It's time for the command revolution!
Commands have been a big part of computing ever since the 1970's. Their power comes from their simplicity. Just type a word or two to do what you want. The time has come to bring this power together with the usability and convenience of modern interfaces.
Awesome new shell commands
xsh: Introducing Xikishell!
How Xiki compares to traditional shell consoles
If you want to see how Xiki compares to the traditional way of running shell commands, you may like this video better than the main one:
What the money will be used for
If this campaign succeeds, the money will let me dedicate the time needed to bring this next, drastically improved, version of Xiki to the world. Xiki plugins for Sublime and Vim will be created. The installer and initial user experience will be greatly improved (largely by adding contextual menus everywhere). The integration with the shell will be improved. To enable supporting new Xiki plugins, the core of Xiki will be refactored. It will do the heavy lifting so the plugins will no longer have to.
If the campaign succeeds in a dramatic way, I'll be able to add more plugins, collaborate with more of you on the code and new menus, and pay collaborators to do some of the work for/with me (I'll want to pair with them very closely during the process).
- Refactor of the Xiki core: 3 months
- Supporting 2 new text editors or IDEs: 4 months (likely Vim and Sublime, but it depends on what everyone votes for - also which one is implemented first depends on the votes)
- Fulfilling Kickstarter Rewards: 4 months
- Install Process improvement: 1 month
- Initial user experience improvement: 1 month
- Improved integration with the shell: 1 month
Shirts and Laptop Stickers
The shirts are American Apparel 50/50 blend. Very soft, top-quality shirts. The laptop stickers are made by StickerMule.
You can choose one of these 3 shirts for the "I saved xiki" reward (plus you get a T-Shirt). They say "i backed xiki" below the logo. I haven't chosen the brands yet for these, but they will be top quality.
Xiki is open and flexible. It's open source, and brings together tools, languages, shells, and text editors, rather than competing with them. Open formats and languages are the best thing for the tech ecosystem. HTML and JSON made the web what it is today. And the web arguably made everything else.
Xiki strives to be the simplest possible way (and ways) to create interactive interfaces. This means a text in and text out interface. Since everything is text, almost nothing is against the rules when you're creating an interface in Xiki. Xiki stands for "expanding wiki", and is inspired by the wiki philosophy of fully editable text, with simple syntaxes (like ">" for a heading, and "-" for a bullet). Xiki extends wiki ideas to user interface in general.
Quotes about Xiki
"My life just changed forever"
"My god... It's beautiful"
"Xiki changes everything"
"Is this real life?"
"My brain just exploded"
"it looks totally mind blowing"
"the most innovative and useful application I've ever seen!"
"#magnificent #dynamite #superdope #outofsight"
"my head just exploded"
"what a shell on LSD looks like. So innovative it's a bit frightening."
"The future has landed"
"MY MIND IS BLOW"
"Wow @xiki just blew my mind!"
"Holy mother of god!"
"HOLY **** THIS IS AWESOME"
"MY MIND IS ******* BLOWING AND ALL MY COWORKERS TOO :>"
"Holy. ****. Wow."
(excerpts from tweets)
"Suitably blown away" (Avdi Grimm)
"It's kind of mind expanding (James Edward Gray)
"I've seen lots of software called wiki. But rarely do I see software that challenges me to think deeply about what it means to interact with software. We're still just scratching the surface of what software can do but xiki scratches deeper than most. Pay attention." (Ward Cunningham, inventor of the wiki)
Pair with me!
I've pair programmed on Xiki with many people all over the world, and it's been fantastic, both remotely and in person in coffee shops in SF. Tweet me at http://twitter.com/xiki and we'll get together and pair! I'll be giving precedence to contributors to this campaign, but will pair with anyone! It's a great way for developers to connect with each other, and bring new ideas into a project. In my opinion, reaching out and pair programming with people on open source projects will play a huge role in the future of how we'll hook up with cool projects and gigs.
Pair with me on Xiki!
Xiki is made with collaboration in mind. It's easy to get lost when someone you are collaborating with is navigating all over the place. With Xiki, you can create notes and navigation that you can save and go back to, to help orient yourself or the person you're collaborating with.
Getting Xiki (or at least the basic Xiki format) working across more platforms will be an ongoing process. Including devices and web frameworks. I have a working version of a rails plugin, that lets you drop commands into your rails app. Down the road, a node.js version might be desirable.
In the coming years so many smart watches and other devices will be coming available. This is very exciting, but the trend is for each watch and phone to have it's own proprietary (or open, but proprietary in practice) API. Let's reverse this trend! Most apps (or at least their main structures) boil down to nested lists of choices. There should be a (or perhaps many) very simple languages for defining the main navigation of an app (the nested lists of choices). Xiki is on the path to being such a format. As it is, you can type a few nested menu items (with 2-space indenting) and use it on the command line, in a text editor, in a web browser, and as a service.
It's crazy that in 2014 there isn't a dead-simple language that you can type a few lines of, and then deploy a simple but usable app to desktops, the web, and phones, and other devices. It should be easy to create the main navigation for an app (just by making a text file), and drop it into any platform. Then for the specifics of what some of the items in your navigation do, platform specific code may of course be necessary.
Generating a Pebble or iPhone app from a Xiki command is probably pretty achievable. Tweet me if you're interested in pairing on either of these!
Here's a video of Xiki from 2012. It's slower-paced and more developer-centric. It doesn't show the newest Xiki features, but shows some cool stuff that's been in Xiki for a while, that's not shown in the video above:
This video generated some excitement, but most people who tried to use it ran into problems with the install and user experience. At the time I wanted to spend my resources developing new features, that would help the user experience in the long run. Between now and then, Xiki has come a long, long way. This Kickstarter is about shifting focus to reaching out to users, which means giving them what they've asked for. The main requests from people were improving the installer and the initial user experience, and getting Xiki working in other text editors, like Sublime and Vim.
Are you a company?
Check out the rewards on the right for including a command for your company in the Xiki distribution! See the Twilio command in the video for an example. Your command will be included for all Xiki users. They can over-ride it if they desire, but it will be included by default. Here are some videos of commands:
Risks and challenges
Supporting other text editors elegantly is going to require a big refactor of the code base. This will take some time, but I've got a great plan for it, involving having the text editor plugins do minimal work and just passing the file and line number to Xiki.
Some text editors and IDEs don't allow their plugins to control the right-click menu. This means traditional right-clicking will not work in them, until their authors support this. However, the text-only version of right-clicking (that I show in the above video) will be supported in all cases. Though it is slightly less pretty, is just as powerful, and requires fewer key presses than a GUI dropdown.
Some text editors and IDEs can't run asynchronous shell commands. Currently the Aquamacs and Emacs Xiki plugins are fully supported, and async commands can run in the text editor window. For Sublime and Vim, Xiki will send async commands to an external terminal app to run them (iTerm or Terminal.app on OSX).
Xiki doesn't currently support Windows. If enough people back this campaign and tweet me at @xiki requesting Windows support, I'll add a reward category for it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (41 days)