Those of you who follow me know that I don’t use Word or Scrivener to write my novels. In keeping with my open bent, I use an open source program called Plume Creator. You can easily install Plume in the latest Ubuntu from the Software Center. I found Plume a few years ago and contacted the developer to offer my assistance in testing it. He obliged and over time and with other’s help, we molded that program into a worthy competitor to Scrivener.
The developer, Cyril Jacquet, is a software design student from France and he’s also a writer. Plume was a side project for him and he cranked out a pretty cool program in his spare time. But as happens with students, their attentions get refocused on studies and side projects fall dormant, as was the case with Plume. But Cyril was learning all kinds of new techniques in his classes and always thinking of ways to apply them to the next version of Plume.
Now he’s back on summer break and cranking out a whole new iteration we’re calling Plume 2.0. The newly designed Plume is leaner and meaner and will easily allow for new features designed as plugins. Pausing for a moment to geek out: Plume now uses the Model, View, Controller architecture and is built with Python 3. He uses Git for his code repository and Eclipse for his IDE.
Above is a screenshot of the beta program running from Eclipse. Actually, it’s so new, that’s more of an alpha. Anyway, I have worked with Cyril to get Plume 2.0 building on my Ubuntu laptop and so every time he pushes new updates, I can see the changes he’s made. This is a much nicer setup than we had before where he had to do an installer every time he wanted me to test it.
I wanted to share all this with my readers because I know some of you are also writers and are using Plume Creator. For those of you who are not running Linux, poor souls, the new Plume 2.0 will be much easier for us to port to Windows and Mac. Another side benefit of using Python and open source tools.
If you’re a Python developer or a software tester, consider giving us a hand with Plume 2.0. You’ll have a chance to get the features you might want the most in a writing program and you’ll have the satisfaction of having helped build something that thousands of writers will use. It’s been a very rewarding project for me these past few years and I absolutely love using Plume Creator. I’ve written two novels and a novella using the software, so we’re definitely eating our own dog food. That’s what developers say when they actually use the products they help build.