Case Study: Eclipse Based Structured Notes App

by Pete Carapetyan


Product Concept

Structured data is almost exclusively associated with databases and xml or json, but that doesn't have to be the case.

I spent 2011 and 2012 writing an app to be used as an alternative to Evernote, except, offering the chance to write in a structured outline, or mindmap format.  Structured data is vastly more usable to computers than unstructured data, which was the justifier for the effort.


Humans are very patient with unstructured data in all of it's many forms. Humans are also quite happy to not own their own structured data - leaving that almost entirely to corporations and the state.

Thus, there is no need for an app which anticipates a reversal of these two trends. It was, appropriately, mothballed.

Technologies Adapted

Written in Eclipse RCP, an OSGi based modular system, the app featured a carefully architected API with dozens of modules, and made it through 56 versioned installers before being taken back off the market.

Features of the app included stateless communication between modules for server and desktop configuration, standard DND and editing features, and several iterations of database and other technologies.

While this effort ended up being more of a laboratory for developing future modularity skillsets and tooling, much was gained, including a long list of technologies to leave behind after deep exploration.