Does anyone know of a app for / ? Like a , but all the user can do is write, not edit, and export as . Basically the software version of a typewriter. Or a text editor with a 'compose' mode the user can toggle on and off? I have a terrible habit of distracting myself by editing as I write. Composing with pen and paper limits this, but then I have to type stuff up :-{

@strypey The only thing that comes to mind is 'cat'. It can do that.

@strypey believe it or not, I use ed(1) as a forward only text composer. You can use it to edit existing text, but doing so is painful enough that you're better off using other tools.

@starbreaker ed(!)? What is it? Where do I find information about it? How do I install it?

@strypey Try "which ed" first. You might already have it. If so, try "man ed" or check out this page.

@starbreaker had a skim. This looks useful in general, but I'm familiar with CLI text editors, I just can't be bothered learning to use them properly. What I'm specifically looking for is something that *stops* me from editing, while I'm composing. The Hemingway Mode in GhostWriter looks like what I'm after.

@strypey I don't know of one, but that's a great idea! I might whip one up, though it'll have to be in Electron since I don't know anything about GUI programming. Let me know if you're interested.

@jrc03c go for gold! I'm sceptical about apps for reasons discussed here:

But I would certainly consider using a web app I could visit using my browser. An alternative approach to using Electron is to do what does, launch the GUI using the default browser on the system, instead of bundling one with the app.

You mean it literally disables the delete key? That would drive me mad. But for otherwise typewriter-esque behaviour you might like Wordgrinder.

>You mean it literally disables the delete key?

Ideally, yes, but I would settle for disable cut'n'paste and moving the cursor anywhere other than the end of the current text. I want something that forces me to focus on getting my ideas down first. Then come back and edit using a different tool. Thanks for the tip though, I'll check out .

I can see some of the appeal but I would find myself distracted by not being able to fix typos as I go. Removal for formatting options would be my biggest boon I think.

@priryo @strypey That does a lot. For me, most thinks on a computer can be worked around somehow, and I think of that. That's why I sometimes find that writing longhand or on a typewriter itself is a necessary step - my own mindset and approach to the text changes because there are no workarounds and the physicality helps. Once you lose the formatting options, you do gain a lot. Lose visual distractions, same. But on a computer I always go back and change things.

@priryo @strypey I know there are whole groups dedicated to hardware typewriter type things which save simple files. That made it even into the Guardian a while back. Can't find it now. It was not this one on the [hipster-friendly] Hemningwrite:

@priryo you mean removal *of* formatting options? Any basic text editor gives you that (compared to a full word processing app or desktop publishing suite) . Especially a CLI one like Emacs or Vi. But formatting is not what distracts me. I don't do any. It's the compulsive re-drafting while composing that holds me back.

@priryo compile from source? :-{ I do, vaguely remember how to do that, but unless you're doing a lot of it, and creating an efficient system for regularly updating stuff, it creates a maintenance nightmare. 's looks more like what I'm after. Thanks though, I'll certainly keep a weather eye on the development of WordGrinder, and share it with the writers group I'm part of :)

@strypey All the zenware stuff became fairly bloated a few years back when it became hipster-friendly. WriteMonkey which I used on Windows years ago (I'm talking 8-10) is the closest I have come across to what you were describing, but only in one of the modes. FocusWriter is the closest I have seen on Linux but doesn't come so close. I just boot into the console now and use emacs but I know that's not what you're asking; just to say it's the closest I have yet found.

@strypey Byline, btw, is one of the crowd-funded journalism sites coming up. UK-based. I ought to start opening it more, and the Guardian less. Patchy, as these projects tend to be at first, but they have broken some big stuff being ignored elsewhere, and Carol Cadwalladr of The Observer has worked with Peter Jukes and speaks highly of J. J. Patrick.

@strypey Oh neglected to say. I do write on a typewriter too. It's a pain in the ass and you don't get a txt file without a lot of additional effort. For some writing projects the discipline that gives you - and the necessity of truly redrafting - is a necessary evil in my opinion. Or at least, I have not surpassed it or replicated that part of my workflow with a computer - and I have been trying for ten years plus.

@krozruch I did have a typewriter at one point. I found it difficult to find keep it working. Ribbons and repairers are becoming more and more rare in my country. Also, I know myself, I'm very averse to typing stuff up from written or typed pages. I have boxes of old writing stored in people's attics. That's why I compose on the laptop, and why I asked the question I did ;-)

@strypey I'd be inclined to rig up a Molly guard for your backspace and arrow keys, and put the mouse out of reach, or something.

@artsyhonker Molly guard? Mouse is a touchpad, but I could find out (or set up) hotkeys to disable it during composing sessions ...

@strypey @artsyhonker Is it a Synaptics touch pad? I used to use syndaemon to make it behave.

@strypey A Molly guard is a physical cover for a button.

@artsyhonker ah, OK. I'm not sure how well that would work with my netbook keyboard, and I'm more looking for a software solution I can easily deploy if I switch devices. But thanks for the tip :-)

@artsyhonker @strypey

not heard of them called molly guards, but Ofcom (UK Communications Ministry) ordered ITV's playout centre to fit one of these over the large red "TAKE NEXT" button on a TV studio controller after an incident where England were playing football and just as they scored a goal someone pressed the button, causing the live feed to be cut across by adverts - on that particular system (which I've worked on) are completely impossible to stop once the button is pressed 😆 >>

@artsyhonker @strypey

ITV also got a large fine for doing this, as it was one of the first HD transmissions and loads of people had bought HD tellies specially to watch this match.

it was ITV's decision to have the system set up in that manner (making it impossible to stop an advert sequence) in the 1990s as they openly admitted that they considered the adverts to be more important than programme content...

@strypey If you truly want to hobble yourself to prevent editing, there's always "cat >> tmp.txt". You'll still be able to backspace over the last thing you typed (unless you turn that off with stty), but once you hit Enter that's it. If you want even less on screen , write a shell script to read a line, append it to a file, then clear the screen and read the next line. HTH.

@strypey you can also try: cat >> filename then ctrl-d when you finish writing. Some people prefer using EOF: cat >> filename <<EOF write what you want then have EOF in a line by itself.

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