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.