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Writing Wikis....

Last night I started setting up my book with VooDoo Pad, which is an OSX Macintosh based personal Wiki. I like it for some of it’s features, but other features are somewhat annoying. I’m still in the playing around stages with it, to see if I like it or not. With it, I’ll be able to organize my writing notes, character profiles, and what not for my writing. I hit the page buffer last evening for the demo not even half way through what I was trying to set up. Sadness! So, I may have to buck up and purchase a license to the full version.

Or,

I could try MoinX – which is another OSX Macintosh based Wiki, that GIVES you the option of running it as a personal Wiki, on a network, or on the internet. I downloaded it last night, but haven’t gotten the opportunity to play really just yet.

I need to weigh the pros and cons of both systems. At a glance, I know the following:

Pros:

MoinX:
* MoinX is more like a traditional Wiki and seems to be more reader friendly than VooDoo Pad. Only the links to a new page that you want to show appear, rather than having every word that’s ever linked appear as a link (which makes it hard to read your selection)

VooDoo Pad:
* links are easy to add, just highlight and click the link button, new page and link are added.
* aliases are easy to add as well.

Cons:

MoinX:
* link a normal wiki, there is some coding involved to link the pages, but it does not follow the normal wiki coding standards for page links. Instead it’s [“insert text here”] instead of simply [insert text here], unless, of course, I’m missing something.

VooDoo Pad:
* the links make EVERYTHING link that’s associated with a word. It makes reading sections unwieldly. Generally, I only want the first item with a page to be linked, not all of them. Having 20 blue Kristens in a section does not the happy reader make.

Mind you – this is only at a glance. I still need to play with MoinX. That will be tonight’s experiment as I start to set things up a second time. Then, I’ll decide whether or not I want to turn VooDoo Pad into VooDoo Pad Pro, or if I’d prefer to use MoinX, which is cost free at the moment.

In this case, cost doesn’t mean anything. I can pay $10.00 for a product just fine… but if it’s going to be more trouble than it’s worth, then there’s no reason to pay. In either case, it will be very nice to set “notes” apart from “writing” and to look things up about characters and what not with an easily clickable link, and then just go “back” when I want to go back to writing. And when I’m ready? I can transfer it all over to an MS Word equivalent document, save, and send.

If you’re a Macintosh user and have any experiences with either program, I’d love your thoughts and input about additional pros and cons!

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Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
wonderwombat
Mar. 22nd, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC)
I tried both, mostly because when I got Timber back from its first HD disaster this winter, I hadn't upgraded to Tiger yet, I'd lost my Panther-friendly VooDooPad version and couldn't manage to find it on their website. Someone recommended MoinX to me, so I tried it. In all honesty, I didn't use it very long, for a number of reasons.

First of all, MoinX doesn't have its own display; it basically installs itself on your browser and uses that as its interface. (I'm not explaining it terribly well, but if you've tried it yet, you'll see what I mean.) This may be a plus for some people, but it drove me crazy. I like to keep my browsing and my writing separate.

Secondly, the fact that MoinX uses different wiki codes drove me absolutely nuts. I could not at first figure out why things weren't displaying corectly, and then found myself having to look up all sorts of formatting. I found it frustrating and counter-productive. I find formatting in VooDooPad fairly intuitive -- most of it was what I thought it should be.

In my case, I only used MoinX one night and never really looked at it again. Once I'd upgraded to Tiger, I downloaded VooDooPad again, cut/pasted all my stuff from MoinX into it, and shortly thereafter purchased the license. In the end, I think the only way to be sure is to play with them -- it's an individual thing. I find when it comes to writing, it's a matter of personal comfort -- what you're comfortable with and can use. MoinX simply didn't suit me at all.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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