Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Some things that are unclear:

1. on kickstarter page: "getting Xiki working in other text editors, like Sublime and Vim." on github: "It has a web interface, but runs best from a Xiki-enabled text editor"

What is a Xiki-enabled text-editor, i.e. what text editors does it support currently?

(FWIW I don't like web-based editors, so it is quite important that the text editor is a real application. I edit blogposts/wikipages with vim and git too, wherever possible, because I just have a feeling of uncertainty that if I press the wrong thing / click the wrong place by accident the browser will loose everything that I typed)

2. security?

If anything can be a command then what happens if I open a malicious file? Do I have to be careful where I click? What if they use Unicode tricks to disguise the command?

3. predictability

similar to #2: how can I know what will happen when I "run" something if commands can be in any place, and interact with anything? Is there a way to preview what the command would do, and what it would interact with?

4. can I install as non-root?

I want to use the system ruby, and I want to try xiki without installing anything as root (except system packages provided by the distribution). The instructions on the github readme are confusing: it shows the sudo instructions, and some rvm instructions, neither of which meet my simple requirements.

I tried running 'bundle --path vendor/bundle', but it failed with an error:

   Gem::Installer::ExtensionBuildError: ERROR: Failed to build gem native extension.

    /usr/bin/ruby2.0 extconf.rb                                                                                                             
  mkmf.rb can't find header files for ruby at /usr/lib/ruby/include/ruby.h

  Gem files will remain installed in /tmp/xiki/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.0.0/gems/json-1.8.1 for inspection.                                       
  Results logged to /tmp/xiki/vendor/bundle/ruby/2.0.0/gems/json-1.8.1/ext/json/ext/generator/gem_make.out                                    
  An error occurred while installing json (1.8.1), and Bundler cannot continue.
5. why ruby?

I'm not a Ruby developer, but I might want to try Xiki. Or is Xiki intended only for Ruby developers? But see #4 for the troubles I run into, it currently looks like one needs to know how to debug Ruby's build system in order to run your application.

1. Currently supports Aquamacs and Emacs. "Xiki-enabled text editor" means a text editor with a Xiki plugin installed. Which, in turn, means you can run Xiki commands right from that text editor (or IDE).

2. Yes, you need to be careful. Similar to being careful to which commands you paste into your shell, and which .sh files and scripts you run and which packages you install. It won't auto-run anything though. And since everything is plaintext, it should help people to review for malicious intent. Maybe some checking for special characters would be a good feature to add.

3. There's no way to preview. If you don't know what a command will probably do and don't trust the source, you probably shouldn't run it. There is a keyboard shortcut for jumping to the source code though!

4. Yes, you can run as non-root. The current version is a bit out of date, and has a rough install process (the Kickstarter is all about improving that). Currently you need ruby 1.9. I need to fix that soon - it probably won't be hard.

5. Ruby is a pretty decent language for manipulating text, and getting stuff done quickly, so it's a good fit for Xiki. You can make a Xiki command via a .py, .js, or .coffee file though, so you don't need to know ruby to make commands!

Registration is open for Startup School 2019. Classes start July 22nd.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact