Writing Without Distractions in Linux

Posted by jun auza On 7/24/2008
The best way to write or compose something important using a computer is to do it without any distraction. But how is it possible to concentrate if your email notification keeps on popping, your Twitter updates are flashing, and you are always tempted to open your RSS reader? What’s my solution? I use a distraction free writer. -- A full-screen writing environment minus the desktop clutter. No distractions, no buttons, menus, and formatting; Just me and my text.

If you want to experience writing without distractions while in Linux, I can recommend these two full-screen text editors.

1. PyRoom
PyRoom is written in Python + GTK, and it's Free and Open Source software. Its basic features include:

* Full screen multidocument text editor;
* Small set of shortcuts;
* Simple help page for shortcuts;
* Different styles / colorsets available;

I really love using PyRoom not only because it is written in Python, but also because it's light and fast. However, it doesn't have important features like “autosave” at the moment, and it's still a little bit buggy. If you want to try PyRoom, you can get it HERE.


2. JDarkRoom
Written in Java, JDarkRoom was heavily inspired by DarkRoom, an implementation of WriteRoom (which is a Mac-only application that costs $24.95) for Windows. You can get JDarkRoom for Linux without paying a single dime.

Here are some of its features:
* Auto-save backups - so you never lose your work again;
* You can change your colour preferences, font and font size;
* Remembers the file that you were working on last time;
* Notifies you if you might have forgotten to save your changes;
* Word/line/character count;
* Specify a file on the command-line for JDarkRoom to open it at startup;
* Adjustable margins to fit any screen resolution;
* Text search;
* A command-reminder strip can be displayed at the bottom of the screen;

You can get JDarkRoom HERE.


While Abiword is my main word processor, I always do my first draft on a distraction free writer like PyRoom and JDarkRoom. It keeps me focused and just gets the job done without delay. Not to mention that it's very easy to use and doesn't require you to memorize tons of keyboard shortcuts. --Reminds me of using a typewriter, only it’s effortless.

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