For awhile, instead of constraint systems
, I thought I'd do writing systems, and it would be a series of different writing interfaces + sites. The interfaces and the presentation would reflect different writing intentions. One for stream-of-consciousness notes, one a level of polish on top of that (or maybe a level of structure), and one fully polished. The idea is to experiment with how interfaces and presentation can make expression easier.
Scrawl is a version of the unpolished app and so far I would say the experiment is going OK? It is easier for me to write here knowing the expectations I have set for myself is that it will be unpolished. It will be interesting to see when/if I structure this stuff up into something more polished. I might need to make some sort of external commitment (maybe a talk?) to make sure I get that done at some point.
One piece that is not in place yet is a system for creating sketches or graphics along with this content. I would like to make an app where you could switch into drawing mode at a similar fidelity to the level you're writing at. That's partly what some of the constraint system drawing apps could become -- you could write a paragraph, switch to drawing mode, and a keyboard-editable canvas would be dropped in. There too, I would try to productively limit options so that you have what you need to get a concept across visually, but not to fiddle beyond that. Draw quickly, and switch back over to writing. The idea is to keep you in flow. (It might be a keyboard-based diagram-ish thing or it might be that you can switch to free-hand drawing and it's just the stroke is big enough to convey that this is a rough sketch.)
I'm going to keep experimenting. I'll keep running scrawl and see how that feels. I'll think about what it could look like to take some of these scrawl notes and structure them up. And I'll keep experimenting with the drawing tools at constraint systems. And maybe at some point they'll merge.