I’m continuing with my XUL Dark Matter series, which I started with TabPress, a visual editor for simple tabbed content. (Which is at 0.3 now and has theme support)
Now I’ll be looking at Phloneme. Phloneme is a desktop authoring tool as well. It is currently configured to work hand-in-hand with Vocab Collab. Unlike the other XUL projects that I’ve done, Phloneme and Vocab Collab are personal projects that I’ve done in my scant personal free time. I wanted to discipline myself in sticking with something and finishing it through, and this combo was the guinea pig!
(Now, evangelizing a project is a whole different beast and I’m not really pushing that real hard right now with Phloneme and Vocab Collab, but if you know someone interested in the subject domain, pass it along!)
So the whole point of Phloneme (Combination of flow and phoneme), is to write rhymes. It allows you to create, edit, save and publish rhymes directly to Vocab Collab.
The interesting part of the whole thing comes from the ability for the author to easily create structured content, and then push that structure online in the form of a special microformat I’ve created just for rhymes. The structure they add are user-defined rhymes.
The authoring tool allows the user to designate rhyming words in a highly visual way. This is all edited and kept track of through microformat style overloaded class attributes. The document format is XHTML. The editing is taken care of via the awesome Mozilla Midas Spec.
So when the user publishes online, you get all the structured rhymes inserted into the database. The visual display of the rhyme also matches that in the authoring tool, since they can use pretty much the same CSS and everything.
One of the cool advantages of the structured content can be seen in the search feature in Phloneme. You can search for rhyming words for a particular word, and it will return live results from Vocab Collab.
If the user simply wants to copy and paste some rhymes from a search result into his own document, an automatic attribution and link will be created, so once published it will link to the work it derived from. That brings up another feature that I’ve added, which is the ability to select a Creative Commons license when publishing.
This was just one of those personal project ideas that I thought would be cool. Don’t really know what to do with it now. I sure did learn a lot about XULRunner, XUL, and the Midas spec while working on it though.
If you would like to play around with Phloneme, go ahead and have fun. You don’t need a Vocab Collab account unless you plan on publishing. Bust a rhyme!
Getting started tutorial on Phloneme. (With some screenshots)
I’m not done with the XUL Dark Matter series, still have a couple to go yet!