Read a good post a while back over on Christopher Hawkins' blog, called "Starting in the Middle and Writing," which touched on one of my favorite subjects, the process of developing thought(s) from random musings-in-the-middle to sequential ready-to-present writing. I used to write regularly against a deadline (though you'd never know it from my blog posting of late <g>), and have always been amazed at how "non-linear" the process is, and always has been, for me.
Slowly but surely I am developing some software tools to aid the process, but I'm still amazed at how far there is to go --- and how much opportunity there is --- in the area of creating tools which help humans forge their thinking. I think that amazement is one of the reasons I am prone to occasionally (or not so occasionally) ranting when I see so much wasted programming energy spent developing dancing search puppies or some such nonsense --- there is so much useful work to be done that requires creative skill and energy, why waste it so?
But I digress.... thanks, Chris, for the post and the open comments; I learned about two very cool things from the thread that followed:
1) This book, Weinburg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method, sounds great, and I must own it soon. : ) This guy's metaphor sounds exactly like what I've envisioned (and tried to support), as a writer and thinker, for years. (Free bonus link here)
2) kdissert - A KDE-based mind-mapping tool that is focused on document building (read "dissert" as in dissertation...).