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Plume Creator Update

Regular readers of this blog know that I volunteer as a software tester for the writing program – Plume Creator. If you are a writer you should give it a try. Plume is Open Source and available on all three platforms for free. The 1.0 version of the program is pretty much done as of this writing. There may be a few maintenance releases in the weeks ahead, but basically the features are frozen.

However, Cyril, the program’s creator is working on a second version, a 2.o version that will continue forward with new features. The reason he’s halting work on the 1.0 version is because for the 2.0 version, he’s essentially starting over with a new code base and some bold new ideas for the program. There’s not much to say about the new version yet as we’re working out the specs at this time. But what I can tell you is that Plume Creator is going to be the premier Open Source Writing software for years to come. It will continue to look and act much like it does now but it will also be innovative and helpful to writers of all kinds.

Some of the upcoming features in discussion are: using Mark Down under the hood which will mean the user can export cleanly to HTML or EPUB formats, internal storage of images and notes possibly in a Wiki format, the ability to alter your text from outside of Plume Creator as in from your tablet, and finally, a Screenplay template for writers.

It’s not too late to jump in and help the Plume Creator team develop the kind of writing software that you want to have. So if you’re a programmer, designer or a tester and want to help out, I’m sure Cyril would love to have you join us. Drop him an email and let him know how you can contribute.

If you’ve recently tried out Plume and have some user based experiences with it, please let us know what you liked and what you didn’t like about it.


2 thoughts on “Plume Creator Update”

  1. I was not aware of Plume’s HTML export being broken. Good find.

    What I do is export to .odt and then cut and paste per chapter into a new .xhtml file per chapter in Sigil. This retains the italics formatting which is all I care about. I do all other formatting in Sigil and preferably with a stylesheet. It is not ideal, but it works for me. The next version of Plume will make this process easier but that won’t be ready for a while.

    The reason I export to .odt is because I use OO Writer to do all my editing – comments. So my finished manuscript is in Writer and from there I send an .rtf to my interior designer who cuts and pastes it chapter by chapter into Pagemaker. I do my own ebook formatting as described above in Sigil.

    I hate having to use three or four different programs to make one damn book, but that’s where I’m at right now. Plume is making strides to be more than just first draft software. Being able to do edits like in Writer will hopefully cut down on one step and being able to export to .epub will get ride of the Sigil step.

    Thanks for commenting Lars!

  2. I am very excited about Plume Creator but…

    I’ve been searching for a typewriter replacement for 20 years. The nearest I have come is Joe’s Own Editor (Joe) which is a Unix program that will work in Cygwin terminal. I’ve developed many macros for it so I can write well-formed xhtml or well-formed html fluently. But it has many drawbacks (no as you type spell-checking, no notes, no master doc, no automagic ToC, no lots of stuff because it is basically just an tricked out editor).

    I have tried and tried to learn Open/Libre Office Writer. But I just cannot seem to learn the styles system. Besides which it outputs horrible xhtml and html.

    What I want to do is SOMETHING -> clean (x)html -> Sigil -> Epub.

    I would like SOMETHING to be Plume Creator (or Plume Creator + A FILTER).

    But the output options I have are:

    .html (at present just writes an emply document.
    .txt (removes ALL formatting including paragraph breaks)

    .odt when opened in Writer and saved as html produces a bunch of paragraphs with filthy inline styles. Basically I cannot figure out how to fix this within Writer, and the best I can do with Sigil is some highly error prone search-and-replace to remove the crap in the html. If I get that far, Sigil can do some of the heavy lift in the way of splitting the document and automagic ToC. But any significant changes or additions and it is back to the drawing board.

    There has to be an easier way.

    I’m just talking novel here. I need two — at most three — level of headings H1, H2, H3, paragraphs, some hack for the empty line between scenes, and alternate font for italics.

    The people on the Writer (OO) act as if I were a space alien trying to explain the multiverse in Klingon. If I wanted a gatefolded brochure, they could help me with that — rtl text, or charts and graphs or different font in a different color for every word. Right justified — no problem. Linear B — sure, have some Unicode. Nine levels of headings — right, just hit F11.

    I … I … I …

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