MyWord Editor Milestones

Flakey Foont used to say, "Is dis a system?"

Dave wrote, "Things are still pretty disorganized docs-wise, the product is still coming together."

It isn't easy keeping up with Dave Winer, especially for me during tax season (my profession). He's developing this platform full time, releasing new versions and adding features every day. Which means it's getting better and better every day.

I have limited time right now, so I decided to just keep track of changes as they happen, to put together a bit of a timeline of what has been going on with MyWord Editor, recently and then going forward. Of course these are milestones (defined as an action or event marking a significant change or stage in development) from my view of things as a writer and user of the software. The more technical types might consider other things to be milestones, perhaps preferring to follow the notes at GitHub for the software. Here I am listing the things that changed what I could do with the MyWord Editor platform, with the most important ones having a [:bangbang:] emoji. A bit of history is thrown in, as well.

But First, an Overview

In his notes at GitHub, Dave Winer summed it up this way:
"This app runs on the user's computer, in a browser. It's a JavaScript app. It communicates via a simple API, with a nodeStorage server, that uses Twitter for identity and Amazon S3 for storage. That server, like the app, is open source."
Then he specified where to get support:
"If you're a developer, or running a server, please ask questions on the server-snacks mail list.
"If you're a blogger, and need help writing with MWE, please join the myword-editor mail list.
"In either case, please read the docs and scratch your head at least a little before asking for help."

MyWord Editor Timeline

15 February 2015 - In his fourth posting on his MyWord blog Dave gave his vision for where this new technology could go. ". . . we're ready to build the next layer of the Internet."

7 March 2015 - Dave created a whitelist to allow those who wanted to try out the software to be able to use the editor for the first time. I jumped at the chance and posted my first article, which Dave told me was the first one ever posted using MyWord Editor by anyone besides himself.

8 March 2015 - Dave announced that one can set a default image to be used when one is not specified in the editor.

13 March 2015 - On the seventh day of using the editor, I posted a long article detailing the features I had tried out, with great results, but with some difficulty in using Markdown lists. The next day I published it to the myword-editor support mail-list and soon had messages from both Dave and Todd McKinney about how to use a blank line between items in a Markdown list, as well as an example from Dave of the results.

19 March 2015 - Dave announced that MyWord Editor would be silo-free from the start. :bangbang:

20 March 2015 - In v0.47 Dave added the switch server option which opens up the possibility of using the editor on other domains. On the server-snacks support list the same day, he wrote, "I really need people to try this out and let me know if it is or isn't working. Can't move forward until we get a reasonable amount of confirmation." Folks did try it out and within days some had their own servers running.

23 March 2015 - Dave released MWE as an open source, free blogging tool to the world. :bangbang:

26 March 2015 - Dave released v0.55 which added the sidebar on the left, accessed by clicking on the hamburger icon in the upper left corner of the page. MyWord Editor postings were no longer isolated essays. They were now tied together with this sidebar listings of posts. MyWord Editor had become a blogging system. :bangbang:

26 March 2015 - And on the same day, Dave provided Google Analytics support with v0.56. After all, bloggers like to be able to see their website traffic, don't they!

27 March 2015 - Dave released v0.58 which added the History Menu in the editor, a listing of the articles like the sidebar listing, but for the writer this time, rather than for the reader.

27 March 2015 - The same day, Dave described how the software was going to be radically silo-free.

27 March 2015 - The same day on his Liveblog, Dave said, "MWE captured me. Sorry for the lack of updates here."

28 March 2015 - And the very next day, Dave said that silo-free is not enough.

29 March 2015 - Dave demonstrated the new Templates feature in v0.60 in his posting using the Plain Template, which is just this. :bangbang:

30 March 2015 - Dave demonstrated the Hyde Template in a posting, but that template had not yet been publicly released with v0.60, which had only the Default and Plain templates.

31 March 2015 - Dave asked for help in possibly selecting a new improved JavaScript editor for this train that is rolling!

1 April 2015 - Dave announced that with v0.62 Disqus comments could be included in MyWord Editor postings, using either the Default or Plain templates. Examples were posted by Dave and by Jeffrey Kishner, who was using his own custom template on his own server implementation of the software. With Disqus comments not turned on, postings using the Plain template had a one-line empty rectangular box below the end of the posting, presumably where the Disqus comment field would normally go. See below.

1 April 2015 - On the same day, Dave's standard footer (see below) first appeared at the bottom of postings using the Plain template from Dave's server. It had been there before on postings using the Default template. The name of the writer included a link to whatever About link they used in their Twitter profile and MyWord Editor included a link to the latest version of the editor. At the very end was the icon for an RSS feed, which showed that writer's RSS feed when clicked. We also noticed that emojis worked for the first time that day, when using the Plain template. They were already working with the Default template.

2 April 2015 - Dave released v0.63 which makes it possible for JavaScript programmers to replace the editor in MyWord Editor with a choice of their own. He then posted a discussion of this in a posting in his MyWord blog.

3 April 2015 - Dave wrote further about his idea of having plug-in editors for this new blogging platform. Who will be the first to do it? If someone succeeds, then would it still be the MyWord blogging platform, or something else? I'm waiting to see!

3 April 2015 - Dave released v0.64 which included a new config.json element that runs at startup, a feature that has been useful in Fargo.

4 April 2015 - Dave posted comments on Facebook about Gall's Law, which he said, "... explains why in software, we're always starting over" and he proposed Winer's Annex to Gall's Law: "Eventually the evolved system will get so complex that a new simple system boots up, only to get too complex, etc." And round and round we go.

8 April 2015 - On the server-snacks mail list, Andrew Shell announced that he was testing "using handlebars as the template engine." He didn't show any examples of his work on this, but Dave responded by making a change in MWE to make this easier to do.

9 April 2015 - On the my-word editor mail list, Matthew Terenzio announced that he is working on his own general purpose template, "styled in the fashion of". His test pages without and then with the new template can be compared. So this means at least three people have now tried out custom templates on the system. There are no reports yet of anyone plugging custom editors into the software.

11 April 2015 - Andrew Shell had asked for a home page for MyWord Editor postings and on this day Dave linked to a demo home page he had created. He and Andrew exchanged some comments and Andrew posted five test messages.

It's a Starting Point
In the same article, Dave wrote, "I got a pretty good start on a home page, but had to move on . . . I put this out there as a starting point for other programmers and users. Maybe we can work together on this? I'd like to find a way to get other minds working here . . . I'm looking for a discussion, sharing of ideas, and example code."

I have not seen any others expanding upon these ideas in the server-snacks or my-word editor mail lists. And indeed, Dave did move on, to the development of, which seemed to be getting some attention on the Internet, including being featured on Product Hunt one day.

24 April 2015 - After nearly two weeks, Dave posted what he called an ad for MyWord Editor, appealing "for the people who own Medium to not try to turn blogging into another silo."

17 June 2015 - Jeffrey Kishner wrote that he discovered the MWE History dropdown menu only displays the last 25 postings, a limitation confirmed by Dave, but with no workaround offered.

5 July 2015 - After over two months of silence about MyWord Editor, Dave posted a surprising update, about having discovered a Javascript WYSIWYG editor that might make it possible to create an open source Medium clone and said, "I expect to have a new version of MWE that uses this editor." In Update #2 in the same posting, he provided a link to an example of a page created with this new version of MWE. In response to a comment on the posting, he encouraged the commenter to "Use MyWord Editor, and encourage others to use it."

5 July 2015 - Just three hours before that update, Dave had posted in his RSS feed that he had been working on "my personal page at". It is interesting to note that his newly expanded page at that time he did not list MyWord Editor as one of his Software Products; either Current, or "Gone but not forgotten".

14 July 2015 - The brilliant Melody Kramer posted a conversation with Dave Winer. This is an excellent compilation of what he has been writing about for a very long time. In her introduction she links to the MyWord Editor, describing it as "an open source version of Medium," which is her assessment, not Dave's. When asked to list his tools for journalists, he omits MyWord Editor. And a bit later he says, "We do not yet have an open source Medium alternative. We’re close. The software itself is fairly trivial. We just need to have the will to do it, and so far, it has not come together. However, I’m optimistic that it will." Then he points to it as one of the "bits and pieces" that could be used to build a "good open alternative to Medium." He says, "I’m trying to get them to come together in a product that people will find as easy to use and beautiful as Medium, and open. They are entitled to the best, without any sacrifice of access or longevity of the content."


Use Twitter mentioning @W6AZ, or why not write a response on your own blog & link to it from your Tweet?
Text :copyright: 2015 by Ron Chester using the Plain template.
30 March 2015, last updated on 14 July 2015 with v0.65 of MWE.