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Re: [O] Org Writer's room

From: Matt Price
Subject: Re: [O] Org Writer's room
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2012 21:21:44 -0500

On Wed, Dec 5, 2012 at 7:44 PM, Alan L Tyree <address@hidden> wrote:
> On 06/12/12 11:22, Rasmus wrote:
>> Andrew Hyatt <address@hidden> writes:
>>> This sounds like an interesting project.  My advice is to make a few
>>> screenshots that give people an idea what you are working towards.
>>> Of course, they could be completely fake, but it would be helpful to
>>> understand for people like me who haven't used Scrivener.
>> I would also like to see this.  It sounds nice when I read your
>> description, but I still don't fully appreciate the idea.
>> –Rasmus
> I'm also very interested. I haven't used Scrivener -- what features do you
> see as making org a *way* better writing environment?
> Cheers,
> Alan
> --
> Alan L Tyree                    http://www2.austlii.edu.au/~alan
> Tel:  04 2748 6206              sip:address@hidden

Hi Everyone,

Sorry, I sent that last email off too quickly as I was realizing that
I actually had /work/ to do while I was at work...

Scrivener is a really neat program, which is designed to help writers
organize and manage large writing problems while staying focused on
the actual task of writing.  Like org-mode, it has pretty powerful
tools for manipulating the structure of a text; in general it is (from
what I can tell) way less powerful than org-mode (what isn't?) but for
a writer that may sometimes be an advantage -- it removes

>From what I can tell (and I am not a very experienced user) one of the
main attractions of Scrivener is the metaphors it uses to organize
your work.  Each project is called a 'Binder'; it's where you keep
your drafts, your notes, and any supporting materials for your
project.  When you work on a project, you can "open up" your binder
and look at the materials on a 2-dimensional canvas to sort through
them.  So, it's like taking your papers out of your binder and
spreading them out on your desk.

Each element in a binder is also represented as an "index card".  On
the front of hte index card is a title and a synopsis; on the back is
the actual text you've been writing.

In combination, these two metaphors are a really helpful way of
thinking about your project, I think.

In org-mode, it would be very difficult to replicate the
almost-tactile feel of dragging index cards around a canvas to
organize them.  (the .org file structure is actually probably really
well-suited to this, but one would need to write a whole other
program,I imagine in Javascript/HTML5, to implement the dragging).
However, some of the cool things about the Scrivener interface *can*
be implemented in org.

Take a look at the attached screenshots.  I admire the 3-column
layout, with an outline view in the left-hand column, metadata
displayed on the right-hand side, and a main panel in the center which
is used either to display index-card representations of the document
structure, or the actual text that one intends to edit.

To start with I would like to just replicate this window structure,
because it keeps you focused on writing, while having the larger
structure available if you feel the need to flit around a bit.  The
third screenshot shows a semi-fake, still very primitive version of
what I'd like to have.  (I haven't figured out a good way to do the
metadata yet).

Does this help clarify a bit?  Anyone think it's interesting?

Attachment: scrivener-index-cards.png
Description: PNG image

Attachment: scrivener-01.png
Description: PNG image

Attachment: writers-room.png
Description: PNG image

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