I was looking back through logs and posts and thinking about all of the half-baked projects I’ve spent my time on over the last few years. I started compiling a list and figured I’d post it for posterity. The following are the projects that stick out to me as either being pretty cool or, at the least, having potential.

Fair warning: this is going to be ridiculously long. You should see the pile of things that didn’t make the list. I don’t expect many people to read all the way through, I’m just assuming I’ll look back at this in a year with nostalgia, having already let the memories of some of these ideas drift into dark recesses of my mind. I’d already almost forgotten some of these…

Starting with more active projects and moving toward completely dead ones:

A Markdown previewer that tracks file changes and updates automatically. This is where most of my time goes when I’m coding right now. I need to start working on a new app, but there are so many cool things left to do with it. This is really the only project I have outside of my day job that actually pays bills, so it tends to get the most attention.
Markdown QuickTags
I wrote this WordPress plugin for those times when you’re stuck editing in a web browser. Having a full set of Markdown tools–including reference title autocompletion–is pretty handy and sometimes better than the next available desktop editor.
A Markdown-friendly teleprompter web app. Compatible with iPhone and iPad as well as Desktop. Paste some Markdown and go. Recently updated to allow better speed control.
This is where the crazy starts to really show. My KeyBindings experiments are getting out of hand. That said, there are some amazingly powerful tricks in there, and you can chop it up and just take what you want (or what your muscle memory can handle).
An in-progress app for converting the web to Markdown and filing it locally. I’m not sure yet if it will come to fruition, but the underpinnings are there.
A cheat sheet app that you can assign to a hotkey and have all of your cheat sheets in with the press of a button. Includes jQuery, CSS3, Vim, MultiMarkdown and more, plus it’s really simple to extend and build your own cheat sheets. Recently moved to GitHub to try and promote some community sheet-sharing (see the download link in the post).
My massive, crowd-sourced compilation of iOS Text Editor information. It started as a Google Spreadsheet, but people can’t be trusted to edit willy-nilly like that. I should have known. I still take submissions, though, so help me keep it up-to-date!
Proximity hacking
Part of my long-running battle with Bluetooth proximity detection dependability. I’ll be posting a new update soon, but I’m beginning to fear I may never win this battle.
Logging experiments
If you like to keep track of what you’re doing–whether your memory is as faulty as mine or you just want a decent record of your time–you should check out the logging experiments I’ve pulled together so far. VoodooPad, Day One, Terminal/text solutions and more.
Marky and Marky Services
This is the web version of Gather, and it’s working really well for me. The collection of Services I’ve started allows me to clip web pages straight to nvALT quickly and easily, and grab Markdown to my clipboard from any web page. You can use it as a Readability/Instapaper Mobilizer replacement, too.
A command line tool for OmniFocus. Allows for a special syntax that lets you define projects, contexts, due dates, flags, etc. all in one line of text.
Markdown Spotlight Plugin
OS X doesn’t differentiate very well between different types of text files, and this is complicated by the array of extensions used on them. This plugin helps Spotlight pick up your Markdown files and index them for searching.
MultiMarkdown QuickLook with style
A fork of Fletcher Penney’s MMD Quick Look that allows you to put a custom style in your home folder and have it applied to any Quick Look preview of a Markdown file. Some very sexy styles are included.
Instapaper Beyond
This was a monster project. I added full keyboard navigation and feature access to the Instapaper website via Safari Extensions. Then I got distracted. It needs some love, and it will get it… but it still works pretty darn well.
Another Safari Extension that gives you a list of all your open tabs as plain text, and you can define the format of the output with a template. Clip bookmarks to any application that can store text, and then use an Open URL Service or my Open URLs Dropzone Destination to restore a session.
My “Next Action” script for working with todo.taskpaper files from the command line.
A quick experiment with Python Readability and HTML2Text. Still one of the best local implementations I have for converting web pages to Markdown for storage.
This is a “Jacket” for the Simplify music player. It’s grungy. I like it. Still use it, actually.
A script to help me build and access a text-based knowledge repository. Any time I answer a question for myself, I add the question and the answer to the stack. QuickQuestion can then answer questions based on fuzzy searches for prior answers.
I use this one daily. It runs automatically and stores Pinboard bookmarks as local webloc files, with the ability to add thumbnails and OpenMeta tags (converted directly from Pinboard tags). Just one more way to make sure my web discoveries don’t fade away on me.
Blogsmith Bundle and other TextMate experiments
This is probably the biggest of all of my non-Marked projects. I spent a couple of years building this set of Blogging tools, complete with grammar-checking, word repetition, Markdown conversion, automatic linking tools, tagging tools… it’s a beast.
This is a TextMate bundle with an accompanying plugin for WordPress that allows you to automatically find appropriate tags based on your existing folksonomy, and suggest additional relevant tags based on content.
TinyMCE Button Skeleton
I’m not even sure this still works, actually, but it’s been really popular. It’s basically a how-to for adding your own buttons to the WordPress Visual Editor. I use Markdown QuickTags for everything now, and I haven’t seen the Visual editor for years. Might still be worth something.
A Dropzone destination for pulling multiple links into a single bundled link for sharing. It also has bit.ly support for shortening single links, but that’s currently broken until we work out an oauth solution for the new API.
Open URLs
Another Dropzone Destination for opening all urls in the dropped text (or clipboard text if clicked). Works great in combination with TabLinks.
TextExpander Snippets
You know I love me some TextExpander. More snippets coming once I’ve played around with version 4 a little bit longer.
If you like GeekTool, I have some ideas for your desktop.
Convert Date service (update)
This is still one of my favorites. It takes natural language strings and turns them into formatted dates. You can use it in almost any editor or text field in OS X. I have a similar TextExpander snippet (Make-A-Date) in the Tools section, too.
Clip to Day One Service
A System Service for passing selected text directly to a Day One entry.
Convert Inline Footnotes
A Service which allows you to create MultiMarkdown footnotes inline using a special syntax as you type, rendering them out to formatted footnotes when you’re done.
Markdown Service Tools
A large collection of tools to make writing Markdown a breeze no matter what application you’re in. You can even write Markdown with keyboard shortcuts in a comment field in Safari and render it to HTML before you submit it, if you want to.
Auto-link Web Search
Select some text and run this Service and you’ll get a Markdown-formatted link to the first search result for that text. With the right input text, it turns a trip to the browser and back into a single keystroke.
A Service that brings the Sparkup HTML shortcut engine to any application.
Watcher Service
A Service for watching files and taking actions when they’re altered. It’s geared toward web development by default, but with a little AppleScript knowledge you can make just about anything happen.
A System Service version of the Prefixr web service for turning CSS3 prefixes into fully cross-browser-compatible blocks.


It was fun while it lasted. It’s a hack of Safari 4’s “Reader” feature with (in my opinion) way better styling and a ton of extra features. Broken since Safari 5.
I had big plans for this, but before I got it fully functional several apps came out that did it better. I graciously concede.
MoodBlast (long dead, link gone) was where it all started. I learned AppleScript and Objective-C just to see if I could, and ended up building a social networking tool that still hasn’t had a solid competitor. If only it still worked. If you’re curious, here are some historical records.
This is an iPhone web app that you run on a local server and use to control your computer in various ways. It was a simple idea and a decent implementation, but it needs a refresh it probably won’t get (mostly because I never use it). Feel free to pick it apart and do something new with it.

That’s a lot of stuff.

Update: Oh yeah, and nvALT (and its more recent beta, with more credit due to ElasticThreads). How do you forget about something that has 11.710472698 times as many downloads as your second-most-downloaded app? Thanks for the reminder, Kai and Mathias.

Update 2: If you like this stuff, I suppose you could donate. Or send coffee.