14 Sep 2007

Rails Rumble Voting

Last weekend I participated in the 48 hour programming contest called the Rails Rumble. They give you 48 hours to develop a web application in a framework called Ruby on Rails that I've talked about here several times in the past.
I thought it would be fun, and Jessica has been wanting me to write this app for her for some time now, so I worked for about 15 hours each of the two days and got it out there. It is called "Researchr", which is a name I really don't much like, but I couldn't come up with anything better when I registered, so forgive me. It's a writing app based loosely on a Mac writing app I like a lot called Scrivener.
It is sort of a non-linear text editor. You create a bunch of note cards - one for each idea you want to explore. You give each one a title and a synopsis of the idea. Then you can rearrange them, group them, attach references (books, journals, websites) to them, etc. You can view them (they look like actual little 3x5 notecards) and drag and drop re-arrange them to change their order:
RailsRumble Notes Screen
When you want to write, you can go to a "Compose Mode" that lists out each of your notes in sections in order and the text associated with each. You can click on a paragraph and edit the text to change that part of the paper.
RailsRumble Compose Screen
The cool thing is that the text stays associated with the note card, so at any time you can rearrange your paper in blocks by rearranging the note cards and the text will move around in the same way. Then at the end, when you're done writing, you can export your paper (right now into HTML or plain text, but I'll get around to Word and PDF later) and it formats it and even formats a bibliography of all the references you used in the paper.
Anyhow, I like the way it turned out, and they've opened up voting on the site, so please vote for me:
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