Scrivener Needs Urgent Updates

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devinganger
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Mon Jul 11, 2016 8:04 am Post

broadsides wrote:Lunk. Your platform says Mac. So why are you here to preach your fanbois cheerleader act? The Mac version probably doesn't have the problems the Windows version does. The forum is a voice for Windows users to give feedback, get assistance or whatever else they want to use the Windows forum for. But I'm sure the developers are impressed with your slavish devotion. For the rest of us ( In the Windows forum), we will continue to question how, when and if the software can be improved.


I am a Windows user first and foremost -- came for the beta, stayed around. If you can't listen to the merit in Lunk's words, I agree with what he's been saying 100%. I'm just too lazy to retype it. :)

There's a lot of great communication and information on the state of the Windows port that L&L gives us, if people would just READ what has already been written. There are people piling on to this thread based on the title who haven't even bothered to read the entire thread -- if they had, a lot of the questions and griping have already been addressed!

L&L gives a very generous trial period with 100% of the functionality present, and the detailed manual is very clear on what functionality works in Windows. I think it's sad that a lot of people looked at Mac functionality and bought the Windows version blindly, but that is NOT L&L's fault. If you're going to be a good writer, you have to be able to read and comprehend what you're reading, you have to be able to research and learn, and you have to be willing to be the active driver for solving problems.

I know there's a lot of frustration because writing is, for most of us, a dream or livelihood. There's a lot of emotional impact there. But writing code is every bit as creative an endeavor as writing a story or novel or screenplay is -- and for most of us, writing code would be far HARDER than writing a story or novel or screenplay. At least once we write our story and sell it, (for most of us) our work on that effort is done and we can move on to the next thing. Over time, that finished work brings in revenue without any more effort. We don't have to conform with anyone else's guidelines or creativity. We don't even have to conform to our own, if we want to write something new instead of working on a series. What we DON'T have, that code writers do, is a mass of customers who EXPECT updates -- nay, demand them -- for the money already spent.

If the software *as it is today* does not meet your needs and you cannot make it work, don't use it. Ask (politely) for a refund as you see fit. Don't wait for some future version -- it may never come. The Zombie Apocalypse could happen. You could have a heart attack or a car accident. Trump could be elected President of the USA and start nuclear Armageddon. You could win the lottery and realize that you'd rather travel than write. *ANYTHING* could happen. If it's close but you don't trust L&L to bridge that gap like they say they will -- or can't be patient while they do -- don't use it.

If the software *as it is today* can be found to meet your needs, albeit imperfectly, then use it. Trust L&L to make it better. You have no control over the timeframe, be patient -- as patient as you are with your work in progress.

Either way, have some respect for the people who write this amazing software. They work very hard to help us make our dreams come true under expectations that would break the most of us.
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devinganger
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Mon Jul 11, 2016 8:16 am Post

beninoz wrote:Really, all Scrivener does is keep things organized, but it gives you a fairly poor text editor.


This statement I must disagree with. Scrivener is a marvelous *rich text editor*.

It's not a pure text editor like Notepad++ or UltraEdit or something of that ilk that is designed to manipulate text without formatting. But then, it doesn't claim to be.

It's not a word processor, mixing text manipulation with formatting and pagination and limited clerical-level layout capabilities. But then, it doesn't claim to be.

It's not a page layout program, allowing you to control every jot, tittle, and pixel on the printed or electronic page. But then, it doesn't claim to be.

It is a rich text editor -- one that is full-featured enough to track hundreds of files (some of which are in your draft, some of which are research) and allow you to organize them pretty much however you like. You can have every single one of them formatted differently, or you can impose some sort of order on them by stamping preset formatting on them. You can move these files about between every keystroke if you want, without the contents of one in any way effecting or changing the contents of another. You can slice, dice, and pulverize your document flow and then fix it all again. You can export some or all of these files into a single coherently formatted document for passing to some other tool in the toolchain (like your word processor or layout program, or even to a programmatic markup interpreter). You can import text from other utilities in a variety of formats, you can export into many of the same. You can create tab stops and margins and other effects that you need to help format the text you are writing. You can duplicate files that you have set up in a particular fashion and use them as the basis of new documents. THIS is what Scrivener claims to be.

Scrivener is great at what it does, which is text editing. At the end of the day, that is the reason it exists. Just because it doesn't include non-text-editor features that other similar programs may include does NOT make it a "poor text editor." Even the lacking-in-power-only-when-compared-to-the-Mac-version-with-a-five-year-head-start Windows port of Scrivener is a fantastic program *for what it does and claims to do*.

Now, if it's not your cup of tea, that's a different matter. But you don't get to claim that it's a bad cup of tea as if that was a matter of objective fact.
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beninoz
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Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:33 am Post

I can't believe how irate people get on this forum. I have used Scrivener for several years, but its bugs and lack of certain features have caused me to look elsewhere. As I said, when version three comes out I will most likely return. As for me mentioning Memo Master, I was just pointing out that I found another option, an option others may be interested in.
Scrivener is only a piece of software; a tool. When a tool no longer does what you want it to do, then replace it and move on. People on this forum act like any criticism of Scrivener is unfounded or has some other motivation behind it. Yes, I created this account to state my opinion, and just because it glowing, it doesn't mean it's not valid. Scrivener is good, but it could be better. It seems to me, all the efforts of the developers are now firmly focused on the ios version. This is fine, but don't neglect the products you already have.
As for Scrivener's WYSIWYG editor. What is wrong with wanting a more sophisticated one? I think most people using Scrivener would agree that their final edit is done in something like Word. Why not make the inbuilt editor better, thus eliminating the need to export to another editor.
It seems may Scrivener users have thin skins when it comes to this product. They take complaints personally, which I find strange. This is the feedback portion of the forum, and I gave my feedback. If you don't want to read negative feedback, then avoid this part of the forum.

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Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:24 pm Post

beninoz wrote: It seems to me, all the efforts of the developers are now firmly focused on the ios version. This is fine, but don't neglect the products you already have.
As for Scrivener's WYSIWYG editor. What is wrong with wanting a more sophisticated one? I think most people using Scrivener would agree that their final edit is done in something like Word. Why not make the inbuilt editor better, thus eliminating the need to export to another editor.


I suspect that any frustration shown by regular users of the forum is that both concerns expressed in the quote above have been regularly and comprehensively addressed by the developer. Development of WinScriv v.3 and MacScriv v.3 continues, and minor updates will come next week for Mac v.2 and Win v.1. The developer has been clear in stating that feature parity between Mac and Win versions of Scrivener is a goal but is still some months away, and I believe I am right in saying that WinScriv has had 9 updates since release, at no extra cost. For more see: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=34918#p215845

As for building a better editor, that is what MS Word, etc., etc., are for. My final edit is never done in [enter your word processor of choice]. My formatting is. Developing a better editor would take an enormous amount of time, and would seriously delay the release of the next version for both platforms. I for one would rather see Scrivener continue to progress as an outstanding writing tool.

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lunk
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Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:27 pm Post

beninoz wrote:This is the feedback portion of the forum, and I gave my feedback. If you don't want to read negative feedback, then avoid this part of the forum.


Okay, so your feedback concerning Scrivener is that you will use some other software than Scrivener? Fair enough! I do have and use a Windows PC as well (although not for Scrivener). Should I write in here about all other software I use instead of Scrivener, for stuff for which Scrivener is not the best software?
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running Mojave.
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 11 Pro, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:22 pm Post

Kinsey wrote:
beninoz wrote: It seems to me, all the efforts of the developers are now firmly focused on the ios version. This is fine, but don't neglect the products you already have.
As for Scrivener's WYSIWYG editor. What is wrong with wanting a more sophisticated one? I think most people using Scrivener would agree that their final edit is done in something like Word. Why not make the inbuilt editor better, thus eliminating the need to export to another editor.


I suspect that any frustration shown by regular users of the forum is that both concerns expressed in the quote above have been regularly and comprehensively addressed by the developer. Development of WinScriv v.3 and MacScriv v.3 continues, and minor updates will come next week for Mac v.2 and Win v.1. The developer has been clear in stating that feature parity between Mac and Win versions of Scrivener is a goal but is still some months away, and I believe I am right in saying that WinScriv has had 9 updates since release, at no extra cost. For more see: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=34918#p215845

As for building a better editor, that is what MS Word, etc., etc., are for. My final edit is never done in [enter your word processor of choice]. My formatting is. Developing a better editor would take an enormous amount of time, and would seriously delay the release of the next version for both platforms. I for one would rather see Scrivener continue to progress as an outstanding writing tool.


This about sums it up.

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Sanguinius
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Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:31 pm Post

There's nothing wrong with criticism. There's nothing wrong with saying a program has problems. But to claim that a program not having the features you want is a problem is disingenuous. If it makes your text italic when you click the bold button, that's a problem. If it doesn't sync with iOS, that's not a problem. If you click to compile to pdf and it actually compiles to docx, that's a problem. If it doesn't have a timeline, that's not a problem. That's a feature it doesn't have.

It seeems like recently some people are being negative just to be negative, calling the program "crap" or "a ripoff," when these descriptions are inaccurate. A crap program is one that does nothing that you need it to do, while saying it will do all those things. The documentation and L&L website (and your own experience during the full-function trial period, if you take the time to utilize it) tell you what Scrivener for Windows will do. It does those things. That it might not also do things you want it to do doesn't make it crap, it makes it a program that doesn't have the features you want.

And the problems that Scrivener DOES have are being addressed by the programmers. They've said so many times. They've fixed the program more times than I can count, patching bugs as fast as they can. They can't do everything quickly, because there're just two people working on it. But they're doing it. They've said they're doing it. They've proven they're doing it by putting out patched updates. If that isn't enough for some people here, maybe those people need to reevaluate their expectation paradigms.

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Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:16 am Post

There's nothing wrong with criticism.

But please note that most software companies frown on people using their own forums to promote competing products. The "Software by Other Folks" forum is the appropriate place for discussion of your preferred non-Scrivener tools.

Generally speaking, a need for "urgent updates" implies a need for bug fixes, not missing features. Our support address and the Bugs sub-forum are the appropriate venues for reporting bugs. Even when the particular bug is already known, commenting on it can help the developers prioritize by helping to show how many people it affects.

Regarding features, the policy for both the Mac and Windows versions has always been that you should buy Scrivener (or not) based on what it can do now, not what it may be able to do in the future. While feature parity for the Windows version is on the roadmap, life is full of uncertainty. If you won't find Scrivener useful until parity is achieved, then by all means choose an alternative tool so that you can get back to writing.

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devinganger
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Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:46 am Post

kewms wrote:Generally speaking, a need for "urgent updates" implies a need for bug fixes, not missing features. Our support address and the Bugs sub-forum are the appropriate venues for reporting bugs. Even when the particular bug is already known, commenting on it can help the developers prioritize by helping to show how many people it affects.


I am speaking as a forum user. I am not affiliated with L&L.

To expand on what Katherine said just a bit, not everything users think is a bug is actually a problem with the code in the existing version of the program. Not all "bug reports" are created equal. For example, a lot of people come into the forums complaining about lost work. Digging into some of those cases with users, we found that they had overly aggressive anti-malware programs, or were trying to keep their manuscript open on multiple machines using something like OneDrive or DropBox and making simultaneous changes, or some other cause that ends up being *user education*, not a problem with the program.

Now, if enough people have problems, our kindly developers may decide "let's add some *extra* code to detect when this common but wrong condition is happening" when there is in fact a way they can do so without compromising performance, or document safety, or some other key metric -- but that can backfire, like offering elbow and knee protectors to a skateboarder can actually cause them to have more encumbrance.

I'm not saying that all of the current swell of complaints is due to these conditions -- but based on past experience with the product, it seems that a fair proportion of it *at least* is. Other complaints are due to things that if the new users just read the manual and did some simple searching on the forums, they'd find out was a known error caused by known behavior and they'd find out workarounds. If that doesn't work for them, then it's time to contact support. Unfortunately, the forum doesn't always get a chance to help because the newcomer posts in indignation, then won't listen to the people trying to help resolve whether this is a known thing or a new thing, and won't follow up on the forum or contact support. So there's no chance to find out whether or not the user has stumbled over a legitimate bug...but from all appearances, they don't seem to have.

At the end of the day, L&L support knows what the actual bugs are, and the devs know what the priority is on fixing them. So far, they've been really good and transparent about doing so -- they've earned the trust of many of the long-time users around here. So yes, sometimes we get testy when new people come in full of sound and fury, signifying nothing new or critical. But understand that it's because we value the folks at L&L. They don't blindly slop on every feature request and turn the program into an unusable mess. They think carefully about what they change and add. They fix problems, usually in such a way that we're not suffering through a trail of follow-on fixes to fix the original fix that broke something else. We don't want these people burning out and deciding they have better ways to make a living.

So everyone who comes screaming in -- stop. Slow down. Take a few breaths. There's going to be a learning curve, and you're going to have problems. Listen to what the forum regulars tell you and experiment and learn. Reach out to support and follow their directions. Read the fine manual! And when it *feels* like you state your opinion on the forums and a bunch of grognards jump out to attack you, look at it from another perspective. Maybe they have really seen this before and thought it through. Maybe this is an opportunity to ask questions and learn. Maybe they're wrong. But accusing us of being irate or being somehow overly protective isn't doing anything for your argument -- it's just an attempt to shift the conversation to an emotional battle. And believe me, as someone who has run afoul of the moderators for getting too emotional...that is not what is happening most of the time. Most of the time, people treat forums as a battle rather than a discussion. Too much talking and arguing, not enough listening.

So endeth my sermon. :)
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devinganger
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Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:01 am Post

beninoz wrote:As for Scrivener's WYSIWYG editor. What is wrong with wanting a more sophisticated one? I think most people using Scrivener would agree that their final edit is done in something like Word. Why not make the inbuilt editor better, thus eliminating the need to export to another editor.


There is nothing wrong with wanting one, as long as one understands that expressing one's request in a fashion like "this is a crappy editor" is an implicit insult against all of the users who are happy with what Scrivener provides. There are better ways to express yourself!

Be careful with most statements like "I think most people using Scrivener would agree..." because I can guarantee you will be surprised. Word is one *common* next step in the workflow, but it is not the only one. L&L have a product that for years has catered to some highly customizable and automated workflows -- making changes to the editorial function is a balancing and many seemingly simple requests would require so much time and effort to override the base OS functionality that no other requested features would get done.

At the end of the day, though, Scrivener is what KB says it is -- because this is a program he wrote *for his needs* and he has stated many times that he will not stray far from that ideal. Scrivener cannot be the end-all-be-all outliner/writing tool/timeliner/layout program because KB doesn't want to write that program.
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beninoz
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Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:50 am Post

devinganger wrote:
beninoz wrote:As for Scrivener's WYSIWYG editor. What is wrong with wanting a more sophisticated one? I think most people using Scrivener would agree that their final edit is done in something like Word. Why not make the inbuilt editor better, thus eliminating the need to export to another editor.


There is nothing wrong with wanting one, as long as one understands that expressing one's request in a fashion like "this is a crappy editor" is an implicit insult against all of the users who are happy with what Scrivener provides. There are better ways to express yourself!

Be careful with most statements like "I think most people using Scrivener would agree..." because I can guarantee you will be surprised. Word is one *common* next step in the workflow, but it is not the only one. L&L have a product that for years has catered to some highly customizable and automated workflows -- making changes to the editorial function is a balancing and many seemingly simple requests would require so much time and effort to override the base OS functionality that no other requested features would get done.

At the end of the day, though, Scrivener is what KB says it is -- because this is a program he wrote *for his needs* and he has stated many times that he will not stray far from that ideal. Scrivener cannot be the end-all-be-all outliner/writing tool/timeliner/layout program because KB doesn't want to write that program.

At what point did I ever say crappy? I've used Scrivener for 2 years, and for the most part it's been fine. That said, it needs an upgrade and I think the editor could be better. Why users would take that as an insult is beyond me. Look, you can take insult from what I've said, but if you read my posts I've said I will be back when version 3 is out. Would I say that if I thought it was crap. Would i have stuck with it for 2 years if I thought it was crap? Bottom line, I was agreeing with the first post in this thread.

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devinganger
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Tue Jul 12, 2016 5:15 pm Post

beninoz wrote:At what point did I ever say crappy?


You're right, you didn't use the word "crappy", I was paraphrasing from:

beninoz wrote:but it gives you a fairly poor text editor


Much better, of course.
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Jaaaarne
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Wed Jul 13, 2016 1:36 pm Post

beninoz wrote:At what point did I ever say crappy? I've used Scrivener for 2 years, and for the most part it's been fine. That said, it needs an upgrade and I think the editor could be better.

What for? What does it lack right now that leaves space for improvement? I'm honestly curious, not trying to start an argument.

One of my favourite writing quotes is: "Don't get it right - just get it written". That's what Scrivener is for, I think. The editor has basic text transforming features such as fold/italic/underline and some other. What else is needed to get your text written? I mean, sometimes people would complain that the editor lacks, but give no examples. Sure, everybody has their own habits and workflows, but I have trouble imagining what else could people need while writing their first draft (or even their final draft). :)

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Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:02 pm Post

Jaaaarne wrote:
beninoz wrote:At what point did I ever say crappy? I've used Scrivener for 2 years, and for the most part it's been fine. That said, it needs an upgrade and I think the editor could be better.

What for? What does it lack right now that leaves space for improvement? I'm honestly curious, not trying to start an argument.

One of my favourite writing quotes is: "Don't get it right - just get it written". That's what Scrivener is for, I think. The editor has basic text transforming features such as fold/italic/underline and some other. What else is needed to get your text written? I mean, sometimes people would complain that the editor lacks, but give no examples. Sure, everybody has their own habits and workflows, but I have trouble imagining what else could people need while writing their first draft (or even their final draft). :)


I love Scrivener, just to get that out of the way.

In the Windows version, the bullets functionality does not work well. Inconsistent indentation is the main thing. Drives me up a wall. I'm just writing fiction, so only occasionally using bullets for jotting down notes and to do items. But if I were writing tech papers or other non-fiction that frequently required bullets, I'd have to look elsewhere. It would be too distracting to constantly have to stop writing and keep fixing them.

So IMHO, the bullet function in the Windows editor needs work.
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beninoz
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Wed Jul 13, 2016 10:59 pm Post

Jaaaarne wrote:
beninoz wrote:At what point did I ever say crappy? I've used Scrivener for 2 years, and for the most part it's been fine. That said, it needs an upgrade and I think the editor could be better.

What for? What does it lack right now that leaves space for improvement? I'm honestly curious, not trying to start an argument.

One of my favourite writing quotes is: "Don't get it right - just get it written". That's what Scrivener is for, I think. The editor has basic text transforming features such as fold/italic/underline and some other. What else is needed to get your text written? I mean, sometimes people would complain that the editor lacks, but give no examples. Sure, everybody has their own habits and workflows, but I have trouble imagining what else could people need while writing their first draft (or even their final draft). :)

Okay, I'm writing this on my phone, so forgive any typos. I have fat thumbs and these small keyboards are hell.
I have dyslexia and need a good spellchecker and grammar checker. Both of which Scrivener lack. Also, it's not great at formatting. I've had these issues with it since day one, but the other features outweighed this short coming. By the way, since posting here I have checked many of the forum's threads and many people feel as I do.
As the years went on, I noticed things I would like, like an in-built timeline tool. No real problem, but something I'd like. I then bought Writeitnow 5 which has all these tools and a good spellchecker, but it doesn't look as nice as Scrivener. For the past year or so, I've flip-flopped between the two. Doing one book in one, and another book in the other. Just can't make my mind up which i like the best.
I've experienced many of the bugs stated in other parts of the forum. Lost work, for instance. I make constant backups, so this didn't bother me too much. Plus, it may be sync issues with onedrive.
Finally, I had enough when I bought a 4k monitor. Yes, I know there are work arounds to the high dpi issue, but I don't want to do anymore work arounds. Last straw and all that.
I decided to have a look around for another option till version three is out. Scrivener really works as a database for your work. It keeps everything in one place for easy reach. I found something I like, but will abandon it if something better comes along. You see, softwares are tools and I have no attachment to tools. Maybe that comes from my construction background. Scrivener was great once, and may be great again. At the time it came out it was the leader in its field, but I feel its lead has gone. It's built on an out of date framework, so i guess that's why they're jumping to version 3 instead of 2. I'm guessing it will be a new build from the ground up and I'm sure it will be great. Till then, I won't use the current version.