Crowd funding for Linux releases?

hf
hfinger
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Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:42 am Post


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philjaq
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Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:35 pm Post

One essential prior to starting any effort towards crowd-funding a linux release would be to seek input from the organisation which owns the scrivener product.

Do they have the willingness to undertake the effort ? What additional resources would the parallel development of a linux version require ? Would they require additional personnel ? Would they prefer to contract it out to another body ? What would be the estimated cost ? What happens after the linux version is released - do they keep the 'linux team' going in permanence ?

Probably many other questions could be forthcoming. I'm afraid this might prove an insurmountable obstacle if the existing owners can't or don't want to cooperate.

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garpu
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Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:31 pm Post

I think it would be cool, and would definitely kick in some money. But I think L&L's troubles with the linux port are not enough hours/people for the amount of work needed. (Scrivener 3.0 for Windows, the iOS port, etc.) I think--and correct me if I'm wrong-the Linux port happened because it was relatively easy to build the Linux version while building the Windows one. I don't get the impression it's as doable with qt5.
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ChrisRosser
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Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:24 am Post

To be honest, I'd prefer if L&L simply opened the file format and allowed the open source community to write apps that can read and write to the format. Shame to let Scrivener for Linux die on the vine when it doesn't have to.

I don't have a problem with proprietary software so long as our document formats are open. With closed formats we're beholden to the developer and case in point, those of us who want Scrivener to progress on Linux are basically screwed. We have no roadmap or clear idea if Scrivener for Linux will ever be continued. All we really know is that L&L current priority is to appease the screaming masses who want an iOS version and fair enough too because that makes financial sense.

I can live with that. L&L supporting Linux doesn't make much sense when you compare Linux desktop adoption to iOS.

Let's all be honest; the Linux version is always going to be the red-headed step-child. The OS X version has the best features, partly because it's the most mature and partly because of the underlying technologies in OS X that Linux (and Windows) won't ever have.

Opening the format would alleviate that somewhat and allow the open source community to pick up the slack and swap out some of the Cocoa-dependent features for their equivalents in GTK or QT.

Failing that, then like all Linux users we can adapt, find our own way and just use alternatives. Scrivener is a great application for containing your writing in one (pseudo file) directory and in one application window. I imagine though that most of us use only a subset of its vast array of features and it's quite easy to adapt the features you use to apps and utilities already in the Linux world. For me, that's an outliner and a project organiser: I can do all that with Gedit and a couple of plugins. I prefer plain text docs in an open directory so it's much more transparent and easy for the file system (and a cloud synchroniser like Dropbox) to access and manipulate.

Ironically, Scrivener and iOS encouraged many of us to use plain text formats when iPads were new and didn't support rich text. Markdown is winning mindshare for writers, not just developers because text-based formats are portable and highly resilient. Once you start down that path you soon realise that you can write your source material in plain text too and then you're better off using a proper plain text editor that you can automate and script.

A lot of people have described Scrivener as an IDE for writers over the years and we all agreed that's a good thing. Well, there's already IDEs out there and adapting them from writing code to writing prose really isn't all that difficult.

I digress...sorry for the long post/rant. The message is, don't stick around waiting for something beyond your control and go write. If you want to be spoon fed a way to work, you're probably using the wrong platform.
Mild-mannered Technical Writer by day, closet fantasist by night
I run Scrivener on macOS and iOS :mrgreen:

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li
linux68s
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Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:29 am Post

ChrisRosser wrote:...I can do all that with Gedit and a couple of plugins. I prefer plain text docs...


Hi Chris,

I love Scriv.

But I often stare at the Gedit window, imagining the side pane on the left filled with 70 or so txt docs, each a scene of a novel, all in one folder, and wonder if it would work. There's an enticing control and simplicity there. Ultimately my work will go to Amazon in ebook (.mobi) format.

But how do you overcome the limits of the txt format? No bold. No italic.

thanks,

dave

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ChrisRosser
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Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:03 am Post

Hey Dave,

thanks for the question :)

Gedit is a thing of beauty and thanks to its plugin architecture it's phenomenally powerful but outside a handful of developers, most people don't realise it. That side panel, doesn't haven't to be a flat list, and in fact I'm experimenting with turning it into a tree view 'binder'. I'm currently writing quite a few plugins, some of which provide some writing-centric features and others to automate my fantasy world building procedures. The first plugin I wrote, compiles to HTML, ePUB and PDF - adding mobi format support would be trivial. It's astonishing what you can do with Python and Gtk. I was planning on sharing the code once I've finished or even packaging it up in a PPA.

As for plain text, for fiction writing, I use Markdown. Gedit understands markdown so it displays bold and italic in styled format thanks to Gtksourceview support.

I haven't made a song and dance about this because:

1. it's not meant to be a Scrivener competitor - think of it as an advanced Markdown/AsciiDoc mode optimised for writers
2. plain text is not for everyone
3. Linux is not for everyone
4. Quite a bit of the functionality I'm creating is more relevant to my day job (technical writer) where I use AsciiDoc on Linux.

Mostly though, I'm waiting for the iOS version to appear. If that does everything I need then including seamless syncing, I may be tempted to just use that and stick with Rich Text for my fiction projects as much as I loathe it. I have one very big project in Scrivener (since 2007) and I'm loathe to move it, everything I've written since 2010 has been in plain text.

cheers,
Chris
Mild-mannered Technical Writer by day, closet fantasist by night
I run Scrivener on macOS and iOS :mrgreen:

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