Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Promises of Papel

The Website says: "Papel is a unique editor which is designed to provide an intuitive workspace for creative writers. It enables you to visually arrange the components of your story, and quickly edit them without the need to open files. Papels are iconic types which you create in a workspace, name and describe, open for editing, move around, group, link together, merge, compile, and rearrange as you wish. Moving around your writing project is easy: the workspace size is user definable, and it can be grab-scrolled with the mouse. The papel icons and types can be defined in a Theme, so you can create whatever kind of writing project you choose. Papel also includes nine languages besides English."

They also say that it works by "making it easy for the rational side of your mind to stay quietly out of the way." I guess it's supposed to "silence the inner critic." Whether or not that is a good idea, the program looks interesting.

I tried a previous incarnation ... argh ... implementation of the program, but it did not click with me. It's "powerful simplicity" was a bit too simple and a little less powerful than I had hoped.

It has some features that remind me of Scrivener.

I was reminded of this application by this. Romanzo is supposed to be a successor to Papel, of which the site says that it has "unfortunately [been] abandoned and [its] site taken down; and since there is no source code, it cannot be improved. Fortunately, Michael offered what he had of his site and program files to be mirrored elsewhere. There is a mirror of Michael's original site that I host. I invite you to read his words and to try out the program." Furthermore, "when completed, [Romanzo] will offer much of what Papel promises but with several key advances." No word on what these promises are ...

But there is a list of "requirements" here. Though it is an interesting idea, the site is ultimately not designed to inspire confidence: "So I thought, if I could learn how to code a GUI, maybe I could create the next great noveling tool. Or if someone else knew how to do this, they could look at these requirements and do it for me (and all novelists out there)."

Seems like a more or less empty promise: "... if ... maybe ... I ... or ... someone else ... could ..."

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