textmockuptool. A daft tool to help me do wireframes of windows in ascii-art. When I mentioned that this is how I do mockups, dobey said that I should join the 21st century. So I videoed myself using it and put the video on YouTube and embedded it with the HTML5 video element. That’s so far into the 21st century that I’m not sure it’ll even work.

Basically, I think that a text mockup of a window is a really simple way to get going. If you see:

| x _   My great app       |
|                          |
| Name:    [_____________] |
| Gender:  (o) M     ( ) F |
| Country: [Andorra     v] |
|                          |
|          [Cancel] [ OK ] |

then it’s reasonably obvious what’s meant: no-one complains about the graphics not being right; it’s incredibly quick to do (that one above took less than a minute — try mocking up that same window in that time in Balsamiq or Pencil or Glade or Qt Designer or Google Sketchup or whatever); and it’s dead easy to show to other people because it’s just text. You can cut-and-paste it into an email; it’s really easy for them to alter (not the case with, say, a PNG), and they’ll definitely have the tools to edit it (not the case with, say, an SVG or a .glade file).

Anyway, the most annoying thing by miles is having to go along and add spaces to all the rows when I want to make the window bigger, and keep toggling between insert mode and overtype mode when I want to add things to the middle of the window. Hence, textmockuptool; now I don’t have to do that. I don’t think the Balsamiq people are gonna be quivering in their boots over something I wrote in an hour, but, hey, I like it.

Code at launchpad, anyway.

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