TfT interop & Org-mode

Tony Confrey

Created: 2022-05-28 Sat 14:53

TfT & Me

  • Me
    • Knowledge Engineer during the 2nd AI Winter, late 80's
    • Telecom interop (SNMP, CMIP, TL1…)
    • Semantic web (RDF, XML, OWL, Topic Maps),
    • HealthCare interop (HL7, FHIR, SMART on FHIR, SNOMED, ICD10…)
    • BrainTool

  • Tools for Thought
    • Maggie Appleton's Cultural Systems
    • The OG TfT - The Meme (in the Richard Dawkins sense)
  • Vs 'PKM', 'Productivity Tools' or 'Second Brain Apps (SBAs)'?

Meme Machine

What are SBA's?

  • Tasks/To-do Managers
  • Journaling tools
  • Outliners
  • Note takers
  • Bookmark and resource managers
  • Calendaring and reminders
  • Zettlekasten, Linked Blocks
  • Macros and automations

SBA InterOp

  • Why InterOp
    • Tools come and go
    • N x Simple Best of breed tools >> 1 x Kitchen sink tool
    • Sharing/reuse at the individual and group level
    • Users have realtime ownership of their data
    • The unknowns of the global brain and human progress
      • The ML path forward
      • The Web3 path forward

SBA InterOp

  • SBA Primitives
    • Outlines/header hierarchies (addressable, context)
    • Marked up text (Bold, underline etc), images
    • Links - to local items and remote resources
    • Lists
    • Tables
    • Tasks with life-cycles, schedules and priorities
    • Tags
    • Properties, meta comments, executable blocks


20 years of evolution in the Walled Garden of emacs,

hidden behind sky high learning curves,

being continuously improved and refined

by process and productivity savants

to form the most perfect text-based productivity and note taking system known to mankind!

It natively supports all the outlined primitives.

Architectural overview


  1. Open BT Saver and save preso
  2. Show Topic Manager w page open under TFT InterOp
  3. Close tab w button, edit it add note
  4. Open tft interop in a window
  5. Show search BT-Admin, Add TODO
  6. Drop into emacs, show BrainTool file and structure, note TODO, table, list etc
  7. Open agenda, narrow to BT file, expand, narrow to BT10 tags,
  8. Show Follow mode, mark #5 task as done
  9. Show preso is also org data, note BTParentTopic
  10. Back to Topic Manager, refresh, show task updated, view tables and list in card
  11. Import preso file, show alignment in tree and access to resources
  12. Open from imported link and show stuff in LogSeq
  13. Show video of same thing in Plain Org

On Mobile - Android

On Mobile - iOS


An iteration on Voits OrgDown

Orgdown 'feature' Description
OD-0 Read and write plain text, preserving any markup.
OD-Outlines Nested outlines/headers with paragraph text.
OD-Markup Basic text markup (bold, italic etc). Also [ [links] ].
OD-ListsAndCheckboxes Bulleted and numbered lists. Lists of checkbox items.
OD-Tables Tables with formatting.
OD-Tasks Basic todo/done plus configurable lifecycle. Priorities, deadlines
OD-Tags Tag assignment to outline headers with inheritance along the outline hierarchy.
OD-Properties (Name, Value) meta-data properties associated with an Outline or File. Ignored Comment sections.
OD-Automations Executable blocks that carry information allowing them to be run in a given context.

Other Factors and Options

  • Why not Markdown?
    • Which Markdown, extended how?
  • What about these new Block Protocols?
    • No real contradiction, they solve an orthogonal problem
  • Performance / scaling ?!
    • striping and caching
  • But there are better ways to do it!
    • The best standard seldom wins…
    • but available now, good enough, and widely used can get you to InterOp…
    • and InterOp often opens huge new opportunities.
    • Plus, Plain Text is SOOO nice!

Q&A, References

  • ??

Org-based Tools

The topic manager for your online life

The next big thing in SBA's

Org on your iPhone!

Org on your Android!

Doesn't work for me, but honorable mention.

Org-Mode Parsers