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Re: Emacs vs Scrivener

From: Matt Price
Subject: Re: Emacs vs Scrivener
Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2012 10:45:05 -0500

On Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 11:36 AM, Matt Price <> wrote:
> 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
> with):
> - 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?
> Matt
Thinking about this a bit more -- I wonder if the way to implement
some of htese features would be to have some kind of an HTML5 app that
uses an org-mode parser to manipulate text objects in a canvas element
of some kind.  When you want to actually edit text, an emacs editor
could create a buffer containing the relevant headline; but when
you're reordering stuff & adding metadata, etc., the app could work
directly with the underlying org file(s).  Is there already a
web-based emacs editor, or an emacs android app?  I can see that
something like this would be awesome on the nexus tablet I just

ok, that was just a thought from someone who doesn't have the skills
to implement it, anyone else out there have any ideas?

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