Monday, September 03, 2007

In the Writeroom, With Black Curtains

The nice thing about working on two projects at once is that you can procrastinate and sitll be productive. Get bored working on one thing, and switch over to doing something for your other work. Eventually I should be able to finish something, I hope.

One thing I’m enjoying using right now is a little program called WriteRoom for the Mac. It gives you a completely black screen with a blinking green block cursor when you first start the program, perfect for distraction-free writing.



To make it perfect all I’d really want is to have

Doc 1 Pg 1 Ln 1 Pos 1

At the bottom-left, and all the WordPerfect 5.1 function key mappings. It has some very cool features that I hadn’t thought of but are quite useful, like the fact that your cursor is kept at the centre of the screen, instead of eventually going way down at the bottom when you start to write anything larger than one screenful of text.

It nicely hides your dock and my other programs while you work, and really helps you focus on just the text, rather than always tempting you to adjust this font or line spacing or heading style.

Back when Linux was my primary desktop OS I used to find myself switching out of X-Windows to a full-screen terminal and coding in EMacs, with no pop-up syntax completion or other features that I’m convinced have killed my brain’s ability to code without all this hand-holding.

Right now I’m messing with Facebook’s application development APIs, maybe as an experiment I’ll drop my fancy IDEs (PHP doesn’t really have much in that department anyway) and go barebones again. Taking the 10 seconds to try and remember how an API call works instead of having it pop up for me might do my memory some good.

PS there's a similar program for Windows here: Writeroom for Windows: Write Without Distraction.

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