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15 Nov 2010, 03:17
Bob Cochran (170 posts)

I know a lot of you folks are using very fancy editing tools. Mine is pretty simple, I am using OpenOffice Writer on a Fedora 13 machine and I hope to soon share my chapters with my MacBook Pro. With a little help from git, maybe I can edit and sync content on both machines.

Is anyone out there using oowriter as I am? Are there any templates that I ought to think about using for a generalized book project, or changes to preference settings? For instance, one preference that was driving me crazy was the “word completion” option buried inside the autocorrect options. I just hate seeing that blue bar pop up with a suggested word completion string. So I turned it off.

I’m pretty happy using oowriter. I’m forced into thinking about my writing and whether it is making sense and meeting my quota for the day. I too have to resist the urge to edit, I’m pretty successful at that as I think of wonderful new paragraphs to add.


15 Nov 2010, 16:25
John M Athayde (39 posts)

I’m not using oowriter, but writing in TextMate. My co-author, Bruce, writes in emacs. Tools are just tools. They should help you deliver your product. If they get in the way, they need to go or be revised to work better for you.

Sounds like oowriter is doing great things for you :)

16 Nov 2010, 13:36
Travis Swicegood (117 posts)

+1 on using whatever text editor works for you. Like John, I’m pretty simple in my editor of choice – MacVim.

One of my favorite quotes on tools comes from Hugh MacLeod (warning, known to curse relentlessly) in his Pillar Management post:

bq. Meeting a person who wrote a masterpiece on the back of a deli menu would not surprise me. Meeting a person who wrote a masterpiece with a silver Cartier fountain pen on an antique writing table in an airy SoHo loft would SERIOUSLY surprise me.

I catch myself going down this road occasionally. It’s very similar to yak shaving. “Oh, this project would be awesome, but I need to do X to make it happen.” The question is always “really, you sure it’s not just a prop?”

The post (and the entire How To Be Creative series) is well worth the read if you have some spare time some time today. I recommend them to any and everyone I know, both in their online form – I remember reading them through as they were released online – and in their longer book form.


17 Nov 2010, 03:19
Bob Cochran (170 posts)

Hi Travis, you certainly have a way of getting us all thinking. It is very interesting to see the different perspectives and experiences. I just looked at the Pillar Management post and I wonder if MacLeod wrote that more for himself than for us? Or as filler text, to be surrounded by advertising?

17 Nov 2010, 07:30
Diego Zamboni (70 posts)

Bob: as I said before, I can’t resist the temptation of fancy tools and of tinkering with them, which is precisely why I have been intentionally keeping myself low-end this time, so I can focus on writing. I’ve even stayed away from Emacs, which is my usual editor of choice. See my reply about this here:

About MacLeod’s writings, I find them interesting and read the full online version of his book, but sometimes I think he’s provocative just for provocative’s sake. I think he makes some valid points, but he also seems to be a little too full of himself.

ps. Why is the forum all of a sudden asking me to fill a captcha to post replies?

17 Nov 2010, 12:14
Bob Cochran (170 posts)

I wonder about the captchas too, Diego.

17 Nov 2010, 16:03
Susannah Davidson Pfalzer (114 posts)

Hi Diego and Bob,

We’ve instituted captchas due to an increasing amount of spam in the forums.

18 Nov 2010, 06:04
Diego Zamboni (70 posts)

Susannah: I sympathize with the spam problem, but isn’t everyone required to be logged into a pragprog account before posting? Doesn’t this essentially stop the problem? See my full comment here:

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