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The next version 6 - 17/10/2019 17:08

It has been a long time since I have given information or published a new version of oStorybook. The reason for this is that, as I have mentioned on several occasions, I have undertaken to rewrite the software. Today I estimate that I am at about 30% of this rewrite, so it is time for me to inform you about this project.

What will change

First of all, it is the structure of the file itself that will be modified. Indeed, I am abandoning the h2database database engine to adopt an XML file structure. This will ensure that users keep all their data in a readable form with which it is not necessarily necessary to use software. Those who would like to change software can always open their files with a simple text editor, such as a notepad, and copy/paste them to the software. The other advantage, technical this one, is to free yourself from external software, even if it is of very good quality, and reduce as much as possible the memory "footprint" (I estimate that the cumulative gain should lead to a reduction of almost 50% in the size of the software). In addition, I don't lose sight of the fact that an adaptation under Android is always required. This evolution of the file is therefore likely to facilitate this adaptation.

The other major change will be directly related to the interface. Indeed, it appeared that, for many, the traditional presentation, with its different tables in particular, can be "intimidating". This is why, by default, the "typing" mode, introduced by version 5.01.00, will be activated. The old mode, called "normal", will be renamed to "management mode" and will always remain available.

The "typing" mode will also be enhanced with a "scriptwriter" variant that will be activated as a replacement when working on a script rather than a novel or short story. This "scriptwriter" mode will provide an interface very oriented towards the production of a layout that meets the usual specifications of this sector of activity.

The introduction of the assistance function in version 5.03.00 will be completed to allow the implementation of the " snowflake " method. In parallel, new tools will make it possible to implement the "paper clip" method. Thus, the authors will be able to choose between four different working methods:

  • "manager", which corresponds to the usual functioning with its tables, for those who need to program and plan their work;
  • "snowflake", thanks to the extensive use of assistants;
  • "paper clip", for those who prefer to progress by emphasizing the spontaneity of their ideas;
  • "objectives", which could be likened to a " nanowrimo " method, by setting objectives in terms of text length or writing time.

Of course, at any time you can switch from one of these methods to the other, or even combine them freely. The spirit being that oStorybook is a collection of tools that the user can adjust according to his desires or needs.

Another new feature is that while the views will not be fundamentally modified, they will be enhanced with a mini toolbar that will make it easier to configure the said view. This is already the case for the scene table, for example. So, instead of going to the parts menu to select the one you want to work on, it will be directly visible and editable.

What remains to be done

As with previous versions, what is missing, and will continue to be missing, is solid documentation and tutorials focused on certain aspects. If you would like to contribute to writing this kind of document, do not hesitate to contact us now.

Another thing to do is to translate the software. I develop in French and English, but I have no knowledge of other languages. Again, if you have some time to devote to this work, it will be a real pleasure for me to integrate you into the translation team.

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