StoryBox

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ptram
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Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:46 am Post

Hi,

I hesitate to put this thread under "Software by Other Folk", since the software called StoryBox seems, actually, a non-declared clone of Scrivener:

http://www.storyboxsoftware.com/

Am I wrong? I'll give it a try, but - while I'm happy there is something like Scrivener that I can use on my netbook, I don't like to support something that doesn't even try to be original.

Paolo
Last edited by ptram on Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

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KB
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Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:05 am Post

Wow. He even calls the source list the "binder". That just hurts. It would be nice if he had at least e-mailed me or given credit on the site somewhere.

Thanks for the heads up.

EDIT: Ah, he does admit it's based on Scrivener here:

http://markfassett.com/?cat=6

Still, I really wish he'd had the courtesy to e-mail me, as finding out when it's released like this is an unpleasant shock; and it would still be nice if there were a credit on the StoryBox site somewhere. There's a lot of stuff on the site about how much work he has put into it, but not a single mention of how much work I put into designing the interface on which it is based. (I mean, the "Properties" tab under the synopsis box even has "Type" - not "Label"!, "Status", "Include in Manuscript", "Preserve Formatting" and "Page Break Before" buttons; each document can be opened as a corkboard, text and outliner; chapters open in corkboard mode by default while documents open in text mode and so on...) But hey, I'm precious like that.

I'm all for having a whole range of programs available for writers, and there's nothing wrong with taking ideas from other programs and running with them, doing something original with them. I also understand that Windows users want something like Scrivener available to them. And software doesn't exist in a vacuum - programs such as Ulysses, Copywrite and DevonThink have had influences on Scrivener (although anyone can see that the end results are radically different programs). But it does feel like a kick to the stomach when someone takes something you have worked many years on, copies it feature-for-feature in all the main areas, and then releases it without so much as a "Hey there, love the app so much I just had to make my own version." After all, we're fairly clear about our openness to collaborating on our About page:

That said, if you happen to be a talented Windows programmer as well as a writer and you like Scrivener, feel free to drop me a line - I can't offer anyone a job, though!


But no line was ever dropped. Ho-hum.

Still, it has a long way to go. I would recommend that everyone wait for the official Windows version of Scrivener... Watch this space. ;)

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Typo
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Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:00 pm Post

KB wrote:Still, it has a long way to go. I would recommend that everyone wait for the official Windows version of Scrivener... Watch this space. ;)


Careful. Hell already froze over when iTunes was released for Windows. ;)

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ptram
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Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:51 pm Post

I hope I'm alone with this, but wouldn't be too disturbed to see a Windows version of Scrivener. Look: I've been a Mac fanatic for over twenty years, and most of my revenues out of technical writing come from writing in magazines about Mac-related products.

I've became less Apple-centric lately, when Apple refused to release a sub-notebook that could be carried around with no troubles. Like the small Samsung NC10 I'm writing most of my texts out of the office. This is a no-frills writing machine, and has a much better keyboard than any current Apple laptop.

Mind you: Windows is still a shitty product. In a few months, my netbook has needed software servicing three times (and I use the netbook only for writing!) The user interface looks so ugly that I had to replace it with a different "skin", minimizing the border of the windows and the contrast between the interface elements and my text.

At the same time, it has not been a real problem, for me, to write in the inspiring environment of WriteMonkey (or any other full screen editors), and then transfer my work to Scrivener on the Mac for organizing. There is very little organization that can be done on a tiny 10" screen, overall.

I just imagine that having the full Scrivener project out with me, would let me do less conversions, but they are such an easy task, that I can live with Scrivener only existing for the Mac. But I admit that Scrivener is the best place where to write, even not counting the organization tools.

Paolo

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Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:25 pm Post

At first I'd thought we'd already seen this, but I was thinking of this thread, referencing a Word add-in.

You think he might listen if you lodge a protest about his blatant rip-off, particularly of section names?
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Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:59 pm Post

Shameful.

Paul

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Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:44 am Post

As long as we're day-dreaming here, what would be nice instead of a Windows version of Scrivener is a browser version. Or the ability to upload small projects to Google Docs, work on or share them there, and download revised versions. I can well imagine that's a huge departure from the Mac-logic that drives the Scrivener enterprise, but it seems a better way to the future, where increasingly apps and docs will be on the web as well as our hard drives. Perhaps a version that runs on Chrome? Or one that resembles Google Wave, which I have a hunch will be a boon to collaborative writing projects.

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KB
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Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:00 am Post

I have to admit I don't like browser applications much myself, and I think it would be the wrong route for Scrivener, all things considered. I really hope that the future doesn't see all applications become part o the cloud; I'm not convinced that is the future rather than just part of the future, a trend that is a little over-hyped. But you're right that the logic involved would be a huge departure; I'm not sure the web platforms are quite there yet. On the other hand, the WebKit may be the future of the OS X text system, so maybe in five years' time I'll have a different opinion.

Oh, and apparently the StoryBox creator does credit me at the top of the list of credits in the application itself, and I certainly don't want to start a war with the guy. There's plenty of room for all of us and I wish him the best of luck, really - I just wish he'd e-mailed me and put something on his site, and not been quite so blatant in copying certain interface elements...

All the best,
Keith

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Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:35 am Post

KB wrote:I just wish he'd [. . .] not been quite so blatant in copying certain interface elements...


Why not ask him nicely?
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Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:28 pm Post

I wouldn't be too concerned about StoryBox. It is built on the Net Framework technology, which is notoriously sluggish. When and if a PC version of Scrivener comes up, you'll have no trouble coaxing them over to your application.

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ptram
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Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:06 pm Post

Living in an area where a 512kbps carrier is not always warranted, and spending the little free time in places where not even GPRS is given for granted, I hope Scrivener will always be available as an application sitting in my local drive. Digital divide is already a problem with all my other tasks, to extend it also to free writing...

Paolo

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Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:09 am Post

KB wrote:I really hope that the future doesn't see all applications become part o the cloud...


Here's a hearty agreement with that. I'm allergic to the cloud. Gives me vertigo.
And that, my Liege, is how we know the earth to be banana-shaped.

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Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:23 am Post

I just wish he'd e-mailed me and put something on his site


I'd be righteously pissed. :evil:

All I can think is that his conscience is pricking him and he's embarrassed and afraid (or maybe I'm just hoping he is). And that perhaps he's a little afraid of you Keith, or more precisely, of your reaction--so rather than chance the possibility that you might respond, "Hell NO, you can't do that," he chose to forge ahead and face the consequences later.

Too bad, because now there's a bitter taste in your (and many of our) mouths. :(

Personally, I think it's piracy. And if you were American, you'd be calling your solicitor. But I really have no idea about the ethic of the internet. Just that, as you point out, you did the major legwork.

It'll come out in the wash.

:wink:

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KB
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Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:14 am Post

Thanks. :) Actually, in all fairness, he did e-mail me at the end of last week and he seems a very nice chap; he was genuinely apologetic for not having contacted me earlier. I told him there were no hard feelings and wished him the best of luck. Of course, I *still* think folks should wait for the official Windows version. ;)
All the best,
Keith

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Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:40 am Post

KB wrote:Of course, I *still* think folks should wait for the official Windows version. ;)


Keith.

Are you working on a Windows version of Scrivener? When do you expect to have it ready?

Until recently, you always stated that there would be no Scrivener for Windows from you. It is in this thread and in the thread on another Scrivener-clone that you hinted on the possibility that there might be an official Scrivener for Windows.

Franz
(who would immediately buy a copy of Scrivener for his Windows Tablet PC)