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Working on some writing software

'Ello! Just wondering if all you lovely writerly types could give me a hand with a project of mine!

As succinctly as possible (read: not very): I'm creating some writing software for my senior project. My aim is for it to be
  • web-based (so it's cross-platform and can be used away from your usual computer, unlike the aforementioned yWriter/Scrivener/etc.)
  • pretty easy to pick up and use (again, unlike (depending on your opinion) yWriter/Scrivener—pretty sure yWriter would terrify a writer like my dad, anyway)
  • but still offering a bit more built-in organizational structure and other conveniences than a flat-out notepad or word processor
After a bit of planning I decided that the best way to accomplish that would be to build the application on top of a wiki, since those already come with some of the aforementioned conveniences—being web-based and also having document revision history were the big ones, although I also thought it might be kind of cool to have the relatively easy inter-page linking wikis utilize so you could pop in quick links to related documents, for example. I've been using a mostly-unmodified Wikidot wiki for some of my writing notes for a few months now, and even without it being all decked out with author-specific stuff it's been pretty nice.

By now I've got all of the core functionality I wanted either jury-rigged from what the wiki platform already provides or else added myself, and for the most part it's all CSS'd up and looking pretty, so now I'm doing one last scout around for feature/functionality ideas that might fit in. That's where I was hoping you all could help me—given what it already does according to the following list, is there anything else you think might be interesting in this "wiki writing software"? Is it something you'd consider using, or at least taking a look at (I know there are writers who swear by nothing but Word or Notepad or an actual notepad and what have you, and frankly I envy you because I forget and misplace and confuse stuff like crazy without handholding)? It'll likely never be as feature-filled as some of the desktop writing programs, but if you've used something like yWriter, Scrivener or whatever, is there anything from that program you'd like to see implemented?

Right now, my software has:
  • a place to write stories/other documents (duh)
  • a "notes" section for each page, so you can keep notes relevant to the page (what's the outline for this scene? what's the URL of that Wikipedia article I still need for research on this location? what's that catchy line of dialogue I don't want to forget?) on the same page as the document itself for easy reference without tab/window-jumping; they're still kept visually separated from the main text and are hidden out-of-sight unless you need them
  • parent-child relationships, currently called "stories" and "chapters" because why not; essentially all "stories" (which are technically pages like anything else and can have their own text or simply be used as a container for chapters) belong to a "writing" category, and you can easily add as many "chapters", or child pages of the parent story page, to a story as you like; chapters can also have "chapters" of their own if you need more sublevels (e.g. you want to break your chapters down further into separate documents for each major scene)
  • a "folder"-esque list view that lets you navigate through the full list of top-level stories on the main page; each story/chapter also has a similar "folder list" of its own chapters/subchapters, and this can be shown or hidden from view just like the page notes
  • the wiki is generally meant to be private and used by a single person (it is possible to have other members/collaborators, but I'd have to figure out how to tweak a few things to work better with that), but it has a special "share" category that pages can be moved to to make them publicly visible (read-only); you can then share the link with a beta, etc., and put it back in the writing category when you want to make it private again
  • moving a page to the share category also makes it possible to generate a simple PDF of the page, which probably doesn't mean much for fic authors but may be helpful to others
  • multiple custom skins for different color schemes/light on dark vs dark on light; you can also write your own if you know CSS or use one of the other available themes, though if I am saying so myself most of the others aren't as clean as mine ;)
  • most of the basic stuff the wiki already comes with, including page revision history and simple linking, attaching files to pages, automatic printer-friendly versions of pages; also has page tagging/tag clouds and .txt-file downloads of the contents of all your pages for personal backups
  • it's built on a wiki service that's remotely hosted, so you don't have to worry about downloading or installing anything; you'd just need to create an account there and then clone the software into your account with a few clicks (that does generally mean no accessing it when you don't have internet, but someone else has created an offline application I'm pretty sure you could use in the meantime in such a situation; still need to test that myself)
  • aaaand assuming you were so inclined, you could learn more about how the base wiki itself works (which isn't hard unless you're a technophobe) and modify it pretty much however you want—change the way the menu works, add another form and category specifically for character profiles, I don't care knock yourself out

I can't guarantee that I can implement every suggestion even if it's a cool one, as there are definite limits to the platform I've chosen and I'm also on a deadline for this first version, but at the very least I could do with the brainstorming help—and even if there's no perfect way to integrate your idea into the software, there are probably a few only-slightly-less-elegant ways to do the next best thing! I'm not currently able to add a rich-text editor/WYSIWYG editor to it for those who need it, for example (though I personally try not to use much formatting these days, at least not during drafts), but I'm looking into the possibility of creating a Greasemonkey script/userscript that can add one instead. Not seamless, but it'd be there for people who need it, right? That sort of thing. So just throw out any ideas you may have, since every suggestion and spark of inspiration helps!

Thanks in advance for any ideas you might have! :D
Altered Origin
fanart, fanfics, fan rambles and assorted random crap

The Phoenixdex
so many fakemans aaaaaaa halp

Sounds pretty interesting! Certainly something I wouldn't mind checking out. I particularly like the first five-six points there on what it currently does, although those are what I quite like to begin with so idk what other ideas I might be able to think of... *thinks* BTW notes - heck yes there, and the parent/child system for chaptrs of a story is a simple yet neat idea (yay organisation).

Does this come with a spell/grammar-check of some sort? I like checking if something is spelt right on the go.

Maybe some way to allow one to search something while having the document open? For instance say I want to check a word meaning or a grammar rule; I sometimes find it annoying to go and search for it and in doing so having to minimise the document/etc. Minor, it's not that hard to open a tab as it's webbased already anyways and idk how easy that would be to do (I suspect not very) but a thought, there.

Nothing else coming to mind rn.
[Image: suisdbsf.png]
By TwilightBlade of PC. =D

Thanks for the input! Unfortunately I don't think either of those would be possible for me to implement, although most browsers come with at least basic spellcheck anyway these days and I know there are extensions and browser features that will let you highlight a word and automatically pull up a definition or search or something (I think IE and Chrome do something like that by default?). Probably worth at least alerting users to any useful browser features or extensions that work well in tandem with this, though, hadn't thought of that.

...actually, I could potentially add something in an iframe or similar with regard to the thesaurus/dictionary/etc.; it wouldn't be a totally seamless integration, but there might actually be a way to get something like that in there somewhere. I'll look into that; thanks for the idea!
Altered Origin
fanart, fanfics, fan rambles and assorted random crap

The Phoenixdex
so many fakemans aaaaaaa halp

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