Reduced Cross-Platform Support

ge
geoffstrout
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2014 1:39 pm
Platform: Windows

Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:02 am Post

Any other Windows users here getting frustrated with Scrivener's total lack of support for the platform?

Scrivener 3.0 for Windows has now been only available in beta and "coming soon" for 2 years now!

Image
I've been reading and any requests on this forum for faster development are attacked as if someone asking for a stable, production-ready version is spiteful, mean or unreasonable.

Am I alone on this?

Also, for the record, I own the software on Mac & Windows since I work on a Macbook, 2 Windows laptops (and an Android phone). However, sadly, the reduced cross-platform support over the last two years seriously hinders my ability to use Scrivener effectively.

Sadly, using Scrivener has become a liability rather than an asset. I am writing this because I am in the middle of a deadline on a writing project which I started in an online, cross-platform outlining software with the intention of switching to Scrivener to complete the final stages. However, every time I try to manually copy the project over to Scrivener 3.0 Beta I run into a serious bug or I am told I have to re-download and re-install the beta. There's always some issue.

So, I have read the forums and I see that when anyone talks about the lack of feature development on Windows, they are directed to use the Beta. They are told "It's free and has lots of features!" But, when anyone actually tries the Beta and its (many) errors prevent them from finishing their work they are told they shouldn't be expecting anything else from beta software and to use the stable (non-updated) Windows version 1 again. Honestly, how long has it been since that version got an update?

Naturally, when my work is critical, I choose to avoid relying on the beta but the previous version is now out of date, so I go back and continue my work in the alternate online Outliner in hopes that the "Coming Soon" for the Stable 3.0 release actually means something closer to "within a couple months" rather than "in another 2 years". Sadly, experience is teaching me this hope is proving to be unreliable.

I am posting this in hopes that someone out there has something other to say than,"Use the Windows 3.0 beta or version 1 and stop whining". Seriously, that's not an adequate response! This is no longer just about the software. This is about the reasons users have to place their trust in the parent software company enough to use their product. Do the founder and developers at Literature and Latte actually care about maintaining reliable tools for their users? Do they care if their lack of living up to their public commitments causes problems for users? Do they even understand software development enough to know whether it's reasonable to keep a promised software update in beta for 2 years? Do they realize the impression that gives to anyone who is deciding whether to depend on their software? Most importantly, do they teach their Support Representatives to treat negative feedback as an opportunity to improve, not a challenge to be talked down to, or dismissed.

The support responses on this forum that essentially attack/disparage/dismiss the concerns of any users who mention this lack of development are actually making the company and the founder look bad. If you think your dismissal of this criticism is making the company look better I am sad to say you are mistaken.

This is particularly sad because I have been a major Scrivener proponent in the past. I used to tell my friends how awesome it was. I loved the potential of the software, but the owners/developers and particularly the forum support seem to have lost interest in listening to and caring for their Windows customers. When "Stop wining! It's great! You get a free beta!" is the auto-response around here then the users get the picture loud and clear. The Support Representatives are mainly interested in defending the company's decisions and not listening for opportunities to help users by identifying issues so they can improve their product.

And before the responses flow in to tell me "You just don't understand the product philosophy" or even "We like it how it is!" Just remember, a problem that doesn't cause you any pain, can still be a legitimate problem that causes pain to others. Just dismissing it because the product "works fine for you" is a good way to alienate potentially loyal users.

Am
Amcmo

Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:46 am Post

Firstly, I have no connection with L&L, am just a very happy Mac and iOS and happy and very hopeful Win V3 user.

If you really bothered to read the posts from L&L staff you would see they provide great support for the old version and the beta. They care very much for their customers and provide best in class tools. They respond very effectively to customer input on bugs, do not as you suggest fob users off.

You would also see the great strides they have made and just how close to release V3 is.

You might also learn how great a challenge it has been to achieve a program with the same functionality as the Mac version. Apple provide best in class development tools for free, Microsoft force you to use 3rd party and keep the best secrets for themselves.

I am also in the middle of a time crucial project that is working just fine in the beta. Yes there are still some bugs but no dealbreakers and nothing compared to some I’ve faced with production released software from companies with thousands more staff.

People asking when the release can be expected have been treated with every courtesy. Those who have called L&L uncaring, unprofessional, incompetent, demanded ‘consequences’ for failed timelines have been treated with the level of respect they have earned. (IMHO)

Those who have had the development process clearly explained by L&L and other forum users and still keep demanding, making threats to go elsewhere have generated a level of frustration amongst some members that results in plain speaking. There is a big difference between plain speaking and attacking.

Again, if you read the various threads you will see there are perhaps 10-12 who have at various times demanded now etc (often people’s on their first few posts) and dozens who while wishing for now have simply got on with the task of being a good beta user and providing feedback to assist.

L&L have lived up to their public commitments, namely “It will be released when it is ready”. Being an active contributor on the beta program assist L&L achieve that commitment.

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lunk
Posts: 4237
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:24 pm
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Sweden 64° N

Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:24 am Post

I think you can continue to use Mac v 2 until Win v 3 arrives.
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, running different OS.
* 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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devinganger
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Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:33 am Post

I agree with almost everything said here, but this:

Amcmo wrote:Apple provide best in class development tools for free, Microsoft force you to use 3rd party and keep the best secrets for themselves.


...is a mischaracterization and over-simplification at best and muddies the water greatly.
--
Devin L. Ganger, WA7DLG
Not a L&L employee; opinions are those of my cat
Life has a way of moving you past wants and hopes

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theswede
Posts: 99
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 10:55 am
Platform: Mac, Win + iOS

Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:09 am Post

geoffstrout wrote:However, every time I try to manually copy the project over to Scrivener 3.0 Beta I run into a serious bug or I am told I have to re-download and re-install the beta. There's always some issue.


I hope you reported those serious bugs. If you did, you will find that L&L takes serious bugs seriously, and do fix them. If you didn't, well, frankly, how do you expect them to get fixed?

As to the rest, no, I don't really see things as you do. Scrivener works fine (apart from those serious bugs you have found, possibly), and I get to use it for free. Can't beat that!
Jesper Anderson SA5NEO
Computer scientist. Software engineer. Scifi writer. Scuba diver.

Am
Amcmo

Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:38 am Post

:idea:
devinganger wrote:I agree with almost everything said here, but this:

Amcmo wrote:Apple provide best in class development tools for free, Microsoft force you to use 3rd party and keep the best secrets for themselves.


...is a mischaracterization and over-simplification at best and muddies the water greatly.


We’ll agree to disagree.

Th
TheMdrnSamurai
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:32 am
Platform: Windows

Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:48 am Post

devinganger wrote:I agree with almost everything said here, but this:

Amcmo wrote:Apple provide best in class development tools for free, Microsoft force you to use 3rd party and keep the best secrets for themselves.


...is a mischaracterization and over-simplification at best and muddies the water greatly.


This. I have spent my entire professional career writing code for Windows and Apple products (across the whole stack - desktop, phone, server) and the idea that Apple provides tooling or information on par with what Microsoft provides is just... I'll be polite and go with inaccurate.

Microsoft has always been absolutely aware that third-party developers are critical and actively courting the independent dev community. Apple, on the other hand, can only be generously considered actively hostile to developers. At every turn, they consider us beneath consideration if not openly contemptible.

One could, MAYBE, argue that in the "old days" when MDSN was the best way to get all the tools that mattered (though it was by no means required) that there was some barrier to entry. That hasn't been true for more than a decade. .Net is a fantastic platform and cross-platform, open-source and free. Visual Studio Code (open source, free and amazing) is a first-class IDE for all the work you need outside of the walled garden that is some iOS development.

As someone who appreciates what the L&L crew are doing here, the idea that somehow the Windows version is being held back by the tools on Windows is just, again, inaccurate. By all accounts the L&L dev team is hampered by adherence to a number of very questionable technology choices that while I disagree were correct at the time they were made? Have long since passed from incorrect to actively detrimental.

Anyway, just figured I'd chime in... because these delays may have good reasons, but I don't want anyone to actually come away thinking "well, it's really just that Windows is hard".

Am
Amcmo

Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:51 am Post

We’ll just agree to disagree on that score.

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kewms
Posts: 6563
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Platform: Mac

Fri Mar 13, 2020 4:19 pm Post

The key pieces for Scrivener on the Mac are Apple's text system, its PDFKit for handling PDF files, and WebKit for HTML files. What are the Windows equivalents of those components?

(I'm not being snarky. I honestly don't know the answer.)

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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theswede
Posts: 99
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 10:55 am
Platform: Mac, Win + iOS

Sat Mar 14, 2020 3:24 pm Post

TheMdrnSamurai wrote:As someone who appreciates what the L&L crew are doing here, the idea that somehow the Windows version is being held back by the tools on Windows is just, again, inaccurate.


Not by the tools, but by the available API's. Windows does not provide a lot of the core functionality MacOS provides, which makes it easy to make office style applications. Microsoft wants you to use Office as the foundation for such applications, not the Windows APIs.

By all accounts the L&L dev team is hampered by adherence to a number of very questionable technology choices that while I disagree were correct at the time they were made? Have long since passed from incorrect to actively detrimental.


The choice to use Qt is excellent, and frees L&L from using .NET, which is not a good choice for software which has long life cycles. I have been stuck doing legacy work on .NET, and it's not fun. Qt is designed to be easy to port forward, and is a very stable and responsive platform. It is a much better choice than .NET for the kind of application Scrivener is.

What hampers the L&L Windows team is the lack of functionality in the Windows API (and Qt API) which is easy to access in Cocoa and friends.
Jesper Anderson SA5NEO
Computer scientist. Software engineer. Scifi writer. Scuba diver.

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theswede
Posts: 99
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 10:55 am
Platform: Mac, Win + iOS

Sat Mar 14, 2020 3:31 pm Post

kewms wrote:The key pieces for Scrivener on the Mac are Apple's text system, its PDFKit for handling PDF files, and WebKit for HTML files. What are the Windows equivalents of those components?


Windows has nothing like the Cocoa text system. It is the best in the industry, and nothing can hold a candle to it. GNUstep is closest. Behind that is everything else. Far behind.
Jesper Anderson SA5NEO
Computer scientist. Software engineer. Scifi writer. Scuba diver.

je
jesuslpgc
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:48 pm
Platform: Mac

Wed Mar 18, 2020 6:47 pm Post

To the original poster: If something becomes a liability just let it go.

I used to be on the same boat, and simply stopped caring for the Windows counterpart of L&L products. I manage my 4 projects using the IOS and Mac versions of the program.

I used to be one of the demanding ones, one of the group that could not see anything good in the windows development team and spent hours writing hostile posts and remarks, and read many others of the same ilk. You know what, it didn't advanced the delivery of Windows version 3 an inch!!!!! It did not help me write a single meaningful sentence, not a single iota.

So, after a while I stopped caring about release dates and took advantage of the free beta available. Then, I was given a second MacBook Air in very good condition and decided to buy the Mac version and forget about the Windows until it becomes finally available. Life's too short to waste it being a mean character.

I'm not implying that you're being mean, or anything like that, only that by worrying by betas, release dates etc, you're not being productive, you're not writing.

Ge
George Williams
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:33 pm
Platform: Mac

Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:46 am Post

Yes this is extremely frustrating and fare beyond the point of overpromising. After a while it just becomes a straight out lie to lure people to buy something that never gets delivered.

I have a macbook from my work and a PC with a 38"monitor (that is not compatible with the macbook).

I bought the bundle over a year ago expecting at some point that I could work on my PC as well.
But I can''t as the windows version isn't coming.

Also there is no still no releasedate which only means one thing: They have no clue how far they are.from delivering.
Nonsense excuse is that it is policy not to mention delivery dates, but that is just a euphemism for repeating they have no clue when to deliver.

I can't recall suppliers ever being this uncommitted to delivering on promise.

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OwenKelly
Posts: 73
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Platform: Win + iOS

Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:07 am Post

I have kept out of these threads most of the time because they seem to generate far more heat than light, and in any case do nothing to hasten the release of Scrivener 3.

I do want to point out though that the release of a piece of software is a largely artificial milestone. There are beta versions, then there is one or more release candidates, and then there is a release. The released software - the "deliverable" software - is often no different from the final release candidate, which is often hardly any different from the first release candidate, which is not very different to the final beta version.

I have personally been using Scrivener 2.9 (the beta) on a daily basis since September 3, 2018 when I switched from my paid up 1.9 to 2.9.6. At that point I knew I had no need to do any compiling for months, so I had no concerns about the area that were announced as not ready.

In that period I have written and published websites, academic papers, course notes, and many other pieces of writing with the rapidly developing Scrivener 3 beta. I have not lost a single word. I have not suffered at all from using the beta. I have contributed in very minor ways to its development.

Whenever it is finally released I will feel only one difference: I will have to pay for it.

The beta has been as usable as the "finished" version will be for months now. We can guarantee that when version 3 is released someone will find some bugs and version 3.1 will be along soon. So it goes.

I am aware some people are more risk averse than me and I am aware that they probably have very good reasons for being so. I am not making any assertions here about what other people are doing ,or should be doing. I merely wish to point out that I at least have found version 3 a great tool for an appreciable length of time now.

I am very grateful for it whether it has a badge on its lapel saying "beta" or not.

Am
Amcmo

Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:28 am Post

Also there is no still no releasedate which only means one thing: They have no clue how far they are.from delivering.
Nonsense excuse is that it is policy not to mention delivery dates, but that is just a euphemism for repeating they have no clue when to deliver.

I can't recall suppliers ever being this uncommitted to delivering on promise.\


You obviously have not bothered to read the comments from L&L staff or checked out the beta. It is an amazing program already and clearly moving closer to release. It is completely useable and solid already. If you wanted to you could have been using a very stable V3 Win for some months now. The only issue, it has the title of beta.

As for the suggestion of a straight out lie, what a load of bs. While they will not pre-announce a release date we get a good deal of information from the beta releases and other threads o the forum.

I’d be interested to know what 38” monitor you have that is not compatible with a MacBook. I’ve not seen a PC compatible one yet that won’t connect, even if an adapter is needed.