Why Windows?

Gr
Graybyrd
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Tue May 31, 2016 3:39 pm Post

It might be time to recognize that Scriv and Linux are a failed experiment and start picking the path one wants most.


Is there anything positive you might say that would help someone who needs the functionality of Scrivener? As I said, my approach is not meant to be universal; it works for me, and anyone else needing an economical & practical solution.

The premise is two-fold: to take advantage of the current Scrivener offering, and to escape the insanity of the forced-march upgrade path. As far as writing and authoring (which is the primary focus of this entire website) there's been damned little "advantage" offered by hardware and software upgrades in recent years. My antique Dell 5000 with Pentium III CPU and maximum 512 Mb RAM, running Debian "Jessie" 8.3 and Scrivener for Linux, with light-weight Openbox DE, costs me exactly $0.00 and it very nicely does everything I need to produce internet-ready epub, html, and pdf-formatted books and articles.

And that's my point. For an individual focused on work production, and a stable platform, it just works, to quote a former innovator. Your "technical" points are very correct; it's just that many of us do not benefit from that rat race and some of us choose to jump ship. A self-contained software system, air-gapped from forced internet upgrades, serves the purpose.

It's a lot like the hysteria of the stock market crashes; if you don't sell the stock, you don't take a loss. Wait for a better day. Same with the housing market implosion. A house you're living in is just as useful for a residence whether it's appraised as "under water" or not; the catastrophe comes when you decide to sell. Same with current computer hardware and software: the financial punishment comes when you blindly follow the forced obsolescence path. I'm a contra rebel; I jumped off that path to nowhere a long time ago.
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 5:58 pm Post

I hear what you're saying, and you have the technical skills and experience to make it work -- therefore, it's the right solution for you at this time. All I'm trying to say is that it's a cost (in time if nothing else) vs. reward equation.

In IT, I have to deal with customers who have vital workflow on obsolete, legacy systems. They will spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on parts, etc. to keep these systems alive, but refuse to spend even an hour thinking about what to do if/when that fails and they are stuck with a non-working system and no way to get their data out. The line of mine you quoted was aimed (and failed) more at that -- do what you gotta do to keep the system working now, but start thinking about (and prepping) for that day down the road when the payoff of maintaining these systems is no longer worth it.

Personal case in point -- I lost years of previous writing (none of it was very good, but that's not the point) because I didn't copy the files from 5.25" floppy to 3.5" floppy to CD to USB. I was able to find the mechanical hardware to get it done, but by then, some of the files were corrupted, and the rest were in a format I could no longer find software that would read.
--
Devin L. Ganger
Devin on Earth: http://www.devinonearth.com/
Plotter on the streets, pantser in the sheets

br
brookter
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Tue May 31, 2016 6:47 pm Post

@Graybyrd

Thanks for the link, I shall read it with interest.

Ch
ChrisRosser
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Wed Jun 01, 2016 1:21 am Post

Some interesting debate on this thread with good points made on either side of the discussion.

I was like @Greybyrd for the most part, and have even argued similar points with @devinganger on other threads. I can still see both sides of the argument.

Linux has very recently burnt me (as I pointed out with the Gnome/GTK 3.18 issues). That's a big problem with the platform (indeed all platforms, including OS X). If you upgrade to take advantage of security improvements you risk having to put up with new features you don't like and often a greater resource overhead, pushing you to buy new hardware. In the open source world, you can fork, I guess but that only gets you so far and introduces a lot of problems in itself as the world moves on (I'm looking at you Mint).

I like Markdown and text editors a lot and for years I thought it was the answer to everything. Reality is though, I kept having to rely on third-party plugins or write my own solutions for things that Scrivener already gave me. Honestly, that's time I should have been writing or playing with my kids. It was cool messing around with development and hacking Linux in my twenties - but now I'm in my mid thirties and my most valuable commodity is time.

Tick, tock, tick, tock.

I can't slow it down, I can't save it up for a rainy day, I can't buy more of it. The only thing I can do is strive to use it efficiently.

If Scrivener for Linux is indeed dead I have three choices:

1. Use another product
2. Build my own solution
3. Go back to OS X (and iOS), where it's best supported, offers the best experience and has a clear future

For me, it's not a difficult choice and having made it, I feel like a burden has been lifted and I can I'm free to write.
Mild-mannered Technical Writer by day, closet fantasist by night
I run Scrivener on macOS and iOS :mrgreen:
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Gr
Graybyrd
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Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:25 am Post

If Scrivener for Linux is indeed dead I have three choices:

1. Use another product
2. Build my own solution
3. Go back to OS X (and iOS), where it's best supported, offers the best experience and has a clear future


Probably the best choice, all things said & done: OSX.
Scrivener for Linux: on indefinite hold, if not abandoned.

Scrivener for Windows: coming along, with promises of parity with Mac version. However, here's where I scream in the cathedral: Windows is unfit for purpose! MS has gone off the rails. Vista, 8, 8.1, and now 10. A slow motion self-destruct performance.

Scrivener for Macintosh: nothing can touch it. I'm not thrilled with the directions Apple has taken, but Scrivener is unmatched by anything on any platform. So that's the clear choice.

One further point: DevonThink. Mac only. Superb personal knowledge base software. Scrivener can do it, for small journals and research notebooks. But for a project, there's no equivalent to DevonThink.

I've searched endlessly for equivalents on Windows and Linux. Nothing comes close.
Those two make a killer combination, and one needs OS X to run them.
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:

Ch
ChrisRosser
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Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:09 am Post

Graybyrd wrote:
Scrivener for Macintosh: nothing can touch it. I'm not thrilled with the directions Apple has taken, but Scrivener is unmatched by anything on any platform. So that's the clear choice.

One further point: DevonThink. Mac only. Superb personal knowledge base software. Scrivener can do it, for small journals and research notebooks. But for a project, there's no equivalent to DevonThink.

I've searched endlessly for equivalents on Windows and Linux. Nothing comes close.
Those two make a killer combination, and one needs OS X to run them.


Indeed, I agree. Nothing honestly beats the combination and believe me I've looked - not through fault of Keith and Scrivener but because I felt like Apple hardware was giving me less function for more money year-on-year. Since settling on an older Mini, I'm as happy as a Pig in the proverbial. From now on, I'm sticking with the desktop/tablet combination.

Apple could do a lot better but touching wood, I'm actually starting to like these many dot releases to El Capitan. It's not Snow Leopard, but it is starting to feel like a rock solid, dependable system again at long last.

DevonThink...never got into that...now VoodooPad, there was a product I loved.
Mild-mannered Technical Writer by day, closet fantasist by night
I run Scrivener on macOS and iOS :mrgreen:
NanoWriMo| Twitter | Website | Facebook

br
brookter
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Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:29 am Post

Graybyrd wrote:
If Scrivener for Linux is indeed dead I have three choices:


Scrivener for Macintosh: nothing can touch it. I'm not thrilled with the directions Apple has taken, but Scrivener is unmatched by anything on any platform. So that's the clear choice.

One further point: DevonThink. Mac only. Superb personal knowledge base software. Scrivener can do it, for small journals and research notebooks. But for a project, there's no equivalent to DevonThink.

I've searched endlessly for equivalents on Windows and Linux. Nothing comes close.
Those two make a killer combination, and one needs OS X to run them.


I'd add Tinderbox to that list.

I really like using plain text only. If I could, I would use orgmode in evil-mode in Emacs for all writing, and every so often, that's exactly what I try to do. That way I wouldn't need a Mac and could happily use a cheap linux box. So I spend a few happy days or weeks setting it all up to work perfectly and then... I discover that after all you can't do some things in orgmode — DTP's AI, Tinderbox's visualisation and adhoc analysis, Scrivener's cork board (and so much else)....

So I start to try to get them to interact, which you can do, with a bit of faffing. Then after a while I find the faffing just becomes too irritating. (You can get orgmode to interact with DTP for storage and analysis of notes, but you have to go through a couple of steps every time and some useful features of DTP work much better with RTF than plain text; you can set Tinderbox up to parse orgmode files so you can visualise relationships between notes, but you have to go through a couple of steps every time; you replicate a lot of Scrivener's functionality in orgmode, but not some of the really useful stuff...).

There's no doubt in my experience that the business of getting words down onto the screen and editing them is much more effective and pleasant using vim (evil in Emacs) than any other method, and Scrivener, DTP, Tinderbox and the rest are all less effective than they could be because they don't allow in-place vim editing. But there's just too much friction in trying to get the various pieces to work together seamlessly with vim in the end I always go back to realising I want to keep my Macs and I'll just put up with the less effective default OS X standard.

Basically, I'm just moaning... can we have a vim-mode in Scrivener version 3 please ;-)

Ch
ChrisRosser
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Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:17 pm Post

brookter wrote:
So I start to try to get them to interact, which you can do, with a bit of faffing. Then after a while I find the faffing just becomes too irritating.



That was my point. Yes, I can (almost) hack a Scriveneresque workflow out of plain text and a bunch of scripts and plugins but it's a hack and I can't be arsed with hacks anymore. I'll shelve it against the day that Richard Stallman becomes US president.
Mild-mannered Technical Writer by day, closet fantasist by night
I run Scrivener on macOS and iOS :mrgreen:
NanoWriMo| Twitter | Website | Facebook

ph
philjaq
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Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:44 pm Post

Parson wrote:..... 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.

It's easy to get auto-export to dropbox. Just place your .scriv working file in the ~/Dropbox/ directory on your main machine and dropbox will download it to your mobile and keep the two machines synced.
That's been my sop since I started with scrivener around the end of last year and it works fine.

Pa
Parson
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Sat Jun 18, 2016 10:47 pm Post

Due to working on an aging laptop, or a borrowed machine, it has always been my practice to place both .scriv files and backups in my synced dropbox directory. The raw files are not very usable on my android phone, however, unless you enjoy playing hide-and-seek with the particular rtf file you want to work on, then save a copy of the modified file so you can copy-and-paste your modifications back to Scrivener.

Not that it's any less work keeping my scene list in Google Sheets, and writing the scenes in Docs for later inclusion. Good thing I love writing, otherwise it might feel like work. ;)

Meanwhile, I just saw the Acer Cloudbook 14 on Groupon; loaded with Linux instead of Loser 10, it could be a dynamite all-day-battery writer's machine!

ev
evilmrb
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Wed Aug 17, 2016 7:13 am Post

Graybyrd wrote: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..


I'm with you on both these points and that's what I've done. I'm determined to make the best use of Scrivener on Linux. I created a writing platform, based on Linux Lite 2.8, which I can take anywhere. I don't even need to take my own laptop with me. I removed email and chat clients and any games to avoid distractions. When I'd got all the software I wanted I used Systemback to create a 'live' version which I have on a USB stick. I save my documents to another USB stick but the cloud would be equally good. As long as the PC/laptop I borrow can boot from USB I have all I need. It even works on a machine with no hard drive. I love it.
I wanted to share it with the world but because my Linux knowledge is limited, I don't know how to remove the branding/trademarks to comply with the wishes of the distro's developers. Shame! I guess the next best thing is to write a script for others to use or an ebook that tells people how.