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Xiki brings the power of shell commands to everyone, and gives advanced shell users insane flexibility. Read more

2,490
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$84,165
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on July 20, 2014.

Xiki brings the power of shell commands to everyone, and gives advanced shell users insane flexibility.

About this project

Find Xiki on twitter at twitter.com/xiki and xsh at xsh.org

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

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xsh: Introducing Xikishell!

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How Xiki compares to traditional shell consoles

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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).

Project Plan

  • 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.

Philosophy

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.

Xiki's future

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!

Older video

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:

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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:

PubNub:

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Twilio:

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Heroku:

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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

FAQ

  • Yes! That makes it harder to get people to back the campaign with large sums of money, but is a more open beneficial approach in the long run, I think!

    Last updated:
  • Mac and Linux. Maybe Windows eventually.

    Last updated:
  • Back the campaign! Blog, Tweet, and share the facebook page (http://twitter.com/xiki, http://facebook.com/xikirevolution). Tell your friends about Xiki, and invite them to the facebook page. Consider some of the higher reward categories, we have a long way to go, but we can bring openness and flexibility to the future of tech!

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    142 backers

    Spread the word! Show you want to spread the word about Xiki - it's a huge help! You'll receive updates about the campaign.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    978 backers

    Get access to videos of commands I create in collaboration with backers during the campaign! (All other pledge amounts get this as well.) And 1 vote for which text editors or IDEs will be Xiki-enabled first (2 will be chosen).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    506 backers

    Three Xiki Laptop Stickers. 3 votes for which text editors or IDEs will be Xiki-enabled first.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    216 backers

    Xiki T-Shirt (see image below) and Sublime Support. And 10 votes for Xiki-enabling Sublime.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    203 backers

    Xiki T-Shirt (see image below) and Vim Support. You get a Xiki tshirt, and 10 votes for Xiki-enabling Vim.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $45 or more

    203 backers

    Xiki T-Shirt and 2 Xiki Laptop Stickers. 15 votes for which text editors or IDEs will be Xiki-enabled first.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $80 or more

    20 backers All gone!

    EARLY BIRD: 40 Minute Pair Programming Session. Collaborate with the creator of Xiki. Remote pairing via google hangouts or something similar.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $80 or more

    19 backers

    2 Xiki T-Shirts and 5 Xiki Laptop Stickers. 35 votes for which text editors or IDEs will be Xiki-enabled first.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    69 backers

    The "I saved Xiki" reward. Your choice of a hoodie, sweatshirt, or collared shirt (see pictures to the left!). Plus a tshirt. Your name will be included on a list distributed in the Xiki source code (higher tiers will be on the list as well). 42 votes for which text editors or IDEs will be Xiki-enabled first.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    12 backers Limited (288 left of 300)

    40 Minute Pair Programming Session. Collaborate with the creator of Xiki. Remote pairing via google hangouts or something similar.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    5 backers Limited (70 left of 75)

    A Xiki Command For Your Project. Provide the working code or pair with me, and I'll turn it into a working Xiki command! (Limited to 2 hours of my time.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer Limited (29 left of 30)

    EARLY BIRD: Command and Video. A command for your company. And I'll make a video demo'ing it, and post the video on xiki.org. (The command won't be included in the Xiki distribution by default.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    SUPER EARLY BIRD: Command for you company included in the Xiki distribution.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (300 left of 300)

    Command and Video. A command for your company. And I'll make a video demo'ing it, and post the video on xiki.org. (The command won't be included in the Xiki distribution by default.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    EARLY BIRD: Command for your company included in the Xiki distribution.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (50 left of 50)

    Command for your company included in the Xiki distribution.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $3,000 or more

    0 backers

    You believe in Xiki, and just want to support it in a big way. You'll be listed as a supporter of Xiki.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10,000

    2 backers

    You believe in Xiki, and want to support it in a huge way. Your logo will be on the front page of xiki.org and xsh.org for a year. And you'll be touted widely as one of the companies who saved the Xiki Kickstarter campaign, on twitter, in emails to the 1500+ backers, in screencasts, etc.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (41 days)