Three years it took. Not full-time work, admittedly, but it’s been the main thrust of my professional work for those three years.
Of course, it got re-designed in the middle, which never helps. The original design was actually working in limited use, but was far too complex for FileMaker to handle with any kind of speed. And — crucially — it would not have migrated well to a PostgreSQL or other database in iOS.
For rendering formatted text, of course, the better answer was light HTML formatting and intelligent CSS. It does mean that hundreds of little HTML text files are now proliferating on my Mac, but using the same Mac’s built-in web server and FileMaker web views is actually working perfectly.
At any rate, this is a great relief. References to maps, artwork, and text can easily be entered and formatted — and found again and selected and sorted and output and....
I’m so looking forward to finally getting on to the real work, now that the necessary tool has been written!