8th FEB - LEE'S UPDATE

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LAP
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Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:33 am Post

Hi Beta Testers,

Okay, so where are we up to? We are in the process of finalizing the go live date for Scrivener for Windows 1.0 with Keith (Scrivener God in the UK). What I can say at this stage is we're looking at late March or very early April at the latest - that much has been set in stone now.

Ian and I had a meeting this week, based on this date data to determine our approach to close out the beta. We decided that for the next 3 weeks we would continue to augment the code base with missing features and bug fixes, but by the end of Feb we will not introduce any new features and only focus on bug fixes right up until two weeks before the end of March, at which point we will stop and freeze the code (not literally) and package the product and test like crazy to ensure it is sufficiently robust.

We will continue to address bugs until the freeze. Obviously, we still have a lot to do, but considering our release has shifted 4 weeks we intend to fix some core issues. In fact, we have already started. The biggest issue we have been trying to work around at the moment is that layouts are associated with an individual document and not at the editor level. This we have inherited from the Qt framework. This issue has prevented us from implementing things like: zoom, control of the spell checker underlining, easily toggling footnotes and annotations on and off, document widths etc.. We will be spending the next two weeks separating the layout from the document to ensure we can deliver these features. This is something we were going to push until after the release, but it makes sense to do it now. Another benefit is that were going to try and implement collections and footnotes and annotations Mac 2.0 style as part of this beta. So, if we manage this in the next week, that will be pretty cool too and will no doubt make your writing experience much easier.

There were some permission issues with our last installer that have now been fixed. The upside of a day trying to understand how Windows security works has resulted in a new installer that doesn't require you to be an Administrator to install Scrivener. I have replaced the previous Beta 1.6 installer with this new one. It's not a big step now to enable Scrivener to run from a USB stick - we'll it will today, but the dictionary will not function on the particular machine your usb stick is plugged into unless you setup a Windows PATH to point to the Aspell and Aspell\Bin directory.

Another area we'll probably look at is VeryDoc which is a 3rd party application that converts doc and docx using an existing Word install. We're really not happy with this and it's lack of feedback (error codes) when problems occur - it's like a black box. We spent a few hours the other day investigating how we can bypass this utility and call Word, if it exists, from Scrivener directly. That way we can control things far better. This is still a work in progress but doesn't look hard at all.

As far as bugs are concerned, I'm still failing to keep up with posts. Please continue to bare with me. I will get there eventually.

Take care,
Lee

Ro
Rovi
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Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:41 am Post

Lee, this sounds great... getting toward a freeze. My credit card is still sizzling in my pocket! Thanks.
Rob

al
altocumulus
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Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:49 am Post

Sounds great Lee, and promising.

Keep up the good work, take plenty of beach-breaks!
Scrivener 1.9.0.0 for Windows on --- Laptop running Windows 10

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garpu
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Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:07 pm Post

Yay! Does that mean you'll be accepting donations of Red Bull by the case soon? :)

Hrm, I wonder if the doc2any was the source of the problems I was having compiling to PDF? (Since I can on the linux native version, and there isn't any such program in the linux one.)
Slackware-current 64-bit, XFCE

De
Deadaus
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Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:10 pm Post

Wonderful to hear that the end is in site for your first release. I am sure the Windows platform of Scrivener will really boost your companies profits, considering the huge Windows base in comparison to the Mac.

Like Rovi has stated, my credit card is not just sizzling, but on fire.

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StaceyUK
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Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:04 pm Post

Willing and ready to purchase. Have been since the first beta came out!
Blessings, Stacey

System Specs

Windows 7
Scrivener 1.9.7 / 2.8 /3.0.3/1.1.5 (1301)
Scapple 1.0.0.0
Windows 2.9.0.26 Beta

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narrsd
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Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:02 pm Post

Lee, it sounds like a good and sound plan. I like the sense of the time blocks, and that you've been doing the analysis to see just what the packages are delivering and unexpectedly-delivering.

That you're trying to give us a few more nice things from the Mac 2.0 edition brings a smile, and thinking of the release other than about issues says it would be nice to have those, given it works. And yes, I'd like them too ;), if it goes.

Very nice to find the paths for certain fixes in the thinking, and I second the notion of adequate beach and etc. breaks. The goal sounds well taken, and given the software behaves, that it can get you to that actually clean Windows release -- that new user experience which will mean a lot as you know.

We'll keep watching, all of us am sure, and helping where we can at least on the reporting front. Meanwhile, we are using your tool, and again it seems very many are quite enjoying it.

Let us be that help to choosing what is an actual clean release point as you approach that, and I think you will meet all your goals in business and community senses, in bringing Scrivener to a really nice position with Windows.

Good on each of you, and have been thinking about Ian with regard to all the weather news from northeastern Oz, but sounds his homestead must be doing ok.

Regards,
Clive

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LAP
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Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:57 pm Post

Thanks for the feedback guys and girls.

Yay! Does that mean you'll be accepting donations of Red Bull by the case soon? :)

Hrm, I wonder if the doc2any was the source of the problems I was having compiling to PDF? (Since I can on the linux native version, and there isn't any such program in the linux one.)


Firstly, Red Bull is always good.

Secondly, yes you're right garpu on Linux we write to PDF and ODT directly from Scrivener and we will do the same for Windows. The issue is really doc and docx as these are propriety formats and as I posted elsewhere, we could spend a lifetime trying to stay in sync with MS every time their format changes. That's not a sandpit I want to be playing it as I'm like to throw my toys out of the box very quickly. Scrivener's key format is and should remain RTF - at least medium term, as it is the lowest common denominator for reading and writing on any rich text editing program. Plain text is another obvious format, but hardly sexy. HTML or rather XHTML(just HTML + CSS) is another format we will support strongly as it is the basis of the future web i.e. HTML5, and of course is the ePub and .Mobi underlying format with some XML packaging. PDF is a given and OpenOffice too for Linux. Image formats are great too for when you wish to export text to web and you don't really want people to easily copy the text. That leaves things like doc, docx, xps (Microsoft version of PDF) etc. which are all nice to haves but as Word can already open any RTF file. If the user has Word installed then we'll use it's code to generate these files. If not then we'll not list these in the Scrivener export/import options.

The problem we are having with VeryDoc (http://www.verydoc.com) at the moment is that it comes with very little documentation (none) especially around error reporting. There's a very helpful Chinese support guy, but with the language barrier it's difficult to get anything meaningful back. So, whilst it works for most users, for users where it doesn't, we have no way of really knowing what the problem is and at best display a lame Message stating that MS Word may be required. As far as I'm concerned, that's no acceptable and hence why we'll get Scrivener to convert PDF, ODT, RTF, TXT, PS, Images directly and for everything else we'll look for a Word install. The gap we have at the moment is HTML even though this is the native format for Qt - it's pretty primitive and we need to augment it to get it up the scratch with Scrivener's RTF engine; however, once again we can call Word for this conversion or even IE if I can figure out how. But either way, it's a tactical fix, strategically we must have our own XHTML engine. So, I've rambled a bit here. Hope it helps.
Lee

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garpu
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Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:26 am Post

My best friend speaks Mandarin. I could put you in touch, if you want. (He's a total geek, as well.)

Edit: crap, can't hook you up. He says his technical vocab is limited, and it's not exactly vocab native speakers necessarily know.
Last edited by garpu on Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RSMcGowan
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Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:24 am Post

I'm ridiculously excited by this. You guys work so hard and we totally appreciate it. Can't wait to buy the release version!
Testing Specs: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, HP Pavilion G7 Notebook PC, Intel i3 processor
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Don't blink. | 2010 & 2011 NaNoWriMo Winner!

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General Seiyaryu
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Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:29 am Post

Awesome! I'll be quite antsy come March/April to see (and buy, hopefully) the final product. I very much enjoy using the program as it is now, and I'm sure it'll be all the better once the release version appears for purchase. Ya'll are doing an amazing job with this - keep it up! You have my support all the way. :mrgreen:

Ma
Markio
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Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:00 pm Post

I'm very excited for the final version. It's great to hear that footnotes will be scrivener 2.0 mac style. Right now, compiling text with footnotes doesn't work properly, so in my case the beta is 'useless' for real work at the moment. But i'm looking forward for the final version in a couple of weeks.

am
amilcar
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Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:14 pm Post

LAP wrote:Hi Beta Testers,

Another benefit is that were going to try and implement collections and footnotes and annotations Mac 2.0 style as part of this beta
Take care,
Lee


Fantastic, thanks a lot for that. I am a Windows/Ms Office Word user and just can´t get used to Scrivener 1.0 footnotes style.

Keep up the good work!