Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 11:16 AM

About Fargo 2 beta

Welcome to the Fargo 2 beta.

If you were a user of Fargo before this release, you should find everything is still where it was. At the surface level, there's not much difference between the two versions.

The CMS is in Fargo

  • The big change is this -- under the hood there's a content management system or CMS. This means that the Fargo running on your computer can do a lot of things that server software like WordPress or Tumblr does, without the server. This means that you have a lot more freedom about where you host your website, and it means there's no central server doing the rendering as there was with the first release of Fargo.

Where to look

Mail list, blog

  • We've got a support mail list for the Fargo 2 beta.

  • There's a blog and it has an RSS feed.

  • Support is only available on the mail list, most definitely not on Twitter. It's impossible to fully describe a problem or a solution in 140 characters. We don't even try. Use the mail list. Thanks.

It's a beta

  • As long as there's a big red BETA in the right margin of the app, it's still provisional and you should expect breakage. Back up your work!

  • When we go final, the version number will change to 2.00 and the BETA will be removed. If all goes well that should happen fairly soon.

Where your work is hosted

  • Rendered content for named outlines is stored at -- where xyz is the name of your outline.

  • All the Fargo 1 names have been ported to Fargo 2. You should be able to continue to update those outlines, and when you update them you'll see the changes at the same address.

  • As before, the Eye icon in the left margin will take you to the rendered version of the page.

  • It takes a little longer now for the content to make it up to its web location, but once there, it should be fast and reliable and will scale because we're storing the pages in an Amazon S3 bucket. Your readers should find your site very responsive.

  • I can't guarantee that I'll host your content forever and for free. I'm just one person, paying for this from my savings account. I do it because I love this stuff. But I also have to eat and pay the rent, like everyone else. So this is just how we get started.

  • All rendered content for each outline is also stored in the html sub-folder of the Fargo app folder in Dropbox. We're going to be looking for services that can sync with the sub-folders of the html folder. We've already figured out how to do it with the Pages service on GitHub. I'm sure there will be more such connections in the future.

  • Fargo connects to through a new protocol (that's still evolving as of Feb 2014) called fargoPublisher. It's documented by a node.js implementation which is open source. As it settles down I'll be writing separate docs.

  • Bottom-line: Fargo2 technology is very simple on the back-end. The complex, expensive stuff runs in Fargo itself.

  • You may see highly technical discussions take place on the Fargo2 mail list. As always if you don't understand something, don't worry. There are many levels to Fargo.

What's new?

  • Here's a list of things Fargo users should have a look at.

  • There's a new CMS panel in the Outline Settings dialog in the File menu.

  • There are two new commands in the Fargo File menu: Render Page and Render All Pages.

  • Named outlines are back and they work.

  • There's a new icon in the left margin that renders the page the bar cursor points to.

  • Fargo 2 is built around Markdown. (The rules-based renderer was part of the old CMS and didn't make the transition.)

  • There's a new way to upload images using Fargo.

  • The docs are rewritten to reflect the changes in the software, and the links in the Docs menu work.

Version numbers

  • The numbers will advance quickly while we're in beta.

  • When the new version is finalized, the Fargo version number will change to 2.00.


  • As we embraced user scripting with JavaScript, Bootstrap and Font-Awesome in Fargo 1, the CMS in Fargo 2 is built around Markdown.

  • Almost everything you read here flowed through the Markdown processor, for better or worse. (Two exceptions are presentations and automatically generated index pages.)

  • We're going to learn how to make Markdown work really well with outlines.

  • That's one of the big goals for Fargo 2.

Who I am

  • My name is Dave Winer.

  • New York, NY

  • January 29, 2014

Last built: Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 3:29 PM

By Dave Winer, Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 11:16 AM. Good for the environment.