the binbrook caucus BY PETER SCHAFFTER

The Binbrook Caucus was written on various boxes running Debian GNU/Linux. All the writing was done in the vim text editor, with help from aspell, par (a paragraph reformatter) and sed. Vim also doubled as an outliner and cardfile (through the misuse of helptags). Dictionary and thesaurus lookups were provided by a local dictd server and the dict-wn, -foldoc, -jargon, and -moby-thesaurus databases.

Of particular usefulness during the planning stages was kdissert, a mindmap tool that served as a virtual corkboard to arrange sections, chapters, and scenes, as well as to keep track of characters and settings.

The typesetting was done with groff using the mom macros (Conflict of Interest Disclaimer: I wrote the mom macros) and Keith Marshall's pdfmark package. Individual chapter files were first collated with cat and sed. Sed was then used again to insert formatting into the resultant book file, which was piped through groff for final processing with ps2pdf. The entire pipeline was handled by a bash script that left my original plaintext files intact.

The dust jacket was created with the GIMP, as were the graphics on the website. The occasional 2-d vector drawings in the body of the book were done with xaralx.

The website was coded by hand in vim. The online reading version of the book was produced by changing the page dimensions in the formatting script and re-running it; no further intervention was required. The pdf book file was then sliced up and converted to swf files with pdf2swf.

From start to finish, not one penny was spent on proprietary software.