Why Windows?

Pa
Parson
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Fri May 06, 2016 10:20 pm Post

I always thought I was good at algebra, but I can't make this work...

A+B=C where:
A=Scrivener is primarily developed for Mac OSX, which is based on UNIX
B=Linux is POSIX compliant (a UNIX clone)
C=Let's build a Linux version based upon the feature-limited, possibly buggy Windows version

O_o

Anyone?

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AmberV
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Fri May 06, 2016 10:49 pm Post

Mac OS X might be BSD-based and POSIX compliant, but the majority of development for it is done with very high level toolkits, commonly referred to as Cocoa. They are in a lineage that can be traced back through NeXTSTEP and OpenStep, where GNUstep on Linux is a fork alongside OpenStep—but not a complete enough clone to host a modern OS X application that makes heavy use of various proprietary Mac frameworks. In fact OS X applications are no longer even compatible with OpenStep. As I understand it, only the fairly basic Cocoa-based programs could conceivably be ported to run on GNUstep.

The Windows version, on the other hand, was written in modern (at the time) C++/Qt.

So, that’s the math. One source code base required a recompile with a different OS target, the other would most likely require a source code rewrite.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

ro
rontarrant
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Sat May 07, 2016 3:50 am Post

Parson wrote:I always thought I was good at algebra, but I can't make this work...

A+B=C where:
A=Scrivener is primarily developed for Mac OSX, which is based on UNIX
B=Linux is POSIX compliant (a UNIX clone)
C=Let's build a Linux version based upon the feature-limited, possibly buggy Windows version

O_o

Anyone?

I see what you did there. ;)

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ChrisRosser
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Sun May 15, 2016 2:10 am Post

Things might get more interesting once someone writes bindings for Swift (now that the toolchain is open source) for Gtk and QT. I thought I read someone that Keith was planning a re-write of the OS X version to Swift but I could have been mistaken.

As AmberV says, it's more than just the language (and GUI bindings) and none of the high-level Cocoa APIs are available on Linux. Essentially, Scrivener is two products sharing the same branding and the same file format. Given how different C++/QT is from ObjectiveC/Cocoa, I don't envy the Windows developer's job in trying to keep up feature parity. :D

As I've said in other threads, I'd love to see the Scrivener file format opened up. I live in the uncanny valley of being a Linux desktop user who prefers iOS for mobile. If the file format was open, I'd write my own Gedit plugin to import/export. Then again, I only use Scrivener for one legacy project and the latest Linux version handles my novel just fine. Every project I've started since 2011 has been in Markdown (fiction, my blog) or AsciiDoc (non-fiction, technical writing).

I find it a touch ironic that it was Scrivener that introduced Markdown to me with the need to use plain text in my iPad; but through my adoption of Markdown, I realised that I no longer need Scrivener.
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SageMichael
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Sun May 22, 2016 5:12 pm Post

Did anyone else read the @AmberV response and think of Goodwill Hunting?! I was like, Daaaaaamn

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AmberV
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Tue May 24, 2016 3:13 am Post

How you like them Apples? :mrgreen:
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

Pa
Parson
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Tue May 24, 2016 3:41 am Post

I appreciate the answers, I have no programming experience on Apple, so had no idea what the differences are. I guess as a Windows and Linux user, this starving writer just feels like the "poor cousin" just because he can't afford a Mac. Using a dumbed-down version whilst listening to the fancy features we don't have, bah!

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Lars_G
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Fri May 27, 2016 9:28 pm Post

ChrisRosser wrote:As I've said in other threads, I'd love to see the Scrivener file format opened up. I live in the uncanny valley of being a Linux desktop user who prefers iOS for mobile. If the file format was open, I'd write my own Gedit plugin to import/export.


Well the spec might not be public, and solidified in one place/version, but it's an extremely easy format to reverse engineer considering it's %100 xml + rtf, but even if it's easy to rev eng, making a gedit importer will not be that much fun to make, as scrivener format has separate files for different chapters/sections, lots of config files/options, and relies on templates. So generating a single gedit document from it, well.. doable but not necessarily fun.

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ChrisRosser
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Mon May 30, 2016 5:52 am Post

Agreed, why fight it, I've learnt the error of my ways. My time is worth a lot more to me than the price of a Scrivener licence on OS X and iOS :D

Writing Gedit plugins sucks (I know, I've written six of them) and three have them have effing broken with the arrival of 3.18. The documentation sucks, my bug reports have gone unanswered for this issue and other's I've raised.

I'm giving up on the Linux desktop pipe dream.

I'll port my Gedit plugins to Pythonista and Editorial on my iPad mini - their API is a hell of a lot more stable than anything coming of the Gnome project. Besides, Scrivener on Linux, unless resurrected is going to die the slow death of incompatibility every time the blessed versions for iOS, OS X and Windows are upgraded.

I just want to a portable writing set up to complement my Mac mini: everything I've heard about the iOS version will fulfill that need.

*Sigh* that feels better now I've got that off my chest.
Mild-mannered Technical Writer by day, closet fantasist by night
I run Scrivener on macOS and iOS :mrgreen:
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Pa
Parson
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Mon May 30, 2016 1:02 pm Post

@ChrisRosser I, too, feel the pain of needing to write "on the run". Unfortunately, not having arrived at the published stage yet, and being on a "fixed income", I am stranded with Windows/Linux/mobile Android. As I said, always the poor cousin, looking over the back fence at my neighbors swimming pool... We're even denied auto- exporting to dropbox to keep an editable version handy for use on my phone.
Oh well, so I continue to outline and keep a scene list with Google Sheets, and write in Google Docs when I'm out, then cut-n-paste-n-format-n-label-n-tag when I finally manage to BIC HOK. *sigh* Waiting for that One Ring, er, software that will do it all.

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ChrisRosser
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Tue May 31, 2016 12:30 am Post

@Parson, I know what that's like. I've got three dependents and have been on a single salary for 6 years. Mix in Australia's cost of living (and Apple's prices here) and I shop refurb or when older models get discounted and I hold on to my products for years. My main machine is a 2011 Mac mini, my portable device is an iPad mini 2.

The Apple ecosystem is an expensive luxury, but it's worth it if your prepared to be frugal where it counts. The hardware has some real staying power too, which in my opinion brings down the total cost of ownership. Unless you are the sort of person who's compelled to get the latest hotness, the faster graphics etc, an older machine will still run Scrivener great.

I really, really tried on Linux for several years but Scrivener is first and foremost a Mac OS X app. It also benefits from things that are unique to the platform, like the system-wide dictionary and other gems that are often overlooked.

I feel your pain, mate!

PS Don't think publishing is your pathway to riches. Even aiming for a living is tough unless you work as a full time professional/technical/copywriter. Honestly, you have better odds on a roulette table. Write because you love to write.
Mild-mannered Technical Writer by day, closet fantasist by night
I run Scrivener on macOS and iOS :mrgreen:
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Graybyrd
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Tue May 31, 2016 3:50 am Post

Over on another forum, we've been kicking around the concept of 'distraction free' writing systems, prompted largely by the EOL of the AlphaSmart Neo and Dana authoring keyboards. (No longer in production, but widely available on eBay)

As always, thread drift has focused on 'basic' systems, even including DOS and writing apps, and on to Linux and OSX, etc. based systems. Key to all of this is ripping the WiFi & Ethernet out by the roots to get rid of 'net distraction.

Okay.. first preference here is to stick with Scrivener for Linux and a light-weight stable Linux distro, good for several years. Install on an older computer. Rip out the internet connect. Dedicate the box to writing & file collections. Thumb drive the stuff out for further disposition. The Linux version will be useful for a number of years that way.

The other way is total rebellion against the Windows forced march: there are great old used machines with XP or Win7 that will run for years more. Scrivener runs just great under XP. Dig one out of the closet, beg one from the brother-in-law, or get one on eBay. Rip out the WiFi & Ethernet. Same as above. Dedicate the machine to writing & nothing more. Thumb-drive the stuff in & out.

If Scrivener for Linux should succumb to incompatibility rot, my Linux alternative would have to be the text editor, Geany, with the Markdown plugin, and the 'file tree' plugin. That way I can have a raft of my writing files, notes, & research chunks all showing in the file tree on the side, and multiple tab/files open in Geany. It's not Scrivener, but it's workable. The other essential part is ReText, the markdown editor for Linux. That, or Pandoc. I'm a dedicated user of text files with markdown coding. One text file serves them all: pdf, rtf, odf, html, xhtml, etc.

The above may suit very few, but it's pennies on the dollar frugal, it's powerful, and it gets one off the endless conveyer belt to more, more, more ... money, obsolescence, and waste. And it greatly extends the useful life of current Scrivener versions.
On my honor, I will do my best not to do anything unlawful, infringing, disruptive, harmful, threatening, abusive, tortious, defamatory, libelous, lewd, profane, obscene, hateful or otherwise objectionable. Pinky Promise. :mrgreen:

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devinganger
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Tue May 31, 2016 6:58 am Post

Graybyrd wrote:And it greatly extends the useful life of current Scrivener versions.


I doubt that accuracy of that statement for most users. Given the Linux version of Scrivener is the same QT-based codebase as Windows Scrivener (which is already several major features behind Mac and perceived to be even more so) and given the massive efforts underway for the 3.x wave, this strategy might work for individual users, but it's not going to be a broad sell. And that's not even addressing how long L&L are going to want to (or be able to) support those older versions of Scrivener.

While what you're saying about non-core nature of upgrades and network connectivity are true at some level, the fact remains -- in order to get around existing gaps in Linux Scriv, you need at least some additional applications, which probably require some level of network connectivity. It might be time to recognize that Scriv and Linux are a failed experiment and start picking the path one wants most.
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brookter
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Tue May 31, 2016 6:58 am Post

That sounds like an interesting thread on the other forum, Graybyrd. Would it be possible to share the link, please?

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Graybyrd
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Tue May 31, 2016 3:13 pm Post

Sure, brookter. This is a Yahoo discussion group for the Dana and Neo keyboard units (self-contained authoring devices; they run for many hours on three AA cells, the Dana for 15 hrs, the Neo for 700 hours; either can act as a universal keyboard for any USB-connected PC (Win, Mac, Linux). They both have eight internal file storage buffers; the Dana can hold two SD cards for external storage (1 GB limit each card).

Since AlphaSmart (later Renaissance Learning) has discontinued the Dana/Neo line, there's been on-going speculation & discussion about alternatives. However, to this day, the only practical alternative is to find good used units, such as eBay. They are very reliable and prices are typically low, under $40. The keyboards are among the best; mine is an indispensable part of my Scrivener work-flow. Anything composed in the field is "sent" via USB cable connect into Scrivener when I return home.

https://www.flickr.com/groups/alphasmar ... 835639538/
On my honor, I will do my best not to do anything unlawful, infringing, disruptive, harmful, threatening, abusive, tortious, defamatory, libelous, lewd, profane, obscene, hateful or otherwise objectionable. Pinky Promise. :mrgreen: