blogpost. How I do it:
    • 1. Press Return to create a new headline. It can be anywhere. I like to keep them organized by month and day.
    • 2. Type the title of the blogpost in the headline.
    • 3. Choose Set nodetype from the World Outline sub-menu of the Outliner menu in the OPML Editor. Enter blogpost.
    • 4. Enter some text below the blogpost headline.
    • 5. Save. Wait until you hear a beep (that means the save is done).
    • 6. Click the View button. That should open the blogpost in your browser.
    • You can save as often as you like, and you should, for all the usual reasons.
    • You can attach a domain (or cname) to any node. As long as that domain points to the server that your worldoutline software is running on, the worldoutline software will associate that domain with your sub-outline. You can have as many domains in a single outline as you like. This is a real mind-twister, because domains are now pointing into documents. The people who read your site will have no idea how easily you can create these or edit them.
    • That means that each node with a domain attached to it, the one you get to through the hierarchy, and through the domain that's attached to it.
    • You can look at the OPML text of any of my outlines. Just look for the white-on-orange XML icon near the bottom of the page. Click the link to view the OPML text. You can open the outline in the OPML Editor by choosing the Open URL command in the File menu. You can see what the attributes are on any node by putting the cursor on it and looking in the About window. (Choose About OPML from the Window menu.)
    • The OPML source for this outline is at this address.
    • There's lots more to this. Ask questions below, and I'll try if I can to answer them here in the howto.