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Show HN: A small weekend project - Distraction Free Writing (solitarydesigns.net)
43 points by kushsolitary on Jan 6, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 45 comments

<shamelessselfpromotion> If you DO want to save what you write, try http://throwww.com I built it a few months ago. Collections of what you write look like this http://throwww.com/u/sfard A ton more features coming in next few weeks. </shamelessselfpromotion>

See also: http://feathe.rs/

It looks like a simple browser based writer and a minimalistic blogging platform in one thing.

I like it pretty much. Especially the comments section under each post.

Keep up the good work!

Thanks. Can you say more re: comments? Would you prefer something like a Disqus?

No No No..don't change a thing on it. Or maybe just one thing: Make the vote up and vote down icons a bit sleeker.

k - I wont lie, that wont be a priority. But I'll add it to work list.

No preview before post?

You can post and edit whenever you want (effectively working as preview), so I thought (with the aim of keeping UI incredibly lightweight) I'd keep a "preview" button out.

By your question though, it sounds like I'll need to find a solution.

Distraction free, except for the added and unnecessary distraction of typewriter sound effects.

Not to mention the sound would sometimes lag behind my typing (I only wrote three sentences until I had to close the tab), which sounds somewhat similar to scraping your fingernails down a chalk board, only with more bass.

Honestly I closed the tab less than 10 seconds after opening it. The clicking sounds are more distracting than the dog barking outside.

You can disable it. Click on the top left, and then on the 'sounds' link.

The point is when I click a link titled "Distraction free writing", the very last thing I expect is to hear clicking noises until I refresh the page or wait for the intro to finish.

It would be like test driving a "distraction free car" that starts with the radio on full volume. Sure, you could turn it off, but why is it on to begin with?

Agreed. I'm not gonna bother sitting through that just to learn what the site actually does. Ridiculous.

Distraction free writing. Except you do it in the biggest distraction on your computer - the browser: where burning an hour like it's nothing is just a Ctrl + T away!

Yeah, I've got to be honest -- the name of the app is pretty counterintuitive. I couldn't understand how it was distraction-free. I kept switching tabs to see if it would punish me for distracting myself or something, but it didn't seem to have anything to do with being distraction-free at all. It's not until I read some of the comments that I realized it meant "distraction-free from editor UI & markup".

As a writer person, I love distraction free writing. My favourite tool is iA Writer.

Not because it's distraction free, but because it has the perfect defaults so I don't feel like tinkering. It also works on all my iDevices and syncs seamlessly, which is a total win when you like writing in random places as soon as there's a few spare minutes.

Now if only there was a Linux client ...

As for this particular project, I don't like that it runs in a browser, which likely means I can't use it when I'm offline ... for instance on a 10 hour train ride like I spent recently.

But I really love the typewriter noises. I have NoisyTyper installed on my laptop and it's marvelous.

+1 for iA Writer. Get it for your iPad or Mac now. http://s831.us/XclFCg

Don't forget for iPhone. Attaching a bluetooth keyboard to your phone feels funny, but it is the single best writing tool when you're travelling.

Wow, looks like a lot of people have literally the exact same idea as my roommate ( http://pencil.asleepysamurai.com/intro#p ). Personally, I don't really see The point in doing distraction free writing in a web browser. The only real advantage it offers is that you can access it from anywhere/any device.

Nice work. It's simple and functional. I think a lot of people in this thread are underestimating the skill it takes to build something truly simple like this.

I'm not a huge fan of the sound and the sliding panel could be animated a little bit faster. I would also personally vote on dark text on a white background.

All in all you've done a good job. Keep it up.

The noises sort of belie the "distraction-free" aspect. Keyboards already make noise. The app in which I'm writing does't need to make them as well. This should be disabled by default or perhaps eliminated entirely.

Other than the sounds, the actual aesthetic of the app is quite nice. A light theme would be appreciated, but overall fine.

The sounds effects are cute, but bleed into each other and produce strange noises if you type faster than your average bear. And bears don't type that fast, as you know.

iA Writer is a similar desktop app that I use for most of my writing: http://www.iawriter.com/

Just a thought, but you could update the title of the page to be the text in the first line of the document. This would make it easier to identify your work later when switching between windows.

How is this a weekend project? Shouldn't this be more along the lines of a Sunday morning after coffee but before I shit project?

It's a text box.

For posterity, I think the above comment is a great example of a "middlebrow dismissal."

Ah yes, because everything we do is worthy of praise, or makes for interesting discussion.

Just because some things are unjustly "middlebrow dismissed" does not mean that all "middlebrow dismissals" are unjust.

Sometimes the mindset is not to achieve but to create. Having hundreds of people critique your work builds character. This relates to the same psychological concept behind Toastmasters.

There are much better things on his blog. This is just a text box that is styled.


I'd love to see your weekend project after your coffee but before your morning dump...

You misunderstand me. My weekend project - my morning dump - completes on Sunday morning, after I drink my 20th cup of coffee. I am extremely constipated. I was implying that this project is incredibly complex, nuanced, and worthy of discussion.

Has anyone tried this and see someone else's writing? I did a refresh (first time using it - only person on this laptop) and when it came back it said "This is a test page... xyxysaysdfas" etc. The url was http://solitarydesigns.net/write/#v2

Well done!

I find the color scheme and sound combination very pleasing. Maybe I'll write some project documentation with this :)

I love the sound effects when you type, though it would be nice if you could toggle them on/off. Great work!

As much as typing one sentence and hearing the sounds wasn't bad, and thank god the toggle is actually in the sidebar already. I found it pretty ironic that a distraction free writing interface included obnoxious sound effects.

it's possible to toggle the sound in sidebar (click the button in left top corner)

i actually found the sound effect awkward and unnecessary because the app is called "_Distraction_ Free Writing"

I find that there is something satisfying about the sound of a keyboard. I guess I use to think of it at the sound of progress back in college. :)

Nice! it would be great if there would be some inspirational music options just like ommwriter dana II has.

A friend of mine is the programmer behind ommwritter. It's a really good piece of software for writters.

Or you could open Youtube, Spotify, Pandora, or any other one of myriad music and radio options online.

The distracting sound effect brings back vivid memories of saving my progress in Resident Evil.

Most of the comments are ignoring that OP posted this as a small weekend project, not the next great writing software. Congrats on producing this usable piece of work, I like the minimal aesthetics.

For distraction-free writing, I prefer vim in a fullscreen terminal.

I just realized I loved the clackity clack noises so googled around a bit and figured out you can activate them on OS X under Preferences -> Accessibility -> Slow Keys.

Didn't you post this like two weeks ago?

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