Chat Documents

For nearly a year I've been struggling to build a prototype, solo, what I outlined in Chatting with Glue.

So I'm making an intermediate prototype (Downscoping as a skill (subprojecting)) without the hard parts (privacy, authentication, notifications), using a lightweight realtime database. It'll resemble a chat app but will nominally be a collaborative outliner tool. For meeting notes (Better Meetings) and such.

Word processing and whiteboarding are the wrong metaphors for shared info accretion during a call. You're always worrying about layout and overwriting the other person's thoughts. Need atomicity.

A new kind of document

  • Why is this better than Slack etc?

    • Infinite threading, inline quotation/embellishment does matter, and it matters a ton. It's a whole other mode of thinking (hypothesis)
    • Messages are more malleable/data-like when they're collapsible. Legible more as an outline, a document, a record
      • It doesn't replace Slack, it's another product category
    • Let's find out if it is empirically!
  • What if each chat "workspace" originated with a chat message on the homescreen? The homescreen is a private scratchpad and you can share messages and their descendants with people.

  • Inline hashtags/mentions are crucial, with autocomplete for them to invite accretion

Copy-paste handling needs to be next-level. Drag and drop. It should be as good as a finder window (a la ChatFS)

Related idea: ChatFS