Friday, December 27, 2013

Writer Pro

I have mentioned the predecessor of this application before. Writer Pro continues the tradition of making nothing sound like something—and even something profound. This time, they are using a metaphor from Hans Blumenberg's "mind-bending" book Sources, Streams, Icebergs (Quellen, Ströme, Eisberge) and present a nice picture that shows how any kind of writing starts from "sources," which is of course not a particularly mind-bending insight.[1]

Here one of the sales pitches: "Writer Pro is a tool for professionals. If you write, then $20 is nothing. Hold off if you’re just interested in testing cool new apps. If you want a better tool for your work as a writer, Writer Pro is for you." If you write, $20.00 is nothing? Why? How? Whether you write professionally or not, $20 is $20, and for some aspiring writers it may actually be not affordable at all, but then again "working hard at producing something publishable" may not fit the definition of "professional" the creators of this software had in mind.[2]

For a nice review of how this useless application follows the vacuous idea of its creators, see David Hewson's review. I could not agree more (even if I have disagreed with him on other matters before).[3]

That being said, I think there is room for an application that integrates note-taking and writing in a more harmonious way. Scrivener is not it; nor is DevonThink or Tinderbox—at least in my view.

1. I have written about Blumenberg before.
2. You might also want to take a look at this. It throws more light on how far the delusions of grandeur really go. See also the outliner forum.
3. See also Michael Anderson's review.


Mart said...

Have you looked into WriteMonkey? Looks like they're about to make available a Notational Velocity inspired plugin.

MK said...

That does look interesting. It would go some way towards fulfilling the promise the iA Writer people make—especially if it includes free links, like nValt.

Mart said...

Regarding the free links: I have a hunch that Josip, the developer of WM would like this idea (if it hasn't been suggested to him by the community already). I used to be a daily WM user until I switched to Linux. Looking at WM now, it's really impressive how far they've come with the last 1,5-2 years.

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for this post. It’s a helpful counter to the developer’s pitch and some predictably uncritical responses.