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New App for Writing Documents Online

creativity ~ ruby ~ rails

11 Jun, 2009

I'm a big fan of BaseCamp -- an online project management tool. BaseCamp also gives you WriteBoards, which are roughly analogous to shared, online MS Word Documents.

WriteBoards are cool, but they fall short in a few areas. Firstly, they're not pretty enough; I don't feel that I'd really want to show a customer a WriteBoard document. Also, they only support TextTile, and I quite like Markdown and MultiMarkdown. Finally, WriteBoards don't have a good public API, so getting at the content and re-purposing it is a PITA.

I've been having fun creating various online tools this year, such as yUML. yUML went live after only four days of development work, but seemed to hit a positive note with many users.

myDocs, by Tobin Harris

Enlarge Image.

The image above shows another online tool that I've thrown together: working name is myDocs. This was another four-day project, who's goals were to help me publish Word-Lookalike documents online.

myDocs has the following features:

  • Author onlnie using TextTile orMarkdown
  • Pretty to look at
  • Pretty to print out
  • Keeps version history
  • Compare versions showing added and removed content
  • Add sticky note comments to documents
  • Review documents and comments

My company, Engine Room are benefitting from it internally, but we have yet to think of how it might be used by anyone else.

This tool doesn't have a public home page yet, but there is a demo page available.

If you like what you see, post up your thoughts and I'll think about how to release it to a wider audience!

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