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Re: Emacs vs Scrivener

From: Matt Price
Subject: Re: Emacs vs Scrivener
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2012 11:36:35 -0500

On Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 4:11 AM, Bastien <> wrote:
> The best way to have a constructive discussion about features in other
> (free or proprietary) text editors is to start by pointing at one feature
> that you like and don't have (or don't know) in GNU Emacs.

I've looked at Scrivener and I can definitely see the appeal, but it'
hard to distill these down into individual 'features' that might be
compatible with Emacs. Here are two cool things about it (to start

- IIUC, one organizing principle of Scriviener is a spatial metaphor:
"Scrivener is intended to be a kind of “writer’s shed” for those of us
who don’t have a spare shed."  So drafts are organized as projects
which are kept in virtual "binders".  I think this metaphorical
framework is important to its appeal -- it turns your laptop into a
giant desk on which ou can arrange and rearrange elements of a complex
text.  The whole interfae is influenced by this metaphor...
- In concert with this, each document -- each piece of a project --
has both a title and a synopsis, which are represented by an "index
card"  You cna move index cards around within the project.  I like
this because sometimes, with a ocmplex piece of writing, it can be
helpful to look at al the elements and rearrange them in space.  A
whiteboard is good for this, or scraps of paper on a blank table.
Org-mode lets you refile headings easily, but the one-dimensional
ordering isn't as satisfying to me as objects that can be dragged form
one place to another.

I've attached two screenshots that might make this clearer.

What do you think, Bastien?  Is a lot of this already in org-mode?  &
what kinds of tweaks would be necessary to make the emacs interface
more tactile-feeling, or anyway spatially intuitive?


> --
>  Bastien

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

Attachment: scrivener-01.png
Description: PNG image

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