Screenplay writers have a tough job and their script makes or breaks a play. We understood this, and created a simple yet comprehensive editing suite for scriptwriters that works in the browser, has the capability to edit scripts in rich text format, and most importantly, facilitates real-time collaboration between multiple scriptwriters and artists.

💪What it does💪

ScriptHub is a collaborative script writing web application. It allows users to collaborate over a script in real time, perfect for projects involving multiple screenwriters and artists. Users can self-host the application, add the required libraries and environment variables and instantly start collaborating and editing their scripts. Users may choose to work in plain text format, or rich text format which unlocks access to dozens of cool text editing features that make ScriptHub as efficient as a Google Doc, for instance. There is also a button to export the finished script, which when clicked, renders the screenplay in a printable PDF format. You could print it out or print to PDF and share it with your fellow editors or artists. We hope to facilitate better coordination among various artists to allow their ideas and inspirations to come to fruition.

🏗How we built it🏗

We built ScriptHub using Express, Node, HTML, CSS, JS for the User Interface, which was further bolstered with Tailwind CSS. We used Ckeditor and Jquery for the rich text formatting feature of our script-writing software. Furthermore, we did full justice to various sponsor tools from the MLH Software Lab this weekend and used them in the following ways:

🔴 Twilio 🔴

  • This weekend, we learnt that there is a whole lot more to Twilio than just text messages and phone calls.
  • We created a Twilio API key and a new Sync service using Twilio Sync to facilitate real-time collaboration between scriptwriters on the same script.
  • Building in-app collaboration and continuous experiences across devices in ScriptHub was super easy, thanks to Twilio Sync - which has amazing tutorials and awesome, well-maintained documentation and a big community. Another reason we used Twilio was a 99.95% uptime SLA made possible with automated failover and zero maintenance windows.
  • What makes a good collaboration app is its ability to resolve conflicts when users are making simultaneous updates. We learnt that Twilio implements optimistic concurrency control (OCC) in the REST API and SDKs for managing and resolving differences in state between users. — THIS, is what makes ScriptHub so amazing!

🟡 Google Cloud 🟡

🚧Challenges we ran into🚧

  • This was my second time using Twilio, and first time using the API and Sync service. I did run into a lot of problems, but luckily Twilio’s documentation always helped me out.

🏆Accomplishments that we're proud of🏆

  • Accomplishing everything we wanted to and building a well designed, highly efficient collaborative screenplay writing tool.

📚What we learned📚

  • We learnt how to use Twilio
  • I learnt how to use the capabilities of Firebase to host a website for free.
  • We polished our skills in Node, Express, APIs, and other technologies we used this weekend.

🚀What's next for ScriptHub🚀

  • We want to focus more on the collaboration aspects - such as adding a commenting feature and improving based on user feedback

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