[CentOS] Outliner

Sun Apr 14 20:30:30 UTC 2019
Warren Young <warren at etr-usa.com>

On Apr 14, 2019, at 4:42 AM, H <agents at meddatainc.com> wrote:
> Ideally it should allow saving files in txt, OO and markdown formats…

Since you included Markdown in the list, my initial question was why don’t you just write in that format, since the Markdown list features capture most of what I want in an outliner.  Then I saw in a later post that you’re using an editor (Geany) without intelligent formatting for Markdown.

So that’s my recommendation: switch to a text editor that does intelligent things with Markdown like continuing the list when you hit Enter from within a list item, adding a level to the list when you hit Tab within a list, returning to the prior level with a Shift-Tab, auto-indenting list items when you hit the editor’s wrapping limits, etc.

I’m not sure what distinction you’re trying to make by listing “txt” output along with Markdown, so I don’t know what transform to suggest.

As for “OO”, I assume that means OpenOffice, in which case what you actually mean is ODF, its file format.  And for that, I suggest that you use Pandoc, which will get Markdown into that format and many more:

    $ pandoc --to odt x.md > x.odt
    $ pandoc --list-output-formats

As for the actual editor, there are several choices.  The first one I reached for was VSCodium, which is Microsoft Visual Studio Code with the branding, telemetry and non-FOSS licensed stuff stripped out.  (Shades of CentOS vs RHEL…)

I’m working with a text-only CentOS VM here and couldn’t get a GUI running on it — a problem I’ll take up in a separate thread — so I’ll just point you at the VSCodium Linux install instructions and hope they work for you there:


Once you’ve got VSCodium running, you’ll need to install the “Markdown All In One” plugin.  (Ctrl-Shift-P, install, search for Markdown, select first option [currently] listed.)  That will do as described above: auto-number, auto-indent, Tab/Shift-Tab to change indent level, etc.

The availability of such plugins is a large part of the reason Code is taking over so much of the programmer’s text editor world.  Give it a try.

If VSCodium doesn’t work on CentOS, you could try Visual Studio Code, the original project, which probably has better packaging:


I used that for probably a few years before VSCodium came along.  Don’t be scared by the branding: it shares almost nothing with Visual Studio other than branding and a parent organization.

If you really want a CLI-only experience, I got a suitable setup working with Vim and the Bullets plugin:


Instead of Tab and Shift-Tab to change indent levels it uses Ctrl-T and Ctrl-D, which I find odd, but that’s the sort of affordance you have to give up on when you’re working in an ANSI terminal.