Enso 2.0 Design Thoughts

As part of the our move to Mozilla and thinking about a free-as-in-speech Enso, I want to be more transparent with our design directions and goals. Our designs can only benefit by incorporating the criticism and suggestions of the community we have here. Open-source design is a balancing act between making final decisions and finding consensus. We hope to take the lessons that Jono spelled out in his excellent article on successfully humane open-source projects and use them in our own projects.

This post is about the new directions we are taking Enso. If you haven’t done so yet, start by reading about some of the motivations for doing some Enso redesign. In short:

  • Enso shouldn’t make you type all of “open” every time
  • Enso should be able to open paths and urls
  • Enso should support international character input
  • Enso should gracefully handle the case where there’s no convenient place to enter text
  • Enso shouldn’t require you to type out text, select it, and then run a command when you’d rather run the command and then enter the text (think calculate)
  • Enso shouldn’t make you hold down a key while typing lots of characters

We think we’ve solved these problems with our Enso 2.0 redesign. In this post, and possible follow on posts, I’ll walk through the new stuff. I should note that our upcoming prototype will not yet have have all of the features mentioned here. (more…)

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