FoldingText 2.0 and Beyond

Plans changing again!

As mentioned elsewhere… I don’t think the current markdown based foundation of FoldingText 2.0 is right for the outliner I’m trying to build. I’ve been working on that “more perfect outliner” over the last year under the name “FoldingText for Atom”. The goal being to create an outliner that’s more like I want, but that will also support existing FoldingText 2.0 users.

But it’s becoming apparent that approach won’t work. Trying to support lots of FoldingText 2.0 uses is slowing down development of “FoldingText for Atom”. And even with that extra work I’m now convinced that many users of FoldingText 2.0 won’t be happy with the new approach that I’m taking. Many people use FoldingText mostly as a Markdown editor, and that’s the part that I don’t want, so it’s not really solvable I think.

Because of this I’ll be making two big changes:

  1. Mutahhir (who worked with me to build FoldingText) will be joining me to take over FoldingText 2.0. He’s been looking through the code refreshing his memory over the last few days.

    This will be a part time project for Mutahhir. The goal will be to maintain, bug fix, and in generally keep FoldingText 2.0 working and moving forward with small updates. The first goal will be to finish up the long delayed version 2.1. After that the goal will be frequent small improvements.

  2. I’ll continue to work on the FoldingText for Atom codebase, but under a new name as a separate product. Update This has since become TaskPaper 3 which is available at

I haven’t made this switch yet, but sometime in the next few weeks I’ll do the rename and close out the “FoldingText for Atom” section of this forum.


I am relieved that FT is continuing and that there will be a 2.1 version (really want the calc function to work).

An outliner doesnt appeal to me as I use OmniOutliner already, though maybe other will prefer your new Atom app.

Thanks for the update …

Good call! I like getting the best of both worlds without having to dilute either product, which seemed to be the only ways of combing the two in Atom.

Now I can drop my list of .css questions I had about keeping two entirely different stylings available at the same time in Atom. FoldingText 2.0 really does have a clean default layout for writing/reading.

While I’ve been excited about the possibilities for FTA, I haven’t played with it since the early announcements, mainly because I’ve been waiting for a more appealing version to make a switch to (where appealing = “more like FT2”). I imagine there’ll be a point at which I reevaluate FTA to see if the benefits outweigh the cost of making the switch and adopting new workflows, but it’s good to hear that I won’t feel forced to make that shift if I want to keep up with future updates of FT. It’s really good to hear that FT2 will continue to be actively supported, even if that does mean forking FT2 and FTA into two different apps. Thanks, Jesse.

I don’t want to seem critical, but I really would like some kind of stability in FT and related apps, and I hope this will offer that. I have a long stream of apps – WriteRoom (two versions for Mac and formerly the IOS one), TaskPaper (Mac, formerly IOS, still being kept alive there under a different name) and now FoldingText – which are just lovely things to use but then seem to be slowly abandoned. These things are typically components of fairly complicated workflows, and every time they get abandoned I have to find a replacement, and then redo those workflows to use it: I can’t keep doing that.

For what it’s worth: I use FT for Markdown editing, for which it’s superb. I slightly use the outlining but not seriously. I use TaskPaper for task tracking (in a big workflow involving git and dropbox) for which it’s mostly superb although a bit long in the tooth, and I use WriteRoom as a place to write text with no distractions. The thing I like about these tools is that they’re targeted, single-purpose things. I don’t want some kind of latter-day Emacs, which seems to be what Atom is, because I have Emacs when I want it.

I also should point out that data format matters: I want to actually keep track of things, which means I log changes to tasks in git &c &c. If some new shiny tool comes along that will do everything my current tools will do but requires all my data to be in some other format, especially if that format is a pain to edit without support (which is the case for any SGML-derived format) then I’m just not interested. So I’m pretty horrified that TaskPaper seems like it doesn’t have a future.

I’m very glad to hear FT’s development will continue, I think you did the right choice.

I apologize in advance because I already asked this question on Twitter, but now that the scenario has changed maybe the answer will be different (FT has been practically given new life and this seems the right moment to increase the user base via sales promotions): are there any discounts in sight for FT?

Also, 2 things regarding the future of FT are still not clear to me:

  • Will future versions of FT be Markdown-based?
  • Will FT work with plain text (e.g. saving to a .txt file)?


I’m not sure. Mutahhir’s going to be making that decision. He’ll start posting in this forum once he’s got version 2.1 ready to go I think.

Ok. What about markdown and plain text (2nd part of my prev. question)?


Opps sorry, lost track of that part.

FoldingText 2.1 (and beyond) will follow the same basic design of the current FoldingText 2.0. So yes to both of your questions… it will remain markdown based and you’ll still be able to store to a .txt file.

Awesome. Thanks for your answers.

heh heh heh :- )
Thanks a lot for this decision, Jesse! <3

I use FT to manage todo lists; it allows me to write in plain text, presents the lists beautifully, allows me to collapse and expand chapters, and … not to forget the enjoyment of ticking off checkboxes…

While I have sympathies for FTA, it’s so great I can continue to use FT in my workflow without the fear of it becoming abandoned.

Let me echo the other responses here.Thank You! Looking forward to continuing to use FoldingText.