Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Search for the Ultimate Writing Machine

I've been dreaming of the perfect writing platform, one that combines the spidery mind maps of FreeMind, the flexible outlining of the OPML Editor, the textual editing flexibility of Word (which also includes outlining functions, by the way) and another soon-to-be-indispensable research related feature: a contextual search tool that automatically finds information related to what one is writing about and drops it at one's feet.

My dreams are not far from reality. Contextual search is already a known quantity.

Contextual search is "a search for records or documents based upon the text contained in any part of the file as opposed to searching on a predefined key field" (source). The contextual search tool I've been playing with is called Watson. This movie shows how it works.

Perhaps contextual searching could be brought to webOutliner and the capacity for collaboration added to the mix.

Update: Pico is another contextual search tool that integrates with applications.

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