Future of Dark Room

Much has changed in the years since Dark Room was originally written, and there are many options available at this time. Thus, the question to be asked is, does continued development of DR make sense? I spent a significant amount of time rewriting the application from scratch to run as an adobe air application. I did this because I was no longer using windows at the time, so dedicating some much time on a .net application did not make a lot of sense, thus a cross platform solution seemed more desirable. Unfortunately, Adobe dropped linux support shortly before the first beta release of the new program. So, I essentially stopped development on it.

I still want to have a cross platform application. I began trying to find new viable options, and I was just about to start a write up in python when I discovered FocusWriter. It is a cross platform distraction free environment, and it uses QT. It’s written in C++, which I don’t really like, but I could deal with it. I would almost say it is enough to use FocusWriter, but it is missing some key functionality from Dark Room I couldn’t live without. Therefore, at this point I am seriously considering forking FocusWriter in order to add in the additional Dark Room functionality.

Thoughts?

Installing Adobe Air on 64bit Linux

So, I recently installed Ubuntu 9.10 64bit on my pc. And, when I went to install Adobe Air so that I could test DarkRoomX it didn’t work. Or, rather the installer completed but it didn’t actually work. So, I had to dig up some instructions for getting it to work (you need to manually install some 32bit libs). Here’s the link if anyone else is trying to do the same thing:

http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/408/kb408084.html

Distraction Free Writing in 2009

While Dark Room has been mostly dormant, many things have changed. I originally got the idea for Dark Room from Jesse over at Hog Bay. WriteRoom was really the first in this modern era of retro text editors. Back then, WriteRoom was the only game in town, and it was, and still is, Mac only.

Unfortunately, around this time my powerbook passed into the after life. This meant that I had to switch to my windows laptop as my primary machine for a while. And, since I had gotten so used to WriteRoom, I needed something. After spending a couple of days searching, I was quite surprised not to find anything available for windows. This is when I decided to pick up the torch, and write Dark Room. However, it did not remain alone for long.

Now, there is a glut of this style of program. Here are just the few that I know of off my head:

Cross Platform:

  • Dark Room X
  • jDarkRoom

Windows:

  • Dark Room W
  • Q10
  • WriteMonkey

Mac:

  • WriteRoom

Linux:

  • PyRoom
  • RubyRoom

Web:

  • DarkCopy
  • Writer
  • MyTextFile

I would love to hear feedback on what you love or hate about these programs, as it will help me determine how best to shape future development of Dark Room.

An interesting factor here is that even though there are more programs, they are still pretty fragmented, as people are sort of just porting over functionality from applications exclusive on other OS’s.

jDarkRoom was the first cross platform implementation. However, I have not had much luck with it using an OS other than Windows. Which reminds me, I need to get with that developer to help him work out some kinks I experiences while using the app in OS X.

Dark Room X is my attempt to build an application that does everything you need, and nothing you don’t. I want users to be able to pick it up, love it, and be able to use it on anything. Be it their wife’s spyware loaded windows box, they’re sweet MacPro work station, or the linux box they keep as a guilty pleasure.┬áIt is just the first step in my ultimate goal: the ability to access, and work on your writing in the interface you love from anyplace at anytime.

Dark Room X – Preview Release

Here it is, finally, that which you have been waiting way to long for: the preview release of Dark Room X.

Please go ahead and download those, and remember all the disclaimers (software provided as is, no guarantees that it will work, etc…).

If you run into any issues, don’t hesitate to let me know so I can get it first before the initial release. And, last but not least: enjoy!

Download Dark Room X (Preview)

Dark Room X Approaching Early Beta

I am writing this post in Dark Room X, which is a very good sign. This means that the initial preview release of Dark Room X is impending. I have a couple of bugs to tweak. I plan on releasing the preview early this week, so be sure to keep an eye out for that.

On Dark Room W (the windows only version), I have some news as well. In getting this version ready for open source, I have upgraded it to .NET 3.5 (sorry to the .NET haters). I have also fixed a couple of the really nagging bugs I am ashamed took so long to address (DR development all but stopped when I stopped using a PC). I have not decided when I will release the next version of DRW, it will probably be at the same time I launch the new site (which means after I fix the bugs from the preview release of Dark Room X, and after I make the site).

Stay tuned.