These are chat archives for dabblewriter/dabble

30th
Jan 2016
Matt
@matthopson
Jan 30 2016 18:10
Don't wanna fill that github issue with useless thoughts. If we had a hosted version of the app or the plugins this could be a paid feature to cover the costs of the hosting / CDN.
Self hosted could do whatever they wanted for free or whatever regarding plugins and hosting
Er modules.
Jacob Wright
@jacwright
Jan 30 2016 18:19
So that’s cool that gitter automatically updated the channel for us
I transfered ownership to dabblewriter and now it has the logo and everything at the top.
Matt
@matthopson
Jan 30 2016 18:21
I noticed that!
Jacob Wright
@jacwright
Jan 30 2016 18:24
There are two types of extension we could consider.
  1. simply a modular approach to application building, where we create modules that allow creating new and different products based off of the original. The use-case for this is creating different focused products, like IntelliJ. There is Webstorm, AppCode, RubyMine, etc. all based off of IntelliJ.
  2. user-added extensions that provide extra functionality on a user-by-user basis. This use-case is a user adding functionality to their product that they want but other users may not want it.
The intellij comparison is a good one in this case.
They have the different products as well as plugins on top of it.
I feel like making the core extensible with modules it gives more people reason to contribute and expand the ecosystem. We’re not pigeon-holing into a novel writer. But we’re also not making a novel writer (my original goal) cluttered with the ability to create scientific papers.
Jacob Wright
@jacwright
Jan 30 2016 18:29
In the 2nd use-case we could provide a CDN with published plugins (lets call them plugins) or we could piggy-back off of github or npm. Allow plugin authors to list their plugins in a dabble/dabble-plugins repo with pull requests. And then require a certain tagging scheme and deploy or something.
Something we can figure out down the road. Right now I want 2 things. A base dabble product that can add folders and files however you see fit (like scrivener). And a novel module that makes dabble a novel writer like the alpha shows. Then we can start to fill out the module support.
what are your thoughts?
am I going overboard here? Should we keep it to just a novelist tool?
with plugins for users
Matt
@matthopson
Jan 30 2016 18:31
I think yeah, let's get the mvc out - and then we will have a better understanding of how plugins can be helpful and how to deliver them.
We can start with our own plugins and expand that later for additional support.
Jacob Wright
@jacwright
Jan 30 2016 18:33
when you say plugins, do you mean #1 or #2?
haha, 1 or 2
Matt
@matthopson
Jan 30 2016 18:33
One of the things that hubot does... After you install your script (npm install hubot-amerigo) you have to add a reference to the external-scripts.coffee for it to be usable.
Which I think is silly but in this case it kinda makes sense. You could update your scripts without reinstalling node modules. Essentially turning them on and off
I think 2
But honestly I'm curious how big the market were considering here.
Jacob Wright
@jacwright
Jan 30 2016 18:35
hubot doesn’t have a central product, every instance is a new user-instance. Let’s use intellij’s model to compare. 1 is the new product use-case 2 is the user-customization use-case.
Matt
@matthopson
Jan 30 2016 18:35
How many aspiring writers are also developers who want to build their own product.
Furthermore how many different types of writing projects is a single user going to be writing for?
Seems to lend itself toward use case 1
Jacob Wright
@jacwright
Jan 30 2016 18:36
The market for novelists is small. The market for playwrights is a lot bigger. The market for other types of writing products (scientific papers, white papers, school projects) is even bigger. All of them combined might be quite large.
Matt
@matthopson
Jan 30 2016 18:37
Yeah so do you build the ecosystem for every type of writing project - or the means for folks to build more tailored writing experiences.
Jacob Wright
@jacwright
Jan 30 2016 18:38
I think we will support both use-cases eventually. We will start with 1 which from hence-forth we will call modules. We may eventually get to use-case 2 which we will call plugins.
This will help avoid confusion.
Well, we build the means for more tailored writing experiences. IMO this is better for the users.
Matt
@matthopson
Jan 30 2016 18:39
I think maybe if I'm a noob to writing in general (let's say a dabbler ) I may try different things out - or possibly expand my formats and I'd rather not switch products once I'm familiar with one. So that's a point in the big ecosystem column
Jacob Wright
@jacwright
Jan 30 2016 18:39
But, if we encourage these to be open-sourced we can help build an ecosystem as well.
Matt
@matthopson
Jan 30 2016 18:39
Totally
Jacob Wright
@jacwright
Jan 30 2016 18:39
good point.
Matt
@matthopson
Jan 30 2016 18:40
I don't think we're going to run into any road blocks in the near term that will make either goal difficult later though.
Jacob Wright
@jacwright
Jan 30 2016 18:40
maybe everything is a plugin and not a module. And a particular deploy can just include certain plugins by default?
Matt
@matthopson
Jan 30 2016 18:40
Yeah. That's kinda what I was thinking originally.
You expand the product with additional plugins - which are built by developers like us or other contributors
Jacob Wright
@jacwright
Jan 30 2016 18:41
So for my original vision of a novel-focused product it is just Dabble with the novelist plugin as a default. But any user can add the playwrighter plugin. And remove the novelist one if they want.
Matt
@matthopson
Jan 30 2016 18:43
Yeah and if we have a plugin repository / CDN - these could be installed at runtime in your plugins directory and enabled.
Be kinda like wordpress's model with that regard
Wordpress - everything is a post and plugins augment post types.
Jacob Wright
@jacwright
Jan 30 2016 18:45
The goal is to create a great writing product that works in the browser, on the desktop, and on mobile, and that can have great features specific to a certain type of product (such as a novel). It sounds like going with just plugins will be the simplest way to get there instead of having two concepts that compete.
Matt
@matthopson
Jan 30 2016 18:45
Yeah
I feel like the modules conversation is kinda still relevant though. That could be the pathway to plugin contribution.
Jacob Wright
@jacwright
Jan 30 2016 18:46
My personal goal is to create a novel-writer and add additional paid services on top of that to create a sustainable business.
Matt
@matthopson
Jan 30 2016 18:46
Maybe just not in the npm format. But similar.
Again wordpress is a good example.
Jacob Wright
@jacwright
Jan 30 2016 18:47
what would we use modules for?
Matt
@matthopson
Jan 30 2016 18:47
But I don't think that should be a big focus for now since its not necessary for the MVP, and really, how far would you be able to extend this thing. I don't imagine there's be thousands of plugins for it
Modules is a bad example. I was still trying to differentiate between a developers plugin and the end user
I think having some conventions in place for scripting new plugins including docs and testing is a good thing. The end user consuming the plugin doesn't care as much about that.
Jacob Wright
@jacwright
Jan 30 2016 18:51
yeah
Probably hundreds of plugins
Matt
@matthopson
Jan 30 2016 18:52
But plugins could also be font packs and themes.
Which I definitely think we'd see some contributions for.
Jacob Wright
@jacwright
Jan 30 2016 18:53
exactly
Matt
@matthopson
Jan 30 2016 18:53
I wonder if we could find a breakdown of plugins for say like Atom. How many are UI related vs functional - and how many of those are dupes or slight alterations of another.
Granted. That's back to developers developing plugins to make developing easier for them and others.
But it should provide some insight into how people choose to be productive in general. (IE people like it when it's pretty)
Jacob Wright
@jacwright
Jan 30 2016 18:56
Some that I’ve considered:
  • cloud-storage (paid)
  • github storage
  • publish to kindle store
  • Wattpad integration
  • NaNoWriMo integration (auto-wordcount-submission, tracking, etc.)
  • word-count analytics
  • request-an-editor
  • find-an-agent
  • adverb finder
  • dialog editing
  • novels
  • screenplays
  • scientific papers (maybe?)
It will be challenging deciding what features go into core and what become plugins. And how plugins interact with each other.
So the next thing for core is adding a default menu at the top of the nav to create folders and files.
In the prototype I had no top-level container representing the project. Just the main nav items like Manuscript and Plot. For core we’ll want a top-level.
Jacob Wright
@jacwright
Jan 30 2016 19:02
@matthopson how’s your time for working on dabble? I don’t want to be taking everything.
Matt
@matthopson
Jan 30 2016 19:06
Finishing up a couple freelance projects now. Be done in the next few weeks and I've got another side project for a friend I'm about to dig into with Chip2. That said I'd like to say I can contribute an hour a night on it. I know that seems low, but my plan is to aim low and achieve high there. Once I get rolling ill inevitably spend more time than that in it.
All freelance stuff sorted out by end of Feb and then I'll have a ton more time on my hands.
It's been a little busier the last few weeks just because we're in the process of getting moved over into a smaller RV. Which were renovating but hitting the home stretch for that.
March is going to be my month!!!
Jacob Wright
@jacwright
Jan 30 2016 19:07
k, just speak up to grab something and you can take it.
I’ll continue as I do
Matt
@matthopson
Jan 30 2016 19:08
Sure.
I will say I do better when I've got a prioritized list in front of me.
So if we can label issues as critical or like a defcon value that'd be helpful for me.
Jacob Wright
@jacwright
Jan 30 2016 19:14
k, right now it’s just porting over prototype stuff by making it more generic. I’m working on navigation today so you can create folders/files from there.