Andrew Roach is a user on You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse.

And also, not github.

Version control and branching, but for fiction.

With print-on-demand integration and automatic generative cover art and typsetting.

I wanted to build this 10 years ago, but I got caught up in the weeds over trying to build a machine learning-adjacent (but before I knew what machine learning was) story engine, that would help ensure internal consistency between branches/merges.

(that is to say, if you fork a story and re-write it so that a major death doesn't happen, it was supposed to keep track of that and remove references to that death later on.)

Andrew Roach @ajroach42

But yeah, fiction + branching and version control and merging and versioning!

Front load it with public domain content, encourage people to write Female!Holmes, or Queer!Connan, or NotHorriblyRacist!Lovecraft.

Treat fanfiction as an extension of, addition to, and supplement for cannon. Keep track of who wrote which bits, and share revenue from POD books.

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I don't have time to do this on my own, but I'd love to contribute to it if someone else wants to build it.

Alternately, I'll build it myself at some point in the future. (3-5 years?)

@ajroach42 you can keep the existing git and just build a better text formatting system. Like 1 line per sentence. It would be great to look at diffs from good writers That would be a cool insight into the process of good writing.

@ajroach42 actually new formats are also unneeded. There is already Open document foundation format, which is an xml. Then we use something like diffxml for diffs, and I could hack this out, in maybe a week.

@crystalsopen Neat!

The front end would need to be pretty carefully considered too.

It occurs to me that there are several potential use cases for this back end, and I'm not sure what the optimum front-end would look like.

I know how I would want to use it (as described in this thread), but there are certainly use cases beyond remixing

@ajroach42 the front end I'd where I would want most help. For a rapid prototype, gitlab ce seems like maybe a good starting point. I'd insert an open source, in browser text editor. And a remote api. Once the prototype works, then its easier for people whole excel at design and style to contribute. I'm thinking the make it work then make it good approach makes sense here.

Then a plugin to popular word processors, as every writer likes different stuff.

@crystalsopen When I was playing with this originally, I was also looking at gitlab CE as a base.

I'm decent at the front-end stuff. or I was 2 years ago when I did it every day, and I would be again after a few minutes of tinkering.

IF this is something you're actually interested in building, lemme know.

@ajroach42 I need to put some thought into whether I want to take this on. 🤔🤷‍♀️

@ajroach42 I'm no longer considering the git-lab ce path. Personally, I don't like Ruby after having worked with it a couple times. After reading the code git lab is going to be much more complex to modify than I anticipated. I'm considering a git extension and a JavaScript app, now.

@crystalsopen Neat!

I haven't looked through the gitlab codebase at all, but I can understand the desire not to work in ruby.

@ajroach42 I love this idea, though I have no skills to help bring it into to existence. exists, and is great in a lot of ways, but not really what you're proposing here.

@ajroach42 I personally found Lovecraft's racism quite charming. It gave the experience several more layers for geeks to obsess about and nitpick. Loads of fun!