DarkRoom Air

I got some good and bad news for everyone. While I find it difficult to find time to work on the windows version of DarkRoom, I do not intend the pull the binary. So for people that are currently using it, they are welcome to continue, and will always be able to come here and get it, for free.

Now is where things getting interesting.

I need to lean Flex for a client project, and while poking around in it, I had an idea. I can make a much nicer version of DarkRoom, and release it as a cross platform air app. Aside from becoming cross platform, this transition would also allow much greater control over the interface that was possible using the tools the .net version is built on. My particular interest is in kerning and letting spacing, which are simply built into the text area, no monkey business necessary.

My only concern about this endeavor will be the stability of the application. So, as soon as possible I will be posting an alpha, and I would like people with large files to start using it. Ones that you know the regular DarkRoom would handle without problems, but might make a flex app choke.

Author: Jeff

Born a cantankerous old man, mellowed ever so slightly by age.

24 thoughts on “DarkRoom Air

  1. Well, you know how it is, swapping one framework for another. So, while it won’t require .net, it will required the air framework, which is if nothing else, much lighter.

  2. sure, I’ll help test as well for handicapped accessibility. Specifically, I’ll look at whether or not it works with speech recognition or text-to-speech.

  3. I use Darkroom as my main writing platform, its awesome, and if it was an AIR app it just might be better.

    It would be good to get away from the heavy .net framework thats for sure.

  4. can OSX 10.3 use flex? I’m not sure I understand that part, but I also use windows, so I could test there. maybe I could try to write up a NSIS installer for windows, but that is probably not needed, besides, I like being able to use darkroom as a portable app with the localized *.dat file.

  5. The question is not whether or not 10.3 supports flex, but whether it supports the air framework.

    The primary focus of this version will be portability.

  6. Thank you for DarkRoom!!! When I first saw WriteRoom I experienced an extremely rare sensation — complete and total Mac envy. Now I have an equally cool app, with an even cooler name. 🙂

    DarkRoom feels like a revelation.

    You can count on me for any beta testing you might require.


  7. I am the IT person in a corrections facility and would like to possibly use DarkRoom as the word processor for the school students. Is it possible to lock it into a single font style, color scheme, page setup, etc.? Would it be possible to create an Admin add-on which would allow for controlling and locking out some of the functions?

    Great program to use, Thanks.


  8. Jim-

    That is an interesting use for the application that I had not considered. Since I am presently in the process of rewriting the application in Flex on the Adobe Air framework, I can certainly take into consider some of these idea.s

  9. Please, please, please let this be cross platform. I know Mac already has Writeroom but in the Linux world all we have is JDarkroom and I’m not super thrilled with that. It does look like Adobe is going to have a Linux version of Air so …. if you want any beta testing in Linux, let me know 🙂

  10. @ Jim Unger. Have you tried modifying the config file the way you want it and the write-protecting it? As an IT guy, surely you know how to write-protect a file?

    Maybe I’m missing a point, but what is gained by keeping the inmates from changing the fonts (etc)? Shoot, I’ve tried mine in amber, green and a dark pink … and kept the pink on black as being easy on my old eyes.

    When I taught computer apps in adult education, I found that having control over their compute environment aided my students sense of self-confidence because it added to their sense of control. The truly hideous combinations never lasted long because they were at the monitors 2-4 hours at a time. That’s far too long for black text on a bright yellow background. They paid the price, they learned the lesson, they fixed the problem. I never had to say a word.

  11. wow, this sounds like such a good upgrade. i just started using DarkRoom, and absolutely love it, thank you so much for this! My one qualm with it (and others, like Q10 which i also tried) is a lack of support for OOXML files, for an easier transition from Office 2007. I realize that these file types include things like formatting & fonts, but i guess those can just be discarded/not read when loading a ooxml file. if you need another beta tester, i’d be glad to write whatever remaining school papers i might have.

  12. Yeah, I really need to get back on this. The end of my semester was really crazy and pushed things back. But, I now officially have my MBA. So, now I just need to get that time back to focus on DR

  13. I’ve worked with Flex for about a year and a half now. You’ll probably love it. I think it’s great.

    Also, I love Darkroom and look forward to trying it as an Air app. I’m constantly shifting between different operating systems on different machines, so it’ll be cool to be able to use Darkroom everywhere.

  14. Darkroom’s great. Lotsa people might say add more formats. Yeah, well thats always going to be there isnt it ? Might I point out that your software is the only one of its type and whats its even more great is that its free. So whatever you do, rest assured…many people will like it…& I assure you I’ll never ever forget this software. Believe me. Trust me. On this at least.

  15. Well, its been over half a year now. Have we given up on an Air version? Right now, all DarkRoom has going for it is transparency and some instability. Q10 is much, much more nimble and inviting (even though he’s been about a year from the old promised update ;-p). WriteMonkey has been getting fairly regular updates and has alot more functionality. Its a hard sell for DarkRoom to be the app of choice. I can understand not wanting to undercut WriteRoom, but seriously, it can be done for free anywhere, so WriteRoom is something of an anachronism in this space. I understand wanting to monetize one’s effort, especially when the end product is very useful to lots of people, but since no one else is doing it, I think WriteRoom needs to create some sort of added value to justify a purchase price higher than FREE, and you should be free to work up whatever version(s) you want.

    Then again, there’s not much material advantage to you to be competing with anyone. Not like you’re charging for this. So you can either take this as an argument or ignore me entirely. I’m cool either way, and let me say, this app is pretty cool, warts and all, easily top 3.

  16. Kensai, I never let projects die. Sometimes it just takes month/years before I have the time to put into them. 😉

    I actually have put a lot of thought into how DarkRoom Air is going to work (it will be superior in some respects, but regrettably inferior in others due to technical limitations of Flex/Flash.

    Also, I do have a monetization plan that will result in me funding my efforts, while continuing to give the program away for free. I think under this model rather than preventing usage on OSX, I’m just going to Jesse at Hog Bay a cut of the action. However, I am not giving away any more details than that at this time.

    So, given that perspective, I should get off my ass and release an early alpha since I no longer care about DRM.

    Thanks for the kick in the butt Kensai.

  17. I love darkroom, but I hope the new version will have a scroll bar. I also hope the new version will give ready access to File, Edit, View, Help features. As you want it to be distraction free, I think it could be useful that when the cursor is places right at the top of the black/dark screen, the File, Edit, View, Help bar drops down… and when the cursor moves away from the very top of the screen, the bar goes out of sight again. 🙂
    All the best!

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