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General Forge Forums => First Thoughts => Topic started by: chance.thirteen on October 06, 2009, 12:41:55 PM



Title: Recommended writing tools?
Post by: chance.thirteen on October 06, 2009, 12:41:55 PM
I have no idea where to put this, but I know that game designers often use these sorts of things so  hopefully it's the right forum site at least. :D

Like many people, I have tons of little ideas, comments, examples, thoughts and game bits I write down. However at a certain point the notes just aren't enough. I need cross referencing, linking, tagging, and so on. I tried using a forum for my notes, mainly because I like that it it reachable from anywhere, I can edit and add separate notes to a thought, and share the information with anyone who has access to the web.

However, it is time to move to something more complex. It seems that a wiki would be the best organizing tool, and I have heard that some allow commentary that does not edit the original article. I have looked a little at desktop wikis, and some writing tools like Scrivener. Oh right, I'm on a Macintosh, so any applications will have to run on that, but really any recommendation of indispensable features, or for wiki sites online, or really anything at all would be very nice. I am willing to purchase an application, but I do not wish to subscribe to a service, and being able to retain full rights and privacy of my work is necessary.

Any suggestions at all?


Title: Re: Recommended writing tools?
Post by: whiteknife on October 06, 2009, 01:03:05 PM
I'm not an expert, but I think wikidot has the kind of tools you're looking for and is free online.


Title: Re: Recommended writing tools?
Post by: chance.thirteen on October 07, 2009, 01:02:06 AM
Wikidot was my first stop. Sadly, it can't seem to even load my first page, it just cycles between loading and waiting over and over again. Perhaps it is a recent issue and will be resolved soon.

Does anyone have a favorite application for organizing notes or ideas?


Title: Re: Recommended writing tools?
Post by: Jasper Flick on October 07, 2009, 04:16:01 AM
I've just started using PmWiki for my AnyDice site. It works with files and no database, so is easy to move around. Using MAMP, it was a breeze to locally try it out on my Mac in a sheltered environment.

You can use Discussion or Talk pages for parallel discussions about a page, no matter what wiki you use. If you're set on a comment system, PmWiki has plugins (they call it Cookbooks) for that and they're easy to manage.


Title: Re: Recommended writing tools?
Post by: Darcy Burgess on October 08, 2009, 08:45:21 AM
Hi,

You might like Google Notebooks -- you can subcategorize and organize, as well as invite collaborators (not sure if you can publish them to the unwashed world, though).

D


Title: Re: Recommended writing tools?
Post by: chance.thirteen on October 08, 2009, 12:04:42 PM
Jasper -does PMWiki produce a set of files that you can insert into your webspace at a provider, and then it functions? Or does it require the right environment to be installed before hand. I am getting the impression it is the latter, but if not, let me know. If I could just upload a set of files to my own provider, that would be pretty good.

D - Google Notebooks has ceased development and was closed. However, I snuck in via the cached pages and started one up because they said they would continue the functionality that already exists, just "no new users". Is there a way to make a linked organizational table, like an outline or table of contents, beyond the labeling? I did like that you can see multiple notes on a screen if they happen to fit, and that your labels list is both on the left side of the screen and in a menu while actually labeling a note.

So many options! Thanks for the information!

I will have to go back and check the wiki sites, I have a hard time imagining that they just don't work.


Title: Re: Recommended writing tools?
Post by: Jasper Flick on October 09, 2009, 01:04:47 AM
PmWiki itself requires PHP to run (which is practically ubiquitous), as well as file permissions set so it (actually, the web server) can write files in its data directory. Should be able to run anywhere without much fuzz.

You could copy pages by just grabbing the HTML output, but I think that is a horrible workflow. Why not put the wiki in your webspace and use it directly? You could password protect areas you don't want to be publicly visible. Alternatively, mirror the wiki to your webspace and FTP updates from your local machine.

If you want a draft-publish-comment system, perhaps a blog package like WordPress is better suited.


Title: Re: Recommended writing tools?
Post by: chance.thirteen on October 09, 2009, 12:57:28 PM
My web provider is cox.net, and they do not seem to offer php support for my small web space. It would be ideal since I could literally pull the whole file set up which I am not sure can be done from things like a wiki site.

Also the issue with wikidot turned out to be a Firefox issue with third party cookies.


Title: Re: Recommended writing tools?
Post by: duncanguy on October 09, 2009, 10:33:27 PM
[spam]


Title: Re: Recommended writing tools?
Post by: Jasper Flick on October 10, 2009, 03:01:36 AM
(ignores spam post)

I'm not sure what "It would be ideal" is referring too. In any case, if your website doesn't even have PHP support then it's very limited. It's a case of "you get what you pay for", though even most free webhosts do offer PHP support.


Title: Re: Recommended writing tools?
Post by: lumpley on October 10, 2009, 05:49:05 AM
Hey, please don't acknowledge spam, just hit the "report to moderator" button. I can scoop spam invisibly out of threads, but if I did that now I'd orphan your acknowledgment.

Thanks! Carry on.

-Vincent


Title: Re: Recommended writing tools?
Post by: chance.thirteen on October 10, 2009, 09:44:48 PM
The idea refers to my ability to pick up all the work and go elsewhere with it. Some wiki and forum sites have no backup or download capacity. You have to cut and paste it, or use a website sucker to get all the work you put up back down.

Now for those of you who compose someplace else then post, this makes no sense. For me, I often compose on a website since I cannot be sure of keeping files with me at the various places I access the web from.

At the moment, wikidot seems to meet all my desires, including the ability to make a backup at any time and download it.


Title: Re: Recommended writing tools?
Post by: DagdaMor on October 12, 2009, 03:10:39 AM
My ideas notebook uses [ur=http://stickwiki.sourceforge.net/]Wiki On A Stick[/url]. This is a single self modifying html file that makes it really easy to take around with you as you can just stick it on a USB drive or email it to yourself.


Title: Re: Recommended writing tools?
Post by: sirealestate on October 12, 2009, 05:09:34 AM
For simple tasks I prefer Notepad.
For some serious work Notepad++.


Title: Re: Recommended writing tools?
Post by: MikeF on October 13, 2009, 04:48:31 AM
Not quite what you're looking for but I'd also recommend TiddlyWiki - http://www.tiddlywiki.com/ - which I believe inspired the Wiki On A Stick project, and to my eye is a more mature and useable product.

One single html file, so it will work on any web provider - no need even for php - but with the functionality of a wiki. Just update offline and load up onto the webserver.


Title: Re: Recommended writing tools?
Post by: zmobie on October 14, 2009, 03:57:38 PM
Microsoft OneNote is pretty badass.

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/onenote/default.aspx

I'm not much of an office-suite fan, i use google docs more often than not for that kind of stuff, but one note is amazing.


Title: Re: Recommended writing tools?
Post by: Mike Sugarbaker on October 14, 2009, 05:09:46 PM
If you're on a Mac you should give serious thought to Tinderbox. It's made for exactly this sort of collecting-stuff mode and is unique and interesting.

http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/ (http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/)