Mesh Announcement Notes
I posted about Mesh on Friday afternoon Sydney time (2017-07-21) on Reddit and later in the night on Hacker News. During the following Monday, and possibly before then too, it was one of the top ten trending open source projects on GitHub (based on # daily stars)!
There were many perspectives on what people wanted, not all compatible:
- get a web demo up ASAP, to make it as easy as possible for people to try it
- focus on the 'coding interface' aspect - an editor UI that makes it easier to code
- UI improvements:
- single-command or syntax to create a name and populate the value/column/columns
- mass import of values from files, text (such as CSV) (note this is specifically talking about turning it into JS syntax, rather than consuming a CSV as a JS object)
- may be (more) suitable for other languages - R, Lua, Python (pandas)
- consider integrating 2D syntax
- make it clearer as to what problem Mesh is trying to solve, and how it solves it
- varying feedback on how to pitch it:
- some said it's not an IDE, but more of a programmer-friendly spreadsheet (ie take best bits of Excel but with JS instead of VBA); per this Reddit comment, "Excel gives you an overview and allows you to experiment and test ideas with your data quickly"
- others thought the benefit wasn't worth the extra effort
- similar to Eve and IntelliJ IDEA's 'stream' debugger
- would be good to be able to integrate the Mesh code into Mesh files, so they're self-contained - while retaining the ability for other programs to read the Mesh files as pure JS. [I had a go at this here]
- make it feel more like a spreadsheet (plenty to do with this one)
- some concerns about security and sandboxing.
You could make products from combinations of the following:
- programmer-friendly spreadsheet (like Excel, "gives you an overview and allows you to experiment and test ideas with your data quickly")
- souped-up spreadsheet program with Mesh embedded (the more features that are added, the more bloaty this will be). Quoting a comment from carussell: 'a quick and dirty TiddlyWiki-like tool that just lets average people make basic tables would go far in dislodging Excel from places where it's burrowed down and is screaming "wrong tool for the job"'.
Right now my priorities are:
- update attachment mechanism so that attachments are processed as a single array of objects, instead of a
Mesh.attachcall for each name
- create a web demo
- figure out how to handle records (array of objects / object of arrays)... this will be hard, but is important
- create a couple of showcases on how Mesh can be used (ideally things it does better than existing tools for both spreadsheets and 'traditional' text-file programming).