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Old 11-03-2013, 10:31 PM   #16
JSWolf
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Originally Posted by VydorScope View Post
Honestly... not for me. The track changes/etc features of Word are to useful for working with my editor. They below away the options in more basic tools, and they are the ones my editor uses.

Once the Word docx is ready, its simple few clicks to run through Calibri to create an EPUB, then from there Sigil does all the EPUB work I need. Both Sigil and Calibri are free.

I also own Scrivener - but I am finding it more useful as a notes repository then a writing program.


BUT... maybe for some one else?
When you use Sigil, do you make sure the code is clean and minimal? Do you remove all the Word cruft that can get in there sometimes?
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:44 PM   #17
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When you use Sigil, do you make sure the code is clean and minimal? Do you remove all the Word cruft that can get in there sometimes?
I used to have to do that, if I used a doc (which I did not), but the newest version of Calibre removes 90% or better of it on the fly if you feed it a docx. Much faster then doing it by 100% hand.
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:03 PM   #18
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I used to have to do that, if I used a doc (which I did not), but the newest version of Calibre removes 90% or better of it on the fly if you feed it a docx. Much faster then doing it by 100% hand.
I'll have to give a non-optimized docx a try. Thanks for that bit of info.
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:07 PM   #19
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I'll have to give a non-optimized docx a try. Thanks for that bit of info.

My docx is very simple. I use Word styles to control everything... but that is really just 2 styles in the whole manuscript."Normal" and "Heading 1" I sprinkle in some italics, and that is it. Nothing fancy, so not sure if that makes a difference or not.
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:39 PM   #20
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I started long, long ago writing documentation in the UNIX world. I used ed/vi to produce flat text files and nroff/troff to format them. I still look back on this time as "the good old days." (Since I started with ed, and learned the commands, I was actually much faster on vi than most of my coworkers.)

These days I still do a lot of work with plain text editors. I also frequently save my word processor files as text files to make them much smaller and save them on (very) old media.

But, I've gotten good enough at word processors that I can import and format text files pretty painlessly, so I don't feel under any pressure to change.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:13 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
I don't understand.

On the one hand, you complain about people not even being able to download and open a file. They are also not capable to create folders.

Right-click your desktop -> New -> Folder.
Right-click your desktop -> New -> Text File.

It has been like that for almost years in Windows (and longer, if you count OS/2), and it's all you'd need to know to use the system I proposed. However, you say that people can't do that because they don't know folders or files or opening them.[...]
I definitely sympathise with the confusion, but it seems to be the case. It's not helped by MS doing weird and wonderful tricks with Windows Explorer so that folders of files don't look like folders of files anymore - unless you spend lots of time in the background reclaiming control of your system, or using software that lets you see what's actually there ... you know, like Explorer used to.

But the fact is that enormous effort has been taken to try an hide the file system from the user - with varying levels success. Sending your average user to live there (while they create their story structure) might be a step in the wrong direction.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:04 PM   #22
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I definitely sympathise with the confusion, but it seems to be the case. It's not helped by MS doing weird and wonderful tricks with Windows Explorer so that folders of files don't look like folders of files anymore - unless you spend lots of time in the background reclaiming control of your system, or using software that lets you see what's actually there ... you know, like Explorer used to.
I don't know what problem you're having with Explorer, but I can see what is a folder or file just fine up to and including Windows 8.1...

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But the fact is that enormous effort has been taken to try an hide the file system from the user - with varying levels success. Sending your average user to live there (while they create their story structure) might be a step in the wrong direction.
Hiding the file system was the step in the wrong direction. Ever encountered this, if something goes wrong?

"Where are your pictures stored?"
- ".... muuuh.... in iPhoto?" (or other application).

Because everyone is trying to hide *everything*, no-one actually knows how stuff functions anymore. Granted; many people don't need Linux-like control where you select your own Window Manager, or set the colors of the "ls" command, but I think it's a good thing when people *KNOW* what they are actually doing.

Relying on a specific application to organize your work without actually knowing HOW it is organized or can be accessed without the use of that application is a very bad idea.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:27 PM   #23
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I definitely sympathise with the confusion, but it seems to be the case. It's not helped by MS doing weird and wonderful tricks with Windows Explorer so that folders of files don't look like folders of files anymore - unless you spend lots of time in the background reclaiming control of your system, or using software that lets you see what's actually there ... you know, like Explorer used to.

But the fact is that enormous effort has been taken to try an hide the file system from the user - with varying levels success. Sending your average user to live there (while they create their story structure) might be a step in the wrong direction.
I just spent 36 minutes and 9 seconds--in case anyone here thinks I'm just making this crap up--with a client, who could not figure out a) how to download ADE (the UPDATE, not even the first time he's done this); b) how to download the ePUB file that we post on our Production website (run via TeamworksPM--dead simple, mind you, and it's the second book we've done for him); c) and how to download the WORD FILE Proof form, open it, type in it, and save it. Oh, and yeah: couldn't figure out how to nagivate to the folder for "downloads."

Last Thursday, I showed a client, for the first, time, ever, how to have two things open on her desktop at once. A browser window, and a Word file. Or her email program and Firefox. She was positively gobsmacked. Didn't know how to put a program "down" and not "away."

As far as Windows hiding the actual location of folders from their users, of course they do that. We've all seen it, and we've all run into it with various and sundry command-line things we've endeavored to do. I mean, "Documents-->My Documents" most certainly isn't where that folder "really" is, and we--the type of geeksters that hang out here on MR--all know that. You think that the general public knows that? Hell, no, they don't. And if somebody else set up their computer for them? (Yes--shocking. But I have clients who cannot download programs, because they don't have admin privileges. They can't SEE their actual directories.)

I'm just sayin': unless you deal with the regular, not-geeky, public all day, telling them how to do stuff, you have NO idea what I'm talking about. That doesn't mean you're stupid, or your idea is bad, or anything like that; it just means...you are assuming that everyone can do "the simple stuff," and I'm here to tell you: no. They can't. Most of them find what we think to be normal, everyday computer usage challenging. I will tell you right now that more than 60% of my clients don't know what browser they use--when I ask, they say "Yahoo" or "Google" or whatever. Most of my clients don't know how to type in the URL bar--they can only search for things.

So: you can rock on as you see fit, but if you haven't spent any time in a CSR center providing tech assistance to the general public, I think you're in for a shock. I know that I've certainly been pretty shocked for the last five years, and I'm still shocked occasionally, which I thought was impossible.

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It seems not possible to be so ignorant about computers that you DON'T know about how to create a folder, don't know how to create and write some stuff into a text file, while you ARE able to use Word and all of its capabilities effectively. It just doesn't seem possible. If someone can open and save a file in Word (or even Notepad), then they already know enough to use the above system.
You didn't read what I wrote. I expressly told you that most people don't use Styles, but that they do use italics, bold, and underscores, AND FONTS, extensively.

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In my view, that does not compute. It seems not possible to be so ignorant about computers that you DON'T know about how to create a folder, don't know how to create and write some stuff into a text file, while you ARE able to use Word and all of its capabilities effectively. It just doesn't seem possible.
Seriously? I have news for you. Most of my users are not comfortable using folders. And they certainly wouldn't use a text file, for the reasons I outlined in my previous paragraph.

I am obviously not in a position to speak for "everyone." I can only speak for the 2K or so people who've passed through here. By definition, many are not tecchie; if they were, they'd make their own books. But if you're aiming a program deliberately at a "non-tecchie" crowd, you need to know what the realities are, and, I'll say it again: I think you'll be shocked. Maybe about the 30th time you try to explain to some person that words have to wrap in an ebook, you'll start to get the feel for it. Or the 50th time you've had to tell someone that they didn't actually attach their (Word) Proof form to their email. OR the 100th phone call where someone can't figure out how to download a file attachment in Yahoomail or AOL. What we consider "everyday," like making folders, copying files (yes: that's an unusual event for many of my clients), moving files, drag and drop--all of this is alien territory to a surprising number of people.

{shrug}. FWIW. As I said--rock on. Best of luck with your program, I mean it, I do. I just think that most people at that level of wanting "barebones" could very easily just use Ywriter for it, which acts pretty much like you're describing and outputs fairly clean RTF, which, Vydor says, can be made into a barebones ePUB. But hell, don't let me stop ya.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:18 PM   #24
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As far as Windows hiding the actual location of folders from their users, of course they do that.
Yes, and it's stupid, because in the end, no one actually knows *where* all of their stuff is, and people say stupid thinks like "my picturse are in iPhoto", or "my book is in Scrivener", which causes them to try to "back them up" by dragging and dropping the iPhoto or Scrivener icon onto a USB-stick.

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I'm just sayin': unless you deal with the regular, not-geeky, public all day, telling them how to do stuff, you have NO idea what I'm talking about. That doesn't mean you're stupid, or your idea is bad, or anything like that; it just means...you are assuming that everyone can do "the simple stuff," and I'm here to tell you: no.
I have worked as a first line support engineer (help desk employee) for about 6 years. I know what you are talking about.

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They can't. Most of them find what we think to be normal, everyday computer usage challenging. I will tell you right now that more than 60% of my clients don't know what browser they use--when I ask, they say "Yahoo" or "Google" or whatever. Most of my clients don't know how to type in the URL bar--they can only search for things.
The customers you describe do exist, but fortunately, even I didn't encounter those too often. People like those should be prohibited of using a computer.

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{shrug}. FWIW. As I said--rock on. Best of luck with your program, I mean it, I do. I just think that most people at that level of wanting "barebones" could very easily just use Ywriter for it, which acts pretty much like you're describing and outputs fairly clean RTF, which, Vydor says, can be made into a barebones ePUB. But hell, don't let me stop ya.
This is precisely what I can't understand.

HOW can someone use something like YWriter, let alone Word, with a hundred-thousand-bazzillion options, if they are not able to create a folder and put a file in it, on their fracking desktop?

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Old 11-05-2013, 09:07 AM   #25
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I think you just need to write the program for the way of working that makes sense to you. If you put it out there then others who think similarly will find it, use it and like it. Others won't, but that's OK.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:09 AM   #26
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I think you just need to write the program for the way of working that makes sense to you. If you put it out there then others who think similarly will find it, use it and like it. Others won't, but that's OK.
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:39 PM   #27
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I think you just need to write the program for the way of working that makes sense to you. If you put it out there then others who think similarly will find it, use it and like it. Others won't, but that's OK.
+1

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Old 11-09-2013, 02:36 PM   #28
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I'm pretty happy with TeX & LaTeX + emacs with AucTeX & converting to other formats from there, but there's an appealing simplicity to your idea. I like your jjust-the-text ma'am approach. The one snag for me would be managing the directories. I know it would be easier for me to keep track of things with something like \input & \include and/or \section commands. But otherwise, i think it's a great idea for outputting to epub.

For a minimalistic approach to pdf/paper output, there must be a LaTeX template out there with some placeholders and/or comments in them, e.g., \author{YOUR NAME HERE}, \title{[TYPE YOUR TITLE HERE}, [Type Chapter 1 here] and so on. Compilation could be done through a script on one of the off-site tex compilers. Write in this file, double click on this icon & here's your pdf.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:47 AM   #29
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Sigil could be used to write a book of course, but it doesn't have things like word count and such, and often it's no fun to edit a file converted with Calibre in Sigil.
Sigil 7.x has word count, Image use counts, misspell counts by file (section)

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Old 11-22-2013, 08:42 AM   #30
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Most of them find what we think to be normal, everyday computer usage challenging. I will tell you right now that more than 60% of my clients don't know what browser they use--when I ask, they say "Yahoo" or "Google" or whatever. Most of my clients don't know how to type in the URL bar--they can only search for things.

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The customers you describe do exist, but fortunately, even I didn't encounter those too often. People like those should be prohibited of using a computer.

Wow. Harsh.

Maybe people who can't use a racing car shouldn't be allowed to drive their Ford to the store.

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