Early Thoughts On Sophie

I’ve installed and played around with Sophie for a few days now. It’s an Alpha release, so expect bugs and crashes and weird little things to pop up.
The current Sophie user interface is clunky, to say the least – objects dragged about don’t feel snappy, and there are no help files built into the software. There is no right click functionality anywhere. To make things worse, the only documentation I’ve found is a Quicktime movie over at the Sophie project page, and while it may cover all the basics for writing a Sophie eBook it isn’t enough.

The project site is a minor drawback on its own – it is hard to navigate and is a complete pain when you’re trying to find information about the software. A quick peek around tells me the site is running on Drupal, though I may be mistaken.

Perhaps a wiki will help, in due time.

I’m not exactly sure how Sophie will be accepted by the global eBook publishing community, and from what I see it looks like a glorified cross-platform version of Powerpoint. With comments, streaming and web integration.

But apart from all the Alpha hiccups (we must give it time to grow), Sophie has all the basics in place. Videos, music, pictures and good typography support are built in, as well as integration with servers. The inclusion of a Timeline feature is slightly perplexing to me – books are meant to be browsed at your own pace, are they not? – but overall it looks very promising.

I’ll see if I can help out with documentation – Sophie has a lot of potential; let’s hope it starts taking off in a year or two.

Download Sophie here.

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Category: Publishing · Writing Tools