Is Scapple still alive?

fe
ferretface
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Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:20 am Post

Any hope of some kind of update? New features? Anything?

Sh
Shenandoah
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Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:17 pm Post

While I hope that someone from L&L will post an official response about plans for enhancing Scapple, here are two hints:

1) L&L currently has diverted its development resources to other software projects. In late November 2015, Keith, L&L's owner and lead developer, posted the following:
Sadly, right now iOS development has diverted resources from desktop development, as I am now the sole iOS developer, working on that full time and putting Scrivener for Mac on temporary hold...

http://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=29755&p=207350#p207350


2) No update to Scapple in over a year; none to bring the app current with El Capitan (as threads here indicate; e.g., http://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=32450).


Scapple is a useful app with great promise. Those of us who use Scapple and other L&L products may want more from the company than it can deliver to us right now. Our demands for more features and functions simply may exceed this little company's capacity to deliver all we want as fast as we want it.

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matsgz
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Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:42 pm Post

Is Scapple still alive?

My copy is. Use it all the time.
Scribo ergo sum

Dr
Dr Dog
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Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:52 pm Post

Shenandoah wrote:Scapple is a useful app with great promise. Those of us who use Scapple and other L&L products may want more from the company than it can deliver to us right now. Our demands for more features and functions simply may exceed this little company's capacity to deliver all we want as fast as we want it.


I simply don't understand this paragraph. Scapple is a useful app with a great present. I have had it since the beta and use it every day for tasks from sketching organisational moments for two businesses, to preparing academic lectures and writing a couple of books. Not on its own of course, but as a superb - and by now almost necessary - preamble. It may not be the last word, but it's very much more often than not the first.

There is no need to demand more features and functions - there's software already out there that does more (I use iThoughtsX). The utter simplicity of Scapple is its strength. I hope to golly the developers leave it pretty much as it is forever. Happy New Year.
Developmental Editor, Historian of Medicine, Keeper of Deerhounds
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lunk
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Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:55 am Post

Dr Dog wrote:There is no need to demand more features and functions


I agree.

A typical software evolution begins with a fairly simple, dedicated program. Good at doing what it does, available at a low cost, and easy to learn for the user. Then the developer adds a few specials, allowing it to do slightly more. And more. And more. And after a while the software can do almost anything, which means that the manual will have increased manifold in size, and there is suddenly a both long and steep learning curve before you can do almost anything. And because of all the work put into the software by now, and everything you can do with it, the prize will have to be raised, a lot.

All the initial users, who evolved together with the original software, cheer and think this is marvelous, but new potential users are intimidated by the sheer complexity of the software. And so the customer base shrinks, and the software eventually disappears. Or is bought by a major software developer who turn it into something only for companies etc.

I hope they don't make neither Scapple nor Scrivener more complicated, and avoid giving them loads of more features.

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malkazoid
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Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:42 am Post

... I'm puzzled by Dr Dog and lunk - Scapple is a young application... v1.2...
The time to worry about it being too complex is not even on the horizon. What is right at hand are a few small but very important ease-of-use functions, the lack of which go hand in hand with the youth of the application. I really hope the developers don't listen to you, and see those sorts of improvements as worth their time: as much as I am excited by the potential of the app, I would hesitate to recommend it quite yet because of these missing bits, that, I repeat, are not new paradigms, but rather getting rid of the overly clunky aspects of using the existing functionality.

Two examples, grid snapping and node motion constraining via hot key... to be honest, know of no other application that involves the placement of nodes, that does not have this functionality, and there is a very good reason for that.

Again, this is not a put down to the developers at all - Rome isn't built in a day. But I don't think users telling them there is no need for more functionality is doing anybody a favor.

Dr
Dr Dog
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Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:29 am Post

malkazoid wrote:... I'm puzzled by Dr Dog and lunk - Scapple is a young application... v1.2...
.. I really hope the developers don't listen to you, and see those sorts of improvements as worth their time


Actually, we're listening to the developers. Keith and Ioa have often said on this forum that the model for Scapple is a plain, flat (somewhat disposable) sheet of paper and have no plans to develop functions much beyond those embodied in that metaphor (you'll have noted that there is no `Wish List' for Scapple).

They may have *some* ideas in mind, but the idea that Scapple is *young* misunderstands the nature of its maturity.
Developmental Editor, Historian of Medicine, Keeper of Deerhounds
www.epjames.co.uk

ma
malkazoid
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Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:10 pm Post

I hear you - its true, I was not aware that that was their vision.
Still - I guess I'm disappointed that plain and simple equates to no wish list by design. There are quite a few simple improvements to a simple design that can be made... if there is no intention to field them, I feel I might have done better to spend my money on an application that would continue to be developed, even if I had to spend a little more.

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windy71
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Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:37 am Post

I would love an iOS version but no more functionality than it already has, it's perfect the way it is, I just tend to be out with an iPad more often when I'm in that brainstorming mode. Great app.

sh
ship69
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Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:09 pm Post

Please see this thread I started.
viewtopic.php?f=50&t=34332

It includes a description of the Windows version (v1.0.0.0 - unchanged since 2013) and includes some enhancements which would make Scapple more powerful but without in any way interfering with the learning curve.

I'm sorry but I like to use up-to-date software that I can genuinely believe in and which I can recommend to my friends, but if Literature and Late want my money, then they will need to support, maintain and keep their software up-to-date, albeit only with occasional releases.

J

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kewms
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Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:01 pm Post

Literature & Latte policy -- for both Scrivener and Scapple -- has always been that you should purchase the software (or not) based on what it can do now, not what you hope it will do in the future.

With that said, I think this is simply a case of development resources having been temporarily diverted elsewhere -- iOS Scrivener, primarily, and related enhancements to desktop Scrivener -- rather than abandonment of Scapple.


Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

sh
ship69
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Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:50 pm Post

kewms wrote:Literature & Latte policy -- for both Scrivener and Scapple -- has always been that you should purchase the software (or not) based on what it can do now, not what you hope it will do in the future.


Is that the same thing as saying: "Literature & Latte know precisely what the world needs and do not want any help from their users and have no wish to be in communication with them" ... ?

If so that is a very "last century" stance and I have no wish to invest my time learning their tools. Part of the reason is that can bet your bottom dollar that someone will eventually write something elsewhere which, through an ongoing process of user trials and intelligent listening to user feedback, will eventually kill L&L's application off. Adapt or die.

It's absolutely fair enough for resources to be diverted on a temporary basis, but development seems to have stopped for over 2.5 years. Their management are either being arrogant, naive or are facing an existential threat. Either way, this is not reassuring.

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kewms
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Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:37 pm Post

ship69 wrote:
kewms wrote:Literature & Latte policy -- for both Scrivener and Scapple -- has always been that you should purchase the software (or not) based on what it can do now, not what you hope it will do in the future.


Is that the same thing as saying: "Literature & Latte know precisely what the world needs and do not want any help from their users and have no wish to be in communication with them" ... ?


If I had meant that, I would have said that. Or rather I wouldn't, because this forum wouldn't exist.

It is simply an acknowledgment that all software development takes time -- particularly for a small company -- and not all feature requests will fit the developer's vision for the software.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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ship69
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Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:42 pm Post

How long a development cycle takes is simply a reflection of how many and how complex are the changes going into each cycle. For this reason it needn't take long.

There are several purposes for forums beyond listening to users' feature requests and that includes explaining to users how the software currently works, users exchanging hints & tips with each other about the current system, and ultimate soliciting sales of what currently exists.

In general unless really large structural changes are involved, the modern method is to solicit as much user feedback as possible, to listen to it very carefully, to deliberately not follow quite a lot of it, to have numerous short development cycles, to see how the introduction of new features affects user various metrics of behavior including Net Promoter Score and of course sales, and to remove as much complexity as possible if users in fact respond negatively to the new features. Google "The Lean Startup" business movement for further info.

Scapple is actually less buggy than it initially seemed from listening to their explainer video and experimenting for several minutes. The core problem was that for some weird reason, the Windows version of Scapple has completely different hotkeys compared to the Apple version and this was not made clear in the explainer video. In fact I couldn't even find an explainer video for the Windows version of Scapple. It may exist but I couldn't find it.

No matter, I can probably get the functionality I seek with more responsive suppliers. In case anyone is interested, the very low cost yEd is very different and vastly more complex but is looking like a promising alternative to Scapple. L&L could learn a few things from yEd, should they wish to listen to mere humble users.

PJ
PJS
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Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:18 pm Post

ship69 wrote:the very low cost yEd is very different


If I read your alternate posting accurately, you are still using the trial version of Scapple. Which is to say, you don't currently have any money at stake. Correct?

ship69 wrote:There are several purposes for forums beyond listening to users' feature requests and that includes explaining to users how the software currently works....
... how the introduction of new features affects user various metrics of behavior including Net Promoter Score and of course sales, and to remove as much complexity as possible if users in fact respond negatively to the new features. Google "The Lean Startup" business movement for further info.


I'm sure Keith is grateful for your market study, analysis, and approach advice. Perhaps he is unaware of such matters, although I tend to suspect that, given his success thus far with Scrivener, it may be that he is aware.

ship69 wrote:should they wish to listen to mere humble users.


Forgive the presumption, but you do not come off as a mere humble anything.

ps
Last edited by PJS on Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
You can't conquer stupid — or cure it — with more stupid.