Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
It's funny.  Laugh.

Writing Fiction Using SubEthaEdit 185

Posted by Hemos
from the amusing-stuff dept.
Phil Shapiro writes "The recent blizzard on the East Coast makes for some great collaborative creativity opportunities of various sorts, including group fiction writing using SubEthaEdit. Did you know you can write fiction about collaborative fiction writing using collaborative fiction writing tools? We didn't either." Man, the best fiction I've ever produced is some of the project plans created using SubEtha.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Writing Fiction Using SubEthaEdit

Comments Filter:
  • An honor? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lifereaper0 (850920) on Monday January 24, 2005 @10:47AM (#11455871)
    "national teaching award from Radio Shack" What an honor to win such a thing. What's next? Best movie award from /. ?
  • by diamondsw (685967) on Monday January 24, 2005 @10:50AM (#11455904)
    ...this [codingmonkeys.de] is SubEthaEdit. It's a rendezvous and network-aware text editor designed for collaborative coding that seems to be finding more use. Meanwhile, it's also just a damn nice text editor for general use, and is free (yes, I know that TextWrangler [barebones.com] is also free now).
    • I was stuck using a half-functional BBEdit Lite that BareBones software refused to update at all. Including major, major bug fixes. SubEthaEdit is the text editor I needed all along, and I may even throw them a few bucks in the future, just because their program is free for noncommercial use.
      • What I want to know is when a vi-style interface would be put into SubEthaEdit. (I know the FAQ says vi/etc. can't do this, but I don't see what's wrong with putting a vi-interface on SubEthaEdit then). I'd register SubEthaEdit once implemented!

        Surely I can't be the only one with source code littered with ":q" and other stuck vi-isms until we realize the editor doesn't support them...
        • What I want to know is when a vi-style interface would be put into SubEthaEdit.

          I'm guessing... Never?

          I'd register SubEthaEdit once implemented!

          If there were about two thousand more people who wanted VI behavior in SubEthaEdit, it might be worth looking into.

          -jcr
      • Well, I asked the coding monkeys for a minor fix back with 1.0, and it's still broken. And rather than opening the source like they said they were considering, SubEthaEdit now costs $35 for commercial use, whereas TextWrangler is just plain free.

        Don't get me wrong; I am looking for an alernative, too. But SubEthaEdit isn't it.

    • This seems really interesting but I have no Mac to run it on. Is there something similar available in the Win32 or Linux flavors?
    • by Ford Prefect (8777) on Monday January 24, 2005 @11:02AM (#11456063) Homepage
      Meanwhile, it's also just a damn nice text editor for general use, and is free

      You do have to pay for a commercial use licence - only saying this because I'm one of those people who has registered!

      It's a great text editor just by itself, but since nobody I work with has a Mac it's a little annoying that my copy stays offline. Still, it was well worth the registration fee anyway, and supporting other programmers financially gives one that warm-and-fuzzy feeling you only get with registering non-nagging shareware. ;-)
    • it is a GREAT Programming editor... is supports tons of languages out of the box and you can get more Modes from the website plus write your own and submit them.
    • I would like to add that I wish that codemonkeys would port this tool to Linux or start a project of adding support for their software to talk to there software like this because it would d be nice to use it to actually do collaboration over the net.
      • by Space Coyote (413320) on Monday January 24, 2005 @11:18AM (#11456248) Homepage
        I would like to add that I wish that codemonkeys would port this tool to Linux or start a project of adding support for their software to talk to there software like this because it would d be nice to use it to actually do collaboration over the net.

        SubEthaEdit is a Cocoa application, which means porting it for Windows / Linux would require nearly a total re-write depending on how much of it is written in Objective-C. And from my experience with writing Cocoa apps vs. Win / Linux apps, you can get a very feature-rich, polished application up and running much more quickly with Cocoa, thanks to its use of frameworks. So a port to another OS might just seem like too much work for the team they have.

        But I would definitely love for more programmers to start using ZeroConf (rendezvous' generic name) on other platforms. It's just a damn neat protocol.

        • SubEthaEdit is a Cocoa application, which means porting it for Windows / Linux would require nearly a total re-write depending on how much of it is written in Objective-C

          Because it has to be said, there is always GNUstep [gnustep.org] when you need to port a Cocoa app to Windows or *nix. I have read mixed reviews, but if you stick to the core Openstep API then you should be okay porting your Cocoa app to GNUstep. As far as Obj-C goes, gcc does compile it, so it isn't the language that's the stumbling block.

          All of th

        • Alright fine then, how about opening the protocol that SubEthaEdit uses? Let someone else write the application that can talk the talk. I use my iBook regularly, but for long coding/writing sessions, it's much nicer to use my Linux desktop machine.

          There are ZeroConf daemons for Linux now (mDNSresponder) but they don't help with the individual application communication protocol.
        • Keep in mind, too, that Cocoa has hooks for Rendezvous, which probably makes an app like SubEthaEditor much easier to create.
        • Last time I played with ZeroConf, I found out that the current version doesn't work through a NAT router -- i.e. the router in like 80% of broadband-enabled homes. Uh. No thanks. When it *works* with the most common network configuration for homes, give me a call.
          • From the SubEthaEdit FAQ [codingmonkeys.de]:

            I don't see any shared documents. What's wrong?

            Please check if you have enabled a firewall. If so, please allow SubEthaEdit to use ports 6942 to 6951. In case you are using Mac OS X's Click 'New' to the right of the list of predefined ports, choose 'Other' from the pop-up menu and enter "6942-6951" for the port number and "SubEthaEdit" for the description.

            I'm behind a router. How can I work with others over the internet, that also sit behind a router?

            One user has to enable

            • I tried that. It might work over the Internet, but it doesn't work on the LAN in my house. I'm not talking about working with people over the Internet, I'm talking about working with people sitting at the computer 10 feet from mine.
              • Sorry it didn't work for you. I am by no means any sort of expert on zeroconf, but you've made me very curious. You say you're behind a NAT router. Are the other people in your house on the other side? Sorry if this sounds like a weird or dumb question. How many subnets do you have?

                Like I said, I seriously doubt I can help due to my lack of knowledge, but your topology sounds weird. And by weird, I mean different than mine. =)
      • I have been looking at doing this for the past few weeks now. (I've been helping with adding rendezvous support to other linux apps).
        My first step is to get a way to send generic packet information over kopete. I'm still not sure how to do that yet. :)

      • I recently found a cross-platform (Win, Mac and Linux) editor called MoonEdit [sphere.pl] which seems to do SEE's live-collaboration thing okay, although I don't think it uses Zeroconf to do so. I wouldn't recommend it as a code editor, as it has a number of interface conventions that... well... let's just say that the thing feels aptly named. But for joint note-taking or the kind of fiction described here, I bet it'd work fine.
    • IT JUST WORKS™ (Score:5, Informative)

      by jdwest (760759) on Monday January 24, 2005 @11:09AM (#11456137)
      On a whim, I installed SubEthaEdit for a recent collaborative project for use on a P'book and a friend's iBook. Both of us were editing (wirelessly) the same document within five minutes -- w/o reading a line from TFM . Nothing scientific to back it up, but we agreed that it saved us a good amount of total project time (and it completely changed our workflow on all projects from that time forward).
    • A few other comments...

      SubEthaEdit is a winner of the Apple Design Award for 2003 (at the time, the product was known as "Hydra".)

      This is the kind of surprising use of a new technology that I just love to see. Apple put out Rendezvous, expecting apps along the lines of chat programs. Not "multi-user text editor".

      With Bluetooth, we were expecting people to come up with apps similar to Sync Services, to keep your phone and address book in sync. We sure weren't expecting Jonas Salling to figure out how t
  • by RobotRunAmok (595286) * on Monday January 24, 2005 @10:52AM (#11455933)
    Man, the best fiction I've ever produced is some of the project plans created using SubEtha.

    The greatest lasagne recipe I ever wrote was crafted in MS Word 6.0.

    OK, OK, Courier 12 point, if you must know.
    • you know what is also tasty? Open office with 11.5pt helvetica. hmmmm....that makes for some delicious food. And if i were you i would stay away from anything notepad font size 14 -- i think they are too salty or something.
      • Lightweights! Real men use vi with LaTeX to write their lasagna recipes. Donald Knuth would be so proud.

        • I don't know about you, but I generate my lasagna recipes from sauce files. The output is something like this:

          Layer6 Shredded mozzarella + shredded parmesan
          Pasta6
          Layer5 Tomato-mushroom sauce + sliced parmesan
          Pasta5
          Layer4 Peanut-coconut sauce
          Pasta4
          Layer3 Spinach + shredded parmesan
          Pasta3
          Layer2 Peanut-coconut sauce
          Pasta2
          Layer1 Tomato-mushroom sauce + sliced parmesan
          Pasta1
          Layer0 Cooking spray

          The individual sauce recipes are stored in other text files with filename format sau.000, sau.001 etc, with an
        • Real real men use emacs + AUCTeX along with LaTeX:-)

          I'm not actually joking--I've written a very nice cookbook attractively typeset with LaTeX. It's a wonderful tool. While far from perfect, it is still better than anything else out there, and has an excellent community built up around itself.

    • It looks like you're trying to write a recipe. Would you like to:

      * Add garlic?
      * Add salt?
      * Order a wine from gourmet.microsoft.com?
  • by Ingolfke (515826) on Monday January 24, 2005 @10:53AM (#11455947) Journal
    An excellent example can be found here [independent.co.uk].

    The formula is as follows.
    1.) Write article based entirely on misrepresented sensational claims about the end of the world.
    2.) Get slashdotted
    3.) Sell more ads for website based on high traffic volumes (use only averages when representing numbers to ad buying customers.)
    4.) Profit!
  • *NIX and MS-Windows users can forget about it...
  • by iJames (846620) on Monday January 24, 2005 @10:56AM (#11455978) Homepage
    The real problem with collaborative fiction is finding collaborators who aren't idiots, and then getting good work out of it. The "article" linked was stilted and the humor was inane.

    Sure, there are projects suited to live collaboration. Screenplays, songs, even blog fiction [invisiblejames.com] (self plug). But prose narrative is one of the least likely. Name one good novel that was written by committee.

  • Slashdot... (Score:1, Funny)

    by zepmaid (694112)
    best fiction ever!!!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 24, 2005 @10:57AM (#11455999)
    Each new post describing a choice. How geeky...

    You come up to the entrance to a crumbling dungeon, where the fabled ruby of souls resides. Rummaging around in your pockets, you fish out your trusty dagger. Well...dagger..ish. Ok, it's a butter knife. hopefully you can find something better. Looking up at the cavernesque mouth of the dungeon, a chill runs down your spine, and a small spider crawls up your leg. Ick! you quickly swat it, then ponder the situation at hand. a set of vines snakes all over the sides of the tower that overlooks the dungeon courtyard. you could probably get a good view from there. then again, it looks reaaaaaly high up, and you've been known to get dizzy on a stepladder. maybe it's best to just not know what's ahead...

    Will you:
    A: try to climb up to the tower?
    B: press on into the dungeon?
    C: Go home and have tea?

    B: press on into the dungeon.

    Being scared of heights, you choose to press on into the dank dungeon, smelling the foul nastiness that is this thing. You find a copper sword on the ground, bending it as you smash it dirt wall of the dungeon. "Eh, my knife is better than this piece of pooh." You open a nearby door, and watch a dog eating some gecko thing on the floor. You hear a message echoing throughout the dungeon: "Dog has killed a gecko." Upon approaching the dog, you notice some writing on the ground.

    "I$ #ou c$n r!@ t#i@ &u% m$*t be sm@r$."

    Do you:
    A: north [enter]
    B: write with knife [enter]
    C: /me ill-it-errr-it [enter]

    A: Enter the area

    You suddenly realize that you are in the middle of a NetHack game, and that the little dog is at least 5 times stronger than you. Frantically searching your pockets, you find something squishy. Aha! tripe, your favorite midnight snack. with a mighty heave, you lob the ball of smelly meat at the dog, which greedily devours it, then looks at you lovingly. Aww, how sweet, you made a friend. Now that you have a chance to search the room, which reveals a well-hidden, and very sturdy looking door.

    Will you:
    A: Open the door carefully?
    B: Kick the door down?
    C: Kick the dog?

    C: Kick the dog

    With a mighty hoof you poot the dog in the side of it's belly. For a moment it does nothing, before letting out a strange welp noise, then making a bolt for the door. It smashes it down, whining as it goes. You look on through the now defunct doorway to see a band of Half-Clay Superorc beyond, flattened by your pooch's charge. In the distance you can hear the mutt whining, surely far into the dungeon and out of audible reach. Walking into the corridor, you notice three exits. Which will you take?

    A: North
    B: South
    C: Dennis

    etc...
  • The word "fiction" was used only five times in that article summary... in contrast to another word that was used some 21 times recently.
  • As an open source developer I colaberate with many other developers on text files using ... cvs. The nicest part being that I have full revision and can back out and we all don't have to be awake at the same time. And when we are all awake together we have been known to use irc for that instant communication. Anyway, nice to see a tool try to put all these ideas into one. -Benjamin Meyer
  • WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Monday January 24, 2005 @11:00AM (#11456031) Homepage
    Did you know you can write fiction about collaborative fiction writing using collaborative fiction writing tools?


    My internal English parser barfed on this sentence. WTF is the parent talking about???
    • Internal English parser? Do you also have external ones?
    • Imagine the movie Adaptation [imdb.com] set in a San Francisco bath house instead of a New York apartment. That's collaborative metafiction. Then imagine the same thing happening on the internet. That's collaborative metafiction on SubEthaEdit.

      Any questions?
    • My internal English parser barfed on this sentence.

      So has mine, and certainly everyone's. I like the collaborative fiction idea...but did they use it for each sentence in the post?

      WTF is the parent talking about???

      WTF indeed. Seriously, SubEthaEdit's the kind of stuff that would make me buy OS X actually.

    • Well, there are two possible interpretations:

      1. He asks if you did know that it is possible to write fiction about the subject of using collaborative fiction writing tools to write collaborative fiction.

      2. He asks if you did know that it is possible to use collaborative fiction writing tools to write fiction about the subject of collaborative fiction writing.

      No surprise that your internal English parser reported an ambiguity error.
      • I just recognized that there's also a third interpretation:

        3. He asks if you have used colaborative fiction writing tools in order to know that it is possible to write fiction about the subject of collaborative fiction writing.
    • If you use the phrase "internal English parser", there's good good chance yours needs to be worked on ;-)
    • Wouldn't the sentence "I want to put hyphens between Fish and And and And and Chips on my Fish-And-Chips sign" have been clearer if quotation marks had been used between Fish and and and and and And and And and and and and and And and And and and and and and Chips as well as after Chips?

      p
    • Can you read LISP?

      (? (Did_you_know (you_can (write (fiction (about (collaborative fiction)) using (tools (collaborative (fiction writing)))))))

      Wow, I haven't used that syntax since 1993...

    • Mine worked fine. You should try upgrading (downgrading?) to Slashdot English 0.0.1-alpha-pre.

  • moonedit [moonedit.com] is what I've been using instead of subethaedit when I've wanted to do collaborative editing with those poor souls who have Macs. It's closed-source, Windows/Linux x86 only, is a terrible editor, the UI is horrible and it's generally a pain to use in comparison to subetha which Just Works, but it's a lot better than nothing.

    I assume another possible alternative is to try using the crazy emacs mode where it can connect to multiple displays.
    • Those poor souls who don't have Macs, even.

      Googling for the emacs stuff produces lots of links to the emacs documentation for it, such as this [ufl.edu], if anyone is interested.
    • Re:alternatives (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Leo McGarry (843676) on Monday January 24, 2005 @11:40AM (#11456576)
      It's closed-source, Windows/Linux x86 only, is a terrible editor, the UI is horrible and it's generally a pain to use in comparison to subetha which Just Works, but it's a lot better than nothing.

      That doesn't add up to me. If it doesn't run on a Mac, is a bad program with a bad user interface and is a pain to use ...how is it better than nothing? If the tool gets in the way, aren't you better off ditching the tool?
  • what about wiki? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dns_server (696283)
    isn't wiki designed for this collaberation? unlike sub ertha edit, it is not fixed to an operating system, just a web browser, allowing everyone to participate.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Mac users don't want their writing tainted by non-Mac users. And I agree.
    • SubEthaEdit allows *everyone* to edit the same file at the same time. So, the editing is live and concurrent: while I'm making my changes, I see you making your changes. Wiki allows everyone to edit the same file, but you can't see what everyone else is typing at the same time.
    • Re:what about wiki? (Score:5, Informative)

      by revscat (35618) on Monday January 24, 2005 @11:50AM (#11456685) Journal

      While Wiki is designed for collaboration, it doesn't allow simulatenous changes that are immediately visible to all collaborators. If you and I were working on a document in SubEthaEdit you would see any changes I make as I make them, and I yours.

      All that and syntax highlighting, too. It's basically the difference between a text editor you run yourself vs. typing a message into Slashdot.

  • But, then, there's always the Lexicon Game [20by20room.com] or Sample Lexicon Game [gmtoolbox.org]
  • SubEthaEdit sports quite a few different editing modes [codingmonkeys.de], including for the Inform [inform-fiction.org] language for writing interactive fiction.

    Collaborative Interactive Fiction, anyone?

  • by jafac (1449)
    From the well-known (on the Internet) "too much time on their hands" category. . .
  • We started using Subethaedit years ago, starting when it it was originally called Hydra. I work in a high school, and we have carts full of iBooks which we bring to classes. I started using Hydra when it first came out, and suggested to the teacher of our Creative Writing class that it may be useful in his class. We've been using it ever since.

    We started using it to work on playwriitng. One child does one person's dialog, another takes another character's dialog, while another will do descriptions, and anot

Some people claim that the UNIX learning curve is steep, but at least you only have to climb it once.

Working...