The Traindown format was created first and foremost to make understanding what happened during a given training session easier to do by humans than with formats such as spreadsheets, JSON, YAML, etc.
Humans love narratives. We see the world in terms of narratives. Why do we suffer reading something designed for computers to make sense of our training data?
Traindown is part of a broader movement in software to make both applications and data more human centered. Start with the person and work outward. We should never settle for "it is what the computer prefers."
That all being said, Traindown is also great for computers!
The format is more compact than JSON, YAML, XML, etc. It is also easily output into spreadsheets as well as other training specific applications.
By standardizing how computers think about human training, we make our data portable. The goal of Traindown is to produce a common language of training data.
This common language allows for researchers to have better data for modeling. Imagine a world where you donated your training data to help create systems that optimize training for everyone!
We won't have that future if everyone's data is in proprietary formats locked away in closed systems. By starting with standardization, we make amazing things possible.
And for you, personally, the benefits of standardization include never being locked into one app. Imagine learning about a new app and being able to load your entire training history into it immediately!
In order for you to have that freedom, you must be the actual owner of your data. With that ownership, you may choose to try different apps without fear of hostile developers locking your data away in their databases.
For too long we as software users have given away our data in exchange for access to software. The power dynamic is vastly biased toward the Maker rather than the True Owner. With Traindown, you have control. You choose your level of sharing. In fact, that may be by not using software other than a text editor! You choose.
I (Tyler...hi!) am excited to hear what you think of Traindown.
I would recommend heading on over to the Guide first as that will give you a real world tutorial as well as FAQs about using Traindown.
Once you have an understanding, why not try out the Playground right in your browser?
If you like, there is a mobile app called the Traindown Transponder that is available for both iOS and Android. Be forewarned, it is rough around the edges. I hope to have time to polish it here soon.
Better yet, you could build a better Traindown mobile application! You can write your own parser using the Spec or if you prefer using a library, I have a few available on the Source.
As always, should you have any questions, comments, or feedback please don't hesitate to reach me at tyler at greaterscott dot com.