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Dave Winer debuts 'classic' Little Outliner

Outline software, blogger, and RSS pioneer Dave Winer is going back to the future with a new company focused on outliner apps.

Little Outliner screenshot.

Nearly 30 years ago, Dave Winer brought outlining to the digital masses with a Think Tank and MORE for the Mac and PC. Now he is going back to the future with Little Outliner, which launched this week. It's a basic outliner that currently works only in HTML 5-based browsers. An outline can only be accessed on the machine it was created on, and formatting options are limited. However, Winer said he has plans for his new company, Small Picture, to build more sophisticated outlining products than the "classic" Little Outliner, and enable what he calls "networks of outlines" in the coming months.

Winer, who built the first blogging software platform and helped develop RSS, told CNET, "We have this core outlining engine written in JavaScript. Little Outliner is the equivalent in functionality to MORE, which came out in 1986, but you should expect more from us in the coming weeks and months. We'll find out what people do with Little Outliner and fix and refine it. We have our theories about what the next thing will be, but we have to see how people use it."

Dave Winer (Credit: Dan Farber)

The lack of versions of Little Outliner for tablets and smartphones will be addressed in weeks, not months, Winer said.

Little Outliner joins a crowd of outliners and note-takers, such as Evernote and Google Keep, available for the desktop, web, and mobile devices. But Winer is confident he can make a difference. "I have always wanted to have ubiquitous outlining," he said. "The opportunity presented itself to do it. I found a great programmer, Kyle Shank, to work with, who is very knowledgeable about making apps that run in the browser with JavaScript. It's a new beginning."