Software Spotlight: The Search for Writing Software – Part 2

Expanding on the article I wrote for Part 1, I am on the hunt for a web-based set of applications for helping writers collect and organize their writing materials.

After reading the NSLog(); blog post about a similar search for writing software, I took a look at the “Book” module for the Drupal Content Management System.

While this system does provide an easy way to track versions and enable collaboration with multiple authors, I find that it lacks any functionality for creating outlines and generally collecting all of the support materials that I need to use to create the stories on which I am working. The idea of setting it up on my own server is a plus, as I won’t have to rely on a third party to host my materials, but the tools don’t quite fit.

Drupal does have certain functionality that I am looking for, but it has far more than I need in some areas, but lacks in the areas that are most important to me.

One of the first things I am realizing while I am searching for a perfect-fit software solution is that it is hard to find such a solution using any common-sense set of Google search criteria. This leads to the secondary mission of these blog posts, which is to setup an easy way for writers in a similar position to easily find what they are looking for.

A set of traditional applications for writing and collecting information for a project that I have come across in the past is Liquid Story Binder XE by Black Obelisk Software. I have used this product in the past, and found that it truly is a great package for collecting and writing things for a project. There are three problems from where I’m sitting with it:

  1. Price – This software costs $45.95!
  2. Portability – This is a Windows-only software, and is run on a traditional desktop. (Apparently, though, it can run from a thumb drive)
  3. No WINE Compatibility – I would really need this to run on Linux, since it is my primary platform for writing.

Basically, the ideal application for me would be web-based, but have all of the features that Liquid Story Binder XE has. Does anyone know of any similar web-based applications out there?

  • http://kegel.com Dan Kegel

    I just tried Liquid Story Binder XE, and
    it installed and ran under wine-1.1.6
    (well, really, current git, which is slightly
    newer than wine-1.1.6). What makes you think
    it’s not wine-compatible?

    Please give it a shot with the latest wine
    and note any problems you run into at
    http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=application&iId=8515

  • http://www.stroz.net Benjamin M. Strozykowski

    This was based on an earlier version of both WINE and Liquid Story Binder XE. I will give it another go, and report all of my findings here and on the WINE AppDB.

    Thanks for the heads up!

  • http://www.deistgames.com nadin abbott

    I also tried WINE and LSB recently, will try a newer version of wine

    That said, I think I found the solution to your problem…

    The first is Writer’s Cafe, commercial, fully portable and cross platform

    The second is Celtx, cross platform and right now the program I’m using. I fear LSB will be in my list of maybe will work some day, or surrender and put windows in both the linux and mac boxes.

    I left win due to the egg they laid with Vista… (We still have a gaming box, which I’m tempted to load Mandriva on every time it gives me yet another headache)

  • http://www.stroz.net Benjamin M. Strozykowski

    Writer’s Cafe certainly looks interesting. I might have to check that one out. Thanks for the great info, nadin.

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