Scrivener for Android?

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pigfender
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Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:38 pm Post

Word is for folks who don't know any better (or simply don't care), or who can't use anything else in their line of work.

I actually take more offence at this than anything else in the diatribe.

I use Word. A lot. I care deeply about what software I use. I have used a lot of different word processing packages in my time so have a great frame of reference, and am probably one of the more evangelical Scrivener users (hell, I even developed an entire new interface for LitnLat to include with the program - and Scapple - for free). I am not obliged by anyone or any organisation to use Word, or to provide them copies in Word format.

I use Word because for some tasks it is the best. It's a powerful word processor and it's easy to use. As with any software, there are some aspects of the program that are buggy (the ability to add formatted bullets to a user-defined style sheet, for example) but they tend to be features that only power-users are likely to notice.

It's not possible to wear out software through use, but if it was both Scrivener and Word would show very heavy signs of wear and tear on my machine by now, and I'd definitely buy both again if I had to.
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Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:06 pm Post

stupidusATmailDOTcom wrote:… We paid to have Scrivener because Word is not for us. Word is for folks who don't know any better (or simply don't care), or who can't use anything else in their line of work.

We on the other hand _want_ to write, take writing _seriously_, and thus just _want_ to streamline our workflow so that writing can be _as fluent process as possible_ when ever the inspiration should strike with what ever we happen to have at hand then.

For most people today that item is their phone...

To cap, why make everybody wait forever for stuff that most folks will likely never even find a real use for?


What did druid or someone call this? 'Assumed consensus'? Something like that.
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Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:27 pm Post

What folder sync feature? I don't recall anything about that in the tutorials.

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Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:07 pm Post

dbrig wrote:What folder sync feature? I don't recall anything about that in the tutorials.

Too late, we've moved on to new topics!

Down with everything! People suck! :D
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Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:57 pm Post

pigfender wrote:Down with everything! People suck!


Yay! pigfender for President!
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:28 pm Post

dbrig wrote:What folder sync feature? I don't recall anything about that in the tutorials.


The folder sync feature is sadly Mac-only at the moment - the poster I was responding to was a Mac user.
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Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:13 am Post

Wow!

First, thanks for the fast reply (and thanks to everybody else too who chipped in to give… ummm.. feedback).

Let's try to keep this thread civil, and what's more, alive. There's no need to be condescending.

Of course you have every right to do business as you see fit and I never argued that anyone has promised to deliver Android app either. Just expressed my views on the matter and this thread seemed like the proper place to do it.

So, I gather there is absolutely no idea even at this point when mobile apps might actually become available (be that iOS, droid or WP)? What is the latest ballpark estimate for release of iOS app?

I personally fail to see how it could be immoral to use the enabling power of Kickstarter to kick start new projects or essentially boost what is already in the works despite being a profitable company.

Crowdfunding is a good way to gauge what stuff people might actually value more (since they are committed to pay in advance for a product that doesn't yet even exist).

Donations can of course be strictly symbolic in nature in case the originator finds it worrisome that people might suddenly swamp a company with money they have no use for.

That might in fact be the first time I hear of a company essentially saying stronger financial foundation to be a useless thing… :shock:

While ad-hoc solutions can and do work, they honestly leave a lot to be desired.

I suppose I must be the only one here who thinks that this issue we are currently discussing shouldn't really even be an issue at this day and age, particularly for a profitable company.

It starts to look more like it's year 1994 rather than 2014 - in a couple of weeks, that is. Just saying.

I merely suggested that a very stripped down mobile version of Scrivener could possibly satisfy needs of many if not in fact most of us.

I could of course be totally wrong about such ponderings, particularly considering the feedback that my post excited.

But we don't know until we know, and there's no harm in asking, right?

I wasn't trying to be mean, and I certainly don't consider my idea to be wholly unreasonable, nor something that would have to take a great deal of work either (to get it done soonish rather than one dayish).

I must not have realized people to be this sensitive/defensive. My sincerest apologies if I offended anyone's sensibilities.


PS. Of course I use Word, too. It's still a MS Word world after all. I just personally prefer doing the actual writing with Scrivener, and a lot of people simply aren't in the know at all that such a software like Scrivener even exists (which they in all likelihood could find a joy to use otherwise). That is all. Hardly worth to start a pointless fight for.


PPS. And we are not exactly talking about launching a new Windows 9 here. :roll: "Just" a mobile app (with or without full functionality).

It could possibly take just one motivated geek to come out with a bare bones mobile Scrivener (and that really was all I was asking here) over coming X-mas season, and maybe few beers more to port that version onto other platforms - no?

I believe most folks do tend to buy utility software with the notion that it will be developed further still - to keep up with the times.

I of course bought Scrivener for what it was/is, and wouldn't change it for anything else on the market. I'd just love to see those mobile apps transform a great desktop experience into "ubiquitous" one…

I truly appreciate what you guys (and gals?) have done - and continue to do - and I think I fully understand that you just don't want to release half-assed products - like ever.

I simply criticized the chosen strategy. I didn't mean to offend any soul here or there. For my needs at least it's a misguided way to go about the "problem", and while there might be others like me too, I guess we must be squarely in the minority then.

No hard feelings?

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Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:57 am Post

stupidusATmailDOTcom wrote:Let's try to keep this thread civil, and what's more, alive. There's no need to be condescending.


In all fairness, your original post didn't seem the most civil of posts ("I don't appreciate..."), although perhaps that was just down to Poe's law.

So, I gather there is absolutely no idea even at this point when mobile apps might actually become available (be that iOS, droid or WP)? What is the latest ballpark estimate for release of iOS app?


We're not putting a date on it as we have learned the hard way that estimating dates just causes disappointment and frustration. 2014 for the iOS version, though, most likely the second half. We are not currently developing an Android version, so that won't be in 2014.

I personally fail to see how it could be immoral to use the enabling power of Kickstarter to kick start new projects or essentially boost what is already in the works despite being a profitable company.


It would be immoral because we could afford to hire more developers if we thought that would help without needing to use Kickstarter.

Crowdfunding is a good way to gauge what stuff people might actually value more (since they are committed to pay in advance for a product that doesn't yet even exist).


But that's not really what we are interested in. We don't make software-by-committee. We make the software we want to use, that we believe in, not what we think will be popular. This has always been our mission statement.

That might in fact be the first time I hear of a company essentially saying stronger financial foundation to be a useless thing… :shock:


I don't think that's what I said. I don't believe in taking people's money for something not created yet, either, and I have a serious problem with some of the Kickstarter campaigns I see, where developers are asking for money upfront. We make software and make our money through selling it. If people gave us money through Kickstarter, we wouldn't be able to offer them free copies of the iOS version (because of how the App Store works), so we'd have to produce T-shirts or something silly as a reward instead. It would be a pointless, time-consuming exercise that might raise money but we wouldn't have much use for it on development anyway, seeing as more developers will not help the project.

I suppose I must be the only one here who thinks that this issue we are currently discussing shouldn't really even be an issue at this day and age, particularly for a profitable company.


You clearly do not run a software company!

It starts to look more like it's year 1994 rather than 2014 - in a couple of weeks, that is. Just saying.


Right, and this is civil, is it? Just saying. :)

I merely suggested that a very stripped down mobile version of Scrivener could possibly satisfy needs of many if not in fact most of us.


As pointed out, you can already use folder sync if you're on the Mac version if you just want something basic. Just fire up a text-based app on your iPad, edit the documents, and voila, there they are in Scrivener.

I wasn't trying to be mean, and I certainly don't consider my idea to be wholly unreasonable, nor something that would have to take a great deal of work either (to get it done soonish rather than one dayish).


Again, the point is that more developers *will not help*. It would slow things down. We are working very efficiently now. If you have followed the progress of the iOS version, then you will know that one of the main issues was that the original developer had family health issues that caused us to lose months until she had to step away from the project. Since the new developer has been on board, the project has come on in leaps and bounds. It is a myth to think that throwing more money or developers at the project will make it happen faster. It won't. Right now I work closely with the developer going over everything and testing everything. Having more developers would mean more co-ordination, the Mac version getting less attention while I stepped out and started working as a project co-ordinator, and trying to integrate multiple code parts from various people. It would not work for what we are doing. There is also the question of how we *want* to work and how we work best. One or two developers is the standard for most iOS, Mac and other shareware software; it works well. The iOS version would have been out this year had it not been for the unfortunate issues our other developer went through. So again, your ideas will not help this project progress.

PPS. And we are not exactly talking about launching a new Windows 9 here. :roll: "Just" a mobile app (with or without full functionality).


"Just" indeed. When every component has to be written from scratch and be able to sync with a large desktop application, it is not something trivial that can be written in a matter of weeks. This is the trouble - people always think it should be "easy" to write this or that piece of software. It's difficult to appreciate that just getting a button to work right can take a week, or that testing and fixing issues with a new view such as the corkboard can take a month (not including the time it takes to write such a custom control in the first place). People don't realise that a lot of the controls they take for granted have to be coded from scratch. You can't just "knock up" good software in a matter of weeks or months, not unless it's a very basic application that just uses stock controls (Scrivener uses barely any, given its corkboard and outliner, and also its heavily modified text engine), or unless you are a huge company with whole teams co-ordinated by managers all with an overview of the project (something that Kickstarter would not help us achieve, and besides, I don't want to become a middle-manager). When our Windows team came to work on the Windows version, they estimated it would take them six months. It took them two years. When our first iOS developer came on board, she estimated it would take her six months. A year or so later, when she left, it wasn't even half finished. When our new developer came on board, a much more experienced developer, she thought we could wrap it up in six months - but there's still lots more to do, months later. It's difficult to appreciate just how much has to go on under the surface. Often I'll take a look at my "to do" list and think that I'll be able to code it in a month, only to find that the first item takes a week on its own. "Just" a mobile app can take every bit as long as some desktop software. And we are not interested in producing something that you can already achieve using folder sync - our mobile version allows you to see and manipulate your whole project via an outliner, corkboard and inspector.

It could possibly take just one motivated geek to come out with a bare bones mobile Scrivener (and that really was all I was asking here) over coming X-mas season, and maybe few beers more to port that version onto other platforms - no?


Ha. Good one. I'm choking on my tea here! Seriously, if someone thinks software development and the planning and execution of software such as Scrivener is so easy, let them try. I'll take great enjoyment in seeing just how far they get in two weeks.

I'll finish by linking to a Wikipedia article on a very well-established rule and theory of software engineering that another user brought to my attention, the "mythical man month", which may be of interest to you when you consider my explanation for why your suggestions will not help us for what we are trying to do:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mythical_Man-Month
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Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:19 pm Post

Well, I didn't (and still don't) prefer chosen strategy, and that was the very reason I signed up to leave a comment for.

I of course have no other choice but to accept your strategy since you are not willing to change the winning formula in any ways, but it doesn't mean I'd be happy about that. I'd be lying if I'd say I'm joyous to learn about this.

I generally consider uncivil criticism that of kicking, screaming and cursing - like it would help anything. But we have a different yardstick and that's fine with me. People are different and that's a good thing in my opinion.


I naturally admire you for creating stuff you believe in 100% in stead of 90% or 50%. I just wanted to offer an alternative scenario that could possibly prove to be more fruitful for all parties concerned. Bare bones split screen beta (for those who want it) while waiting for the real thing to arrive… That was the general idea.

But with the way things seem to be progressing now, churning out a lil' program on the side as well would likely make little to no sense - at this point.


No, I don't run a software business, and don't intend to either. I've understood that you are not originally a "geek" either but a mere mortal who wanted to have a program that didn't yet exist in the market and consequently had to teach himself to do it by himself. Or thereabouts?

I do realize things don't happen as easily as flicking a few switches.

But you can certainly make a bare bones program - that I described in my first post - in far, far less time than 20 months. This has been my main - and actually only - point.

I guess I should have known better not to use humor on the internets because it will likely be misinterpreted if only deliberately. My bad.


I haven't felt the need to comment here before, trusting that you likely know well enough what you are doing, so all those setbacks you mentioned were new information to me. I just happened to finally remember to check out if there are any mobile apps available now. I'm not a frequent follower to say the least. And I was just genuinely surprised that there actually wasn't any.

Obviously, I should have spent more time browsing this forum to uncover the reasons why this might be, but honestly, we are all pressed for time. I figured I can just leave a quick comment and someone will get back to me. Seemed to work pretty ok with the previous posters at least.


Of course there's always a learning curve which brings us to the issue at hand which is that sometimes people do make bad judgments - and not infrequently because they insist always doing it their way, the way it's always been done before.

I think there's no shame at all in admitting one's errors. I make them all the time myself and am grateful when people bother to point that out.


Things don't always go as planned, that is given.

But more than anything you relying on single developers (who grossly underestimated the effort required) with no obvious backup team/plans seems to me honestly like a gross oversight from your part - as a project leader.

So, I'd have to disagree here. In this regard at least more developers (another team) would actually have been beneficial if getting the app out in a timely fashion had been your top priority.


You seem to be taking this awfully personally which wasn't - and still isn't - my intention at all.

I thank you for clarifying further the reasons as to why you do and continue to do things the way you do. It's good to have principles of course, but it's no good to never review those principles for any reason. Or at least, that's what I happen to believe in personally very strongly about.


For me Mac version has been solid gold ever since the first stable release. So I personally prefer more eyes on mobile apps and less on desktop - but like I said, that's just me. One guy's opinion. You have every right to do it your way, no question about it what so ever.

Merely voiced one opinion which was duly noted and as quickly discarded. No harm done I hope.

I wish you god speed in whatever it is that you are currently most engaged and determined to get done. And for the record, for me at least people disagreeing is normal state of affairs, not something to get worked up over at all. 8)


PS.
I will look into what you - and other good folks here - suggested me to do in stead. It's just that I don't really get along with dropbox at all, and actually much prefer to keep the files offline whenever possible. But I reckon that's my personal hell I just have to learn to deal with.

Peace out.

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Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:20 pm Post

I'm not taking anything particularly personally - I am just taking time out of my day to answer your questions honestly. I could have just ignored your questions entirely, but I try to make time to answer concerns like these. (Although it does amuse me how people can make posts such as accusing someone else of "gross oversight", not admitting mistakes, not knowing how to run their own business, and so on, and then take the higher ground and act all shocked that the other person should have taken it at all personally... "The rudeness that hath appeared in me" and all that. :) )

You will find few indie software companies with backup staff and whole teams running around for them, by the way - that's just the way it is.

Had we released a little bare bones app that had no binder, outliner or ability to edit meta-data, that would not have made many users happy, and as I've said, we already provide the ability to edit documents via folder sync which does the bare bones stuff, and which users have been taking advantage of happily for three years now. We are dedicated to producing Scrivener on iOS, not just a bare bones app that can interact with Scrivener but something that will be truly useful for working on your projects when you are away from your main computer.

I was (am) indeed a mere mortal who taught myself how to program, and I would have no interest in turning Scrivener or L&L into a huge operation with a hundred people working under me and large offices - the day that happens is the day I sell up and leave it to a big company to take over the work. We have no offices at all, in fact, so co-ordinating a team of developers from my home office in Cornwall really is not practical. It's a labour of love, and I appreciate that approach to software may annoy some people, but it's the way Scrivener has been created and is continuing to be developed, always with a core vision and without too many cooks etc.

As for my yardstick, it's terms like "gross oversight" and accusing me of not reviewing my principles that are taller than mine, I suppose. :) There's a difference between reviewing one's principles and bowing to the baying of others when you know it would endanger what you've built so far more than the other option. Nowhere have I claimed that we haven't made mistakes - I have apologised to users and said explicitly that we left it too long when development was stalling with our old developer. I've already explained why a team of developers definitely would not speed things up, but seeing as you have chosen not to believe me on that, I won't belabour the point. I don't understand why, though, after you compliment how solid the Mac version is, you would think that the iOS version would benefit from a completely different development approach.
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Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:27 am Post

stupidusATmailDOTcom wrote:No, I don't run a software business, and don't intend to either.


That's fair enough.

stupidusATmailDOTcom wrote:But you can certainly make a bare bones program - that I described in my first post - in far, far less time than 20 months. This has been my main - and actually only - point.


The mistake you make here is assuming that a bare bones program would satisfy anyone other than yourself. If the L&L created such a program and it flopped then the loss of goodwill could be quite damaging.

I guess I should have known better not to use humor on the internets because it will likely be misinterpreted if only deliberately. My bad.


I'm not sure which part of your post you believed to be humorous. Was it the part where you said Word users weren't serious about writing, or where you accused the developer of 'gross oversight' in planning his project?

But more than anything you relying on single developers (who grossly underestimated the effort required) with no obvious backup team/plans seems to me honestly like a gross oversight from your part - as a project leader.

So, I'd have to disagree here. In this regard at least more developers (another team) would actually have been beneficial if getting the app out in a timely fashion had been your top priority.


So your solution is to pay for a second team. Train them up, keep them updated on the current state of the project (opening up more channels of communication) so they can swoop in if something happens to the first team? And what would the spare team be doing while the first team is working on the project? You can't put them on anything important because they might be needed to take over the role of first team.

It's very easy to criticise when you don't have to take small details such as cost into account.

Here's a phrase that project managers love throwing into the conversation when presented with ideas similar to yours:

"Yes, one woman can produce a baby in nine months; it doesn't necessarily follow that nine women can produce a baby in one month."
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Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:41 am Post

Just wanted to pop in and say that not all of us hoping one day for a Scrivener for Android app are folks who come here to insult those who may someday start work on such a project, for not having already released it. (Looking at the ugly turn a certain "fan" took the discussion a few posts ago.)

I'm currently a Scrivener for Windows user, and an enthusiastic one.

I enjoy the product quite a bit and now write using Scrivener exclusively, more or less. (For formatting, and some other functions, I'll sometimes port into other programs, depending on the needs of the project.)

While I'll always have Scrivener on any Windows device I use, which currently includes my desktop PC and my laptop PC, that configuration will be changing over the next year or two.

I already own an Android phone AND an Android tablet. I can foresee a day where my Windows laptop will be replaced by a Chromebook (ChromeOS) and/or a better, larger Android tablet.

Since mobile is so convenient, I do hope that one day, an Android version of Scrivener will eventually arise, and perhaps one day, even a Chrome version. (Or maybe Google will eventually merge ChromeOS with Android.)

But I'll wait patiently in the interim. I see no benefit to insulting or peeving off the folks who might decide to create such a product in the interim. Or at all, really. :)

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Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:06 pm Post

CraigInOregon wrote:Since mobile is so convenient, I do hope that one day, an Android version of Scrivener will eventually arise, and perhaps one day, even a Chrome version. (Or maybe Google will eventually merge ChromeOS with Android.)


We definitely plan on creating an Android version, it's just that we won't be able to start it for a while. Our main priorities for 2014 are: getting the iOS version out (which will act as a testbed for other future mobile platforms such as Android); achieve feature parity between the Windows and Mac versions; make some cool and major improvements to both desktop versions. One all of that has been achieved, we'll be in a really solid position to start on the Android version.

Thanks for the kind words, and for the support!

All the best,
Keith
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Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:09 pm Post

KB wrote:Our main priorities for 2014 are: ... make some cool and major improvements to both desktop versions ...

Do you know what the cool and major improvements are already, or is this an aspirational goal?
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Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:31 pm Post

pigfender wrote:
KB wrote:Our main priorities for 2014 are: ... make some cool and major improvements to both desktop versions ...

Do you know what the cool and major improvements are already, or is this an aspirational goal?


I know what pretty much all of them will be. But it's top secret. :)
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