Choosing Software for Digital Fiction: Step 1

Deciding on a Platform

This was pretty simple. All it took was my supervisor handing me some CD-ROMs containing the premier examples of electronic writing (all hypertexts in Storyspace). Then me sitting down at my MacBook with Leopard OSX. Uh, right. I could not open a single one. All were for Windows platforms from the 90s. One had Mac capability…Classic 7, I think. Ha.

The best I could do was open my Windows parallel in VMware and play around with the texts. I hated it. One, it slows the entire computer down to 90s dialup pace. Probably great for people reading these texts in the 90s, because they weren’t used to having 15 Firefox windows (with 20 tabs each), plus Open Office, plus mail, plus calendar, plus…plus…plus. Two, give it a few more years, and you won’t even be able to open those texts on Windows machines. The Book of Kells was written on toilet paper (okay, not true) and it’s lasted longer. Three, you can’t go over to Eastgate and get the updated version. Oh no. You have to purchase it all over again. Bah humbug.

The only platform that has any relative longevity in the electronic age (and even this won’t last as long as the Book of Kells, I’m betting) is the web. You can access the web on a Mac, PC, Linux, your iPhone, whatever. I can access sites built in 1994 today just as easily as I could then. So for universality and electronic longevity, I want to build a website for my stories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *