Late to the game

Dr
Dragle
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:23 pm
Platform: Linux

Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:43 pm Post

Hi all,

I just installed the linux version the other day and I see it expires tomorrow. Without having had much time to check it out, it really looks great :D , but what happens after the 15th? Will there be another beta to dl? Is there a target date for when the release version will be available to buy? Looking around the site, I couldn't find any info on that. I'd like to try using this for Nanowrimo this year, so it would be good to get it beforehand to start creating my outline and characters in it.

In any case, thanks to the developers for supporting linux!
A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
-- Thomas Mann

na
nathanzal
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:43 am
Platform: Windows

Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:15 pm Post

You can install the new Windows beta using Wine 1.3; I've done this on Ubuntu 10.04 and it works pretty well. Lee's announcement about the new Windows beta contains information about when he intends to release the new Linux beta as well. In the meantime if you still want to work with the old beta you can turn back your system clock after the 15th, as Lee suggests.

The announcement is here:

http://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=14568

Dr
Dragle
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:23 pm
Platform: Linux

Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:36 pm Post

Thanks for that.
I see it says there that a linux version will be released next week. I don't like trying to run windows stuff in wine. Do you do that all the time or just now while you're waiting for the linux version?--i.e., is the windows version under wine somehow better than the native linux version? I haven't tried out all the features yet to see what works and what doesn't.
A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
-- Thomas Mann

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garpu
Posts: 1928
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Platform: Linux

Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:23 am Post

I use wine all the time for Scrivener, Steam (and half a dozen games under that), Guild Wars, and WoW. I haven't had an issue, but you need to not mind tinkering with things. You also need to be using the most current version of wine, because the "stable" one isn't current enough (or at least the stable one that ships with most distros that include it.) For me, I use a lot of PDFs, and the windows version has PDF functionality, while the linux native one doesn't.

The native dll's aren't needed anymore. When I installed Scrivener on my laptop, I forgot to copy them over, and Scrivener installed and works just fine. You'll need winetricks and the things listed in the wiki, though. (vcrun2005, the later one I'm forgetting, dotnet, and quartz. corefonts and fontsmooth, if you want it looking nice. Disable fontsmooth when you reinstall or uninstall Scrivener, though.)
Slackware 64-bit 14.2, XFCE

na
nathanzal
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:43 am
Platform: Windows

Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:35 am Post

Dragle wrote:Thanks for that.
I see it says there that a linux version will be released next week. I don't like trying to run windows stuff in wine. Do you do that all the time or just now while you're waiting for the linux version?--i.e., is the windows version under wine somehow better than the native linux version? I haven't tried out all the features yet to see what works and what doesn't.


Wine is only a workaround for me. There are some issues from my point of view, particularly with drag and drop and all-around sluggishness, and the window decorations and fonts are not up to par. I typically use Wine only for things like Spotify or simple games. The bottom line for me is that Wine isn't really the right solution for running Windows programs; virtual machines are (see below). The native Linux version of Scrivener, imho, looks and behaves very snappy; that will probably be my preferred environment once it achieves parity with the Windows Version.

What I'd recommend is to create a virtual machine with VirtualBox or one of the other virtual machine packages, install either Windows XP or Windows 7 on it, and then install Scrivener on one of those machines. That's my working environment now, and it's rock solid. On reasonably up-to-date machines with hardware support for virtualization (most of the newer Intel chips do) these virtual boxes run nearly as well as the native ones. You can mount your Linux disks as shares and keep your workfiles available from Linux, too. I do that to make sure my writing work is swept up into my nightly backups.

Hope this helps!

Cheers,

Nathan

Dr
Dragle
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:23 pm
Platform: Linux

Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:25 am Post

My (limited) experience with Wine is that it looks awful :P --I'm sure there is a way to tweak it but I haven't bothered. I have played with VBox and you're right, it works great, but I just prefer the Linux environment over Windows, and so that's the environment I want to write in, using native software. Plus I'd rather support developers who write good apps for Linux by buying the Linux version.

nathanzal wrote:The native Linux version of Scrivener, imho, looks and behaves very snappy; that will probably be my preferred environment once it achieves parity with the Windows Version.

So far I haven't found a thread that points out the shortcomings of the Linux version compared to the Windows one. How far from parity would you say it is, and does that mean it is not likely to be practical for production use by the time the Windows version goes on sale? Of course I'll check it out for myself when the next beta is available, but since you have used both, what is your impression?
A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
-- Thomas Mann

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nathanzal
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Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:03 pm Post

Dragle wrote:How far from parity would you say it is, and does that mean it is not likely to be practical for production use by the time the Windows version goes on sale? Of course I'll check it out for myself when the next beta is available, but since you have used both, what is your impression?


The last Linux beta fell one version behind the Windows version, and had some problems like vanishing preferences, no epub or mobi compile, no PDF import, a few multi-monitor display issues (like misplaced popup menus and the like), and spell-checker support issues that were more aggravations than anything. So I went to using my VirtualBox Windows 7, which I had around because I needed Dreamweaver and a few other Adobe things, hey, why not?

It seems that the Linux version is a bit of a skunkworks project, issued via a tarball that you install by hand (there is a .deb installer which you have to install by hand outside of normal package update channels and so it has maintainability issues, too). It's just not ready for prime time, in addition to not being officially supported. Those of us who prefer the Linux environment would certainly like to see that changed. I am obviously not privy to L&L's plans in this regard, so it would be nice if they would weigh in on this thread and let us know what their ultimate intentions are, to whatever extent they are known at present.

I would suspect that the Linux version will continue to lag behind well after the official 1.0 Windows release. The gold standard of course is the current Mac release; that's the goal I'm really interested in, not necessarily parity with Windows per se. To my mind that would be just the starting point.

Dr
Dragle
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:23 pm
Platform: Linux

Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:42 pm Post

nathanzal wrote:It seems that the Linux version is a bit of a skunkworks project

Alas, as so often happens with commercial software and Linux. Thanks for the info on the state of things.
Hmm, so I guess if I find that I really, really want to use Scrivener for this year's Nano I would likely have to resort to the Windows version under VBox (I have an XP VM, nothing newer; hope that's good enough). Now you said ...
nathanzal wrote:You can mount your Linux disks as shares and keep your workfiles available from Linux, too. I do that to make sure my writing work is swept up into my nightly backups.

How would I go about making the virtual machine able to see the host's filesystem? and anyway, Windows can't write to a Linux filesystem. Samba maybe? Or do you mean I can mount the virtual machine's virtual drive from Linux and read its files that way? :?
A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
-- Thomas Mann

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JG Starsoupsky
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Platform: Linux

Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:16 pm Post

garpu wrote:I use wine all the time for Scrivener, Steam (and half a dozen games under that [....]

The native dll's aren't needed anymore. When I installed Scrivener on my laptop, I forgot to copy them over, and Scrivener installed and works just fine. You'll need winetricks and the things listed in the wiki, though. (vcrun2005, the later one I'm forgetting, dotnet, and quartz. corefonts and fontsmooth, if you want it looking nice. Disable fontsmooth when you reinstall or uninstall Scrivener, though.)


I also use Wine for things regularly. Generally hasn't been much of a big deal -- I'll run under Wine until the new version is released.

Code: Select all

 winetricks vcrun2008 vcrun6 quartz dotnet20
worked for me.

The wiki page, for those who may be confused, is http://literatureandlatte.com/wiki/doku.php?id=running_scrivener_in_linux .

Dr
Dragle
Posts: 23
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Platform: Linux

Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:39 am Post

sigh ... why am I doing this? ... sigh ...

I installed the latest wine.. it's hideous. The fonts look like a dot-matrix printer on my screen. Then I started installing the required windows crap --hundreds of megabytes of it, still downloading. it ... it burns!

Why? why am I putting this on my beloved laptop? Just to run a software program that looks cool, because I thought I could get a Linux version. And then, after an hour of downloading windows stuff onto my previously pristine filesystem, I'll download the windows version of scrivener, and maybe it'll run. And it'll be hideous, and slow, because it's a windows program running under wine. I'm crazy, that's all.
A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
-- Thomas Mann

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JG Starsoupsky
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Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:37 am Post

Dragle wrote: I installed the latest wine.. it's hideous. The fonts look like a dot-matrix printer on my screen. [...] windows [...] it ... it burns!


Hmm. On the distro I'm using for desktop, to kill everything wine installs, just delete the .wine directory. No real mess.

Scrivener under wine looks fine to me, though. There are a lot of Qt libraries in there, which may or may not seem native to you, depending on your desktop environment. Ironically, it's Linux that used to have font readability issues compared to Windows, etc..

And it'll be hideous, and slow, because it's a windows program running under wine.

Benchmark it? I'm not buying it. If we can play games under Wine, I don't see how Scrivener is going to be more of a dog. My experience with Wine is that things either work (to 90% +-%9 of the windows version), or just fail completely (with some possibility for tweaking making things work). But there's no accounting for taste. Other than Scrivener, I typically write with vi and gedit, which really aren't that aesthetically pleasing, except to the extent that simple is beautiful.

I'm not trying to say Wine is a wonderful necessary thing, but it does work for many cases. Doesn't strike me as more problematic or cumbersome than Java, Adobe stuff, etc..
Last edited by JG Starsoupsky on Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Dr
Dragle
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:23 pm
Platform: Linux

Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:29 am Post

I've finished installing it all (Wine and Windows Scrivener), and it seems to actually run OK. Fonts in the menus and the binder navigation area are still horrible-looking. They don't look bad to you? Of course since you use Wine a lot, you have probably figured out ways of making it look good and I'm using its default parameters.

On my screen, the fonts are all different sizes and quality mixed and matched all over the interface. In some places they look fine, like on the index cards. In the editor, the drop-down list of fonts overlaps the rows of font names and displays garbage characters on each line after the name. In some areas like Document Notes, the font is *huge* and doesn't seem to be adjustable.

But at least for now I have something to try out until there is a Linux version available. But when it comes to actually using the software for real writing, I definitely wouldn't be able to deal with this look and feel. It will have to be a native Linux version. No wine for me.
A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
-- Thomas Mann

el
elmago79
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Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:52 am Post

It seems that the Linux version is a bit of a skunkworks project


Well, I don't know about skunkwork. I've been using the last four of five linux betas to get real work done for paid assignments. It has been a lifesaver. Besides the expected glitches of a beta release (and some mistakes from my end) the software works fine.

The spellchecker works and I could export to epub and mobi on the last version. The only real missing feature is PDF support (AFAIK Scrivener use a proprietary third party tool for PDF, and an open source replacement would be needed for Linux). It's way faster and snappier on Ubuntu 11.04 than on Windows 7 on the same machine.

For those of us on Ubuntu, it would be great if you could buy and update Scrivener via de Ubuntu Software Center, but in the meantime a .deb file will get the job done.

Dr
Dragle
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Platform: Linux

Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:22 am Post

elmago,
That makes me feel optimistic about the Linux version after all, nice to hear your positive experience. :D Hope the next beta is available soon. My timing is awful--I got the last one just before it expired and didn't get a chance to do much with it. Seems like they should just put the same one up with a new expiration date if the new one isn't ready yet!
A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
-- Thomas Mann

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JG Starsoupsky
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Wed Aug 17, 2011 6:10 am Post

Dragle wrote:I've finished installing it all (Wine and Windows Scrivener), and it seems to actually run OK. Fonts in the menus and the binder navigation area are still horrible-looking. [...] On my screen, the fonts are all different sizes and quality mixed and matched all over the interface. In some places they look fine, like on the index cards. In the editor, the drop-down list of fonts overlaps the rows of font names and displays garbage characters on each line after the name. In some areas like Document Notes, the font is *huge* and doesn't seem to be adjustable.


Yuck --- you definitely are having a worse aesthetic experience. I don't know if it's because of things I've installed incidentally with other applications, or what exactly. (Currently, the only Wine program I'm use regularly is the Amazon Kindle reader for PC.) I don't like tweaking wine, but I've followed a few recipes here and there, and I've been merciless with wiping out everything pretty regularly if things aren't looking or working right.

Hopefully you can get a sense of what Scrivener is supposed to be like. I really am quite a big fan, and where Scrivener really works for me is that it makes the process of writing and organizing my writing look good and feel natural. So yeah, having wacky fonts and sizing would not work.

I agree that for long term serious use, a native Linux version is the way to go. The one-step-off feeling I get when running under Wine is slightly unsettling, which is not a great thing to have around when writing. I've used the Linux version heavily (maybe since 022 or 023?) and for that reason, I'm perhaps just happy to have a way to access my files in the way I've gotten used to (at least until we get the new beta).