When "cork" isn't cork

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yosimiti
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Sun Sep 04, 2016 1:57 am Post

Call me a kid of the digital age, but I have never actually used a corkboard (a real one that is) ever in my life. I've seen it in a movie, I think. Good Will Hunting (damn good film). I think one of the professors had a corkboard. So I never understood what the significance of the background was; I had to actually google it up.

Considering kids like myself are growing in an age, where everything's digital, and might be more familiar with a digital (likely Apple) pencil, than a real on, this might be something foreign eventually, that might not have the intended effect.

I'm sure a lot of old timey's are rolling their eyes, but hey, I can't help that I've never seen a corkboard in my life. That's just the way I grew up.

AC
ACDOYLE
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Sun Sep 04, 2016 2:29 am Post

Seriously, you have to be kidding me! You've waited this long for the iOS version and now you're complaining about a colour? Oh, I get it now. All tongue in cheek comments, right? No? Well, surely there are far more important changes that programmers could be ... or should be ... concerned about in a future version than a d**n texture or color.

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lunk
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Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:32 am Post

As an intermediate procedure, while waiting for the coark board texture to become part of iOS Scrivener, would be to nail or glue the iDevice to a real cork board, which would then provide that genuine cork feeling. :)
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yosimiti
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Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:48 pm Post

ACDOYLE wrote:Seriously, you have to be kidding me! You've waited this long for the iOS version and now you're complaining about a colour? Oh, I get it now. All tongue in cheek comments, right? No? Well, surely there are far more important changes that programmers could be ... or should be ... concerned about in a future version than a d**n texture or color.


One should never underestimate the power of aesthetic concerns. Utilitarians love to bash them, but there's a place for them in the world, and this forum should be a place for everyone to voice their views, regardless.

Everyone I remember used to bash Apple for its obsession with aesthetics, but look where they are now?

As mentioned, I still have never actually physically seen a real life corkboard, but I imagine, it must be something profound; otherwise Keith would have never included it in ScrivMacOS (Jesus, there needs to be official short version names posted somewhere, so users don't have to keep making names).

jc
jclark
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Sun Sep 04, 2016 1:31 pm Post

Aesthetics do matter. Quite a lot. That's one of the big reasons many of us are using iOS devices in the first place, Apple and most developers who make products for their platforms understand the power of aesthetics. I'm certain L&L does, in fact that's why they've chosen not to include the cork board texture (though clearly some of us have different reasoning for wanting it included, it is an aesthetic consideration not to).

Imagine if the binder were pink. Still perfectly legible, thus satisfying utilitarian concerns, but an ugly shade of pink nonetheless. Don't pretend you'd be OK with that because it's just "a d**n color". Most creatives (though certainly not all) are very particular about the environments they work in and the tools they use. It's neither a good nor a bad thing, but it is a real thing.

In my day job I manage art and design teams involved in software development. Small details like colors and textures are agonized over, and with good reason. Our products look better than our competitor's. That differentiation is one big reason why we're eating their market share.

I totally understand why this seems a trivial, pointless quibble to some users, and I never disparaged anyone who feels that way. It genuinely matters to some (many?) of us though. I never threatened more than my own continued use of their product, which is my choice to make for any reason that matters to me. It's up to L&L to decide whether that's important to them.

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dixonge
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Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:24 pm Post

So I just got the iOS version, and the fact that I’m resurrecting an old thread tells you that I, too, was looking for that old cork texture background. I read this thread, and it’s obvious that 1.5 years later this decision seems rather final. But I have a question...

The basic sentiment from the developers seems to be that we’re moving away from the skeuomorphic - no need for real-world textures like wood or cork. OK, well fine...

THEN DON”T CALL IT A CORKBOARD!

Call it something else. But if you do continue to call it a corkboard, then put the freakin’ cork texture back in!
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devinganger
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Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:08 am Post

dixonge wrote:The basic sentiment from the developers seems to be that we’re moving away from the skeuomorphic - no need for real-world textures like wood or cork. OK, well fine...

THEN DON”T CALL IT A CORKBOARD!

Call it something else. But if you do continue to call it a corkboard, then put the freakin’ cork texture back in!


They shouldn't call it a Binder then, by your logic.

The name of the element isn't what makes it skeumorphic. The name is a metaphor to give you some understanding of what the control is for.
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dixonge
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Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:06 pm Post

devinganger wrote:
dixonge wrote:The basic sentiment from the developers seems to be that we’re moving away from the skeuomorphic - no need for real-world textures like wood or cork. OK, well fine...

THEN DON”T CALL IT A CORKBOARD!

Call it something else. But if you do continue to call it a corkboard, then put the freakin’ cork texture back in!


They shouldn't call it a Binder then, by your logic.

The name of the element isn't what makes it skeumorphic. The name is a metaphor to give you some understanding of what the control is for.


Well touché on they binder comparison, except...there was no visual binder/spine/3-ring representation. The corkboard has always had a cork background visual (desktop). So if you take away the visual, just call it something else. Hell, remove all references to physical analogs! No binders, cork boards, pages, folders, etc. Until you export for print, at least.

Feel free to ignore this as I’m just ranting now...

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AmberV
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Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:55 pm Post

To provide another point of perspective, the Mac version hasn’t shipped with a corkboard texture by default since 2015. We switched over to a plain grey background along with rest of the Yosemite UI update in 2.7, and now we’re using a kind of tan colour like on the iPad by default in 3.0. Surely there are many people who have been using Scrivener for a long time and remember when the texture was default, and perhaps a subset of those that have gone into their settings since 2.7 and switch the texture back on (and indeed you can still do so on the Mac), but to say it is the signature look is perhaps a little dated at this point. It was after all, a look from back when Apple put leather trim on their agenda program and buttons looked like blobs of candy.

I don’t mean that in a Mac-centric sense, I realise Windows 1.x still uses it by default, and so that is what many people will associate Scrivener with—but Windows 3.x won’t be, and at that point there won’t be any platform using a texture by default. It’s the way forward, whether or not all pieces are on sync yet, and thus I still think it is fair to more rightly say it was a signature look.

jclark wrote:In my day job I manage art and design teams involved in software development. Small details like colors and textures are agonized over, and with good reason. Our products look better than our competitor’s. That differentiation is one big reason why we’re eating their market share.


Absolutely right, and while we don’t have a team for it, we very much do go over every single default colour you see. Every label, the default Document Notes background, corkboard, binder background, outliner font, outliner font colour, the spacing between elements, icon size, icon shape, type of embellishment to use in the icon, contrast levels in button elements, how warm or cool grey should be, how wide the default binder is, the amount of padding around the synopses in the index card vs in the inspector—everything was picked over and if necessary debated to death and back to life until we were happy with it.

So you can be quite sure we debated the removal of the texture from the defaults four or so years ago—we knew that would be removing from Scrivener’s look an element that had been up until that point a signature look. It was a sacrifice we felt necessary to keep the software from looking like it last went through a design review in 2009 (which was the case, in fact).

Now where we might be in a point of disagreement is whether a photographic image of cork in a modern piece of software is the equivalent of an ugly shade of pink. I would contend it would be. But then again, this is what my corkboard looks like, so maybe I’m no one to talk! ;)

Image

And to be fair, I’m also in the camp that just doesn’t get the appeal in the first place—there is that. I’ve been changing the default on the Mac to a solid colour of some sort since before 1.0 was launched. I’ve dabbled in textures now and then—but nothing that looked anything like the husk of a flattened chunk of bark from a cork tree.

dixonge wrote:No binders, cork boards, pages, folders, etc. Until you export for print, at least.


Perhaps you’re being a bit tongue in cheek at this point. :) Are you, a writer, saying words do not have enough power to create meaning and a sense of purpose without a corresponding photorealistic visual aid?

What are you proposing it be called? We can’t use pins, boards or cards in our reference. So what is it? The Rectangular Rectangle Viewer Mode?
.:.
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dixonge
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Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:19 pm Post

AmberV wrote:Perhaps you’re being a bit tongue in cheek at this point. :) Are you, a writer, saying words do not have enough power to create meaning and a sense of purpose without a corresponding photorealistic visual aid?

What are you proposing it be called? We can’t use pins, boards or cards in our reference. So what is it? The Rectangular Rectangle Viewer Mode?


LOL - well, it's an overview of text sections/snippets - not sure without looking what these are called in the software - and each displays w/ title and an excerpt or synopsis. So maybe Synopsis or Excerpt view? We're now referring to *what* we are viewing vs. the physical analog of *how* we are able to view it. Also, easier to fit into a menu than your idea :)

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monkquixote
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Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:35 pm Post

fx:stops eating popcorn, slides forward in deckchair.

Um. It's actually a kanban board, right/write?

(or we could just infringe some other people's rights and call it Post-It View. Although Index Card Experience does abbreviate nicely to ICE. Are you working on your Scrivice view today? Etc.

(mental note, need more popcorn)
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AmberV
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Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:54 pm Post

dixonge wrote:LOL - well, it’s an overview of text sections/snippets - not sure without looking what these are called in the software - and each displays w/ title and an excerpt or synopsis.


Yeah, that’s a way forward. As for how the software refers to them, by and large with familiar desktop metaphor terms: files and folders. We’ve tossed around the concept of using something else, as there are conceptual downsides to that—Ulysses for example uses the word “sheets” to call their thing that we call “files”, but nothing really jumped out as great. So at the moment, I guess the most congruent and non-metaphorical (setting aside the metaphors) thing we could call it is: “Desktop”. But… meh. What will it be next, “My Documents” in the binder? Eek. :lol:

What you call a thing certainly makes a big impact on how you work with it though, which gets back to the point. Calling these things “index cards” or “cards”, is I think a potent way of getting across the point that they are as you put, things that display a title and excerpt or synopsis (and I would add, other metadata). If we called them “Icons on the Desktop”, it would diminish that chain of thinking; that distinguishing characteristic between icons and cards—even though if you really think about what you’re looking at: they are a quite bit like fancy icons and clicking on a thing in the sidebar to view a grid of icons is an awful like clicking on a folder in Finder (at least so long as you ignore all of the ways they don’t really act like files and folders).

Even “Post-It” for that matter doesn’t quite convey the right connotation to me. That’s how I would alert myself to needing to do something about a thing (and that is what our Comments look like by default, oh hey!). Index card is what you use to represent a thing among other similar reference cards.

So that’s how I’m thinking of it, and in doing so, my main summary question would be: is there a better way of describing what you would use an index card for, than an index card? And if we have “index cards” (which we do still use a visual metaphor of!) then what better word is there for the thing we stick them to on a surface? There are alternatives, for sure, like “The Wall” (I can already hear Facebook’s lawyers calling), the “Whiteboard”, but that’s very BusinessMeetingBlah, we need something more familiar to writers, the… hmm, the “corkboard”, maybe?

Kanban is an interesting one, but I think we need more popcorn.
.:.
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kewms
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Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:08 am Post

AmberV wrote:
Kanban is an interesting one, but I think we need more popcorn.


Kanban is a common metaphor in project management, and in that context implies that work flows from one side of the board to the other. Not really applicable to Scrivener's index cards.

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Hugh
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Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:06 am Post

kewms wrote:
AmberV wrote:
Kanban is an interesting one, but I think we need more popcorn.


Kanban is a common metaphor in project management, and in that context implies that work flows from one side of the board to the other. Not really applicable to Scrivener's index cards.

Katherine


Absolutely! Whereas physical corkboards* have been used as writers' tools (specifically scriptwriters' tools in Hollywood, but also more widely as tools for novelists and other longform writers) since before the use of computers for writing became widespread.

As visual metaphors, writers' corkboards have also permeated other digital tools apart from Scrivener - see, for example, Save the Cat!.

Of course, you could use a Post-It note metaphor. But maybe not.

* I confess to owning a physical corkboard - "fully loaded", including ribbons. And very useful it is too, as a precursor to opening up Scrivener. I've also used physical kanban boards when managing a project - also useful, but a different thing entirely (with digital equivalents, such as Trello).
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Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:31 am Post

Yep, I just started using the iOS version after a few years using the Windows version. I also reset my system several times trying to get the "cork" texture to appear through settings. Here's my pitch:

When I've described this program to several friends, I have always used the "cork board" description to explain how it is different than other programs. So I'm bummed that now it looks like every other program. Why have two different options in the cork board background settings when they are almost the same color?

It is nice to have a program that looks different than every other program. When I start to work, I want to feel like I am in a different space than when I am answering emails.