On the Issue of Bloatware

User avatar
devinganger
Posts: 1658
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:55 pm
Platform: Mac, Win + iOS
Location: Monroe, WA 98272 (CN97au)
Contact:

Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:37 pm Post

kewms wrote:Please see the post I was responding to, where the user was lamenting some hypothetical future in which Scrivener has 'no need' to add anything more, presumably because Perfection had already been achieved.

Katherine


Ah. I pretty much ignore that user's posts these days.
--
Devin L. Ganger, WA7DLG
Not a L&L employee; opinions are those of my cat
Winner "Best in Class", 2018 My First Supervillain Photo Shoot

User avatar
yosimiti
Posts: 596
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:56 am
Platform: Mac

Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:45 pm Post

Holy crappers, this discussion is way too intensive for the casual user like myself of this forum...so I'm going keep my comments short and simple in the hopes that others speak more; clearly a lot of people are passionate about this topic one way or another.


I guess to help streamline this discussion let us all come to some understanding of the word 'bloat'. What qualifies as bloat? Is that even the right word for what we are all arguing about? Has bloat come to mean differently to different people?

User avatar
devinganger
Posts: 1658
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:55 pm
Platform: Mac, Win + iOS
Location: Monroe, WA 98272 (CN97au)
Contact:

Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:52 pm Post

yosimiti wrote:I guess to help streamline this discussion let us all come to some understanding of the word 'bloat'. What qualifies as bloat? Is that even the right word for what we are all arguing about? Has bloat come to mean differently to different people?


That's actually a GREAT question. To me, software bloat is something that: actively interferes with what I am trying to do (although I don't use scriptwriting mode, forex, to me that is not bloat because I know other people use it extensively but it doesn't get in my way at all); drags in additional third-party code that I don't need/want in such a way that it interferes with other applications on my system; causes UX clutter that makes it hard to find and use features I do like; or otherwise affects the stability of the system.
--
Devin L. Ganger, WA7DLG
Not a L&L employee; opinions are those of my cat
Winner "Best in Class", 2018 My First Supervillain Photo Shoot

User avatar
pigfender
Posts: 2734
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:25 am
Platform: Mac, Win + iOS
Location: I share a head with a great many personalities
Contact:

Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:14 pm Post

I agree. Scrivener did everything need and want it to do many versions ago. It contains a great many features that I don't use but which don't bother me at all because they're hidden away in the menu system where they do no harm, or are removable from the very customisable toolbars / layouts.

I don't know if this is part of some fundamental design standard that LL adheres to, but it seems to me that Scriv tends to include features that are either useful to pretty much everyone, or completely transparent to those that don't use them. Any feature that you can hide can't be considered bloat (unless -- to go back to one of yosimiti's original hippopotheses -- it's mere existence puts strain on the ol' chipset).
"Some dice only have sixes." nom, 19 Oct 2013
"Piggy, I'm beginning to wonder if you are the best person to take advice from." Jaysen, 26 Sept 2014

Image
http://www.pigfender.com | http://www.novelinaday.com

Image

User avatar
Jaysen
Posts: 6152
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:00 am
Platform: Mac + Windows
Location: East-Be-Jesus-Nowhere SC, USA

Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:37 pm Post

pigfender wrote:unless -- to go back to one of yosimiti's original hippopotheses -- it's mere existence puts strain on the ol' chipset

Mr K,

I think he's talking about us.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

Image

User avatar
markfasano
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 10:57 pm
Platform: Mac, Win + iOS
Location: Philly

Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:53 pm Post

yosimiti wrote: What qualifies as bloat? Is that even the right word for what we are all arguing about? Has bloat come to mean differently to different people?


Seems there are in fact two concepts being discussed: complexity versus bloat. Two examples immediately come to mind. Photoshop, for instance, is a very large, very complex program. People devote their entire careers to mastering PS and still learn new things about the software. It is resource-intensive, but that has a lot to do with the file sizes it has to handle. And Adobe has done a *reasonably* good job of servicing the code base as well as maintaining/updating features or chucking them. Still, there are many longtime PS users who feel it has become bloated.

Quicken, OTOH, is the poster child for bloatware. An ancient, sprawling code base on which dubious feature after dubious feature has been piled like a wobbly Jenga tower, even as previous features still don't work correctly years after being introduced; an ugly UI, a counter-intuitive UX; poltergeist bugginess, and not uncommon fatal crashes which wipe out acres of a user's most sensitive data.

Jo
Jordi Mora

Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:11 pm Post

yosimiti wrote:Holy crappers, this discussion is way too intensive for the casual user like myself of this forum...


O.T. and of little consequence (the pedantic afflatus is upon me): your join date and number of posts actually mark you as a pretty prolific user of this forum.

User avatar
yosimiti
Posts: 596
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:56 am
Platform: Mac

Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:31 pm Post

Dr Dog wrote:
yosimiti wrote:Holy crappers, this discussion is way too intensive for the casual user like myself of this forum...


O.T. and of little consequence (the pedantic afflatus is upon me): your join date and number of posts actually mark you as a pretty prolific user of this forum.


It's all relative sir. I consider myself a fledgling compared to some of these old timers.

But let's get back to bloating please....

de
derick
Posts: 420
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:58 pm

Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:25 pm Post

One thought I had was to make Scrivener have the power for users to create extensions for it much in the same way Google extensions or Safari extensions work....I haven't the faintest idea how this would work, but I think it would be one way to keep the flow of innovation, without making sacrifices to the bloatedness of the source product.


Why would you possibly want to do this? If you add extensions, you add all kinds of possibilities for new bugs, security issues, incompatibilities every time scrivener or the OS gets upgraded, and the likelihood that your workflow will become dependent on an extension that the developer abandons. The market will be tiny and there will be little opportunity for monetization and little incentive to keep code updated.


Would love to hear your answer since you raised the Q.

User avatar
yosimiti
Posts: 596
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:56 am
Platform: Mac

Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:37 pm Post

the 'extension' idea was offered as a means to deal with 'bloat' in a different way; but I admit it's problematic, considering.

I guess I was trying to 'have the bloat' without the 'bloat' if you catch my drift. Alas, I'll admit when I'm off, which I was.

Gr
Graybyrd
Posts: 182
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:39 am
Platform: Mac, Win + Linux
Location: Whidbey Island, WA
Contact:

Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:30 am Post

De-bloat de bloat: nano + markdown => pandoc => ePub. Salt, season, & distribute.
OH! Scrivener? Repository & Reference.
On my honor, I will do my best not to do anything unlawful, infringing, disruptive, harmful, threatening, abusive, tortious, defamatory, libelous, lewd, profane, obscene, hateful or otherwise objectionable. Pinky Promise. :mrgreen:

User avatar
Silverdragon
Posts: 1148
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:52 pm
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Tarzana, California, USA
Contact:

Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:48 am Post

xiamenese wrote:...As I understand it, styles will be project-based rather than app-based. In other words, the projects I share with my Windows-using Chinese collaborator can all be based on Times New Roman—the safest exchange font—while my personal projects can have their styles based on Adobe Garamond Pro, my own favourite font. I have more or less achieved that with presets without having to have double the number of presets, but I'm not that comfortable with it.

2) My current use of presets is not to try to produce a page-layoutish output; that I do using Nisus Writer Pro when I've finished the draft. To make that straightforward, different paragraph styles are marked by slight variations in colour. When the RTF is opened in NWP, I run a macro over it which finds all the paragraphs in each of the colours and applies the appropriate paragraph style from a style-sheet. Currently, with the preset system, I have to go through every paragraph, checking that it is in the right colour for the macro to work and that is a bit of a pain. With the forthcoming styles, every paragraph in a given style will be marked with the appropriate colour; and if I find I need to change my colour combinations for any reason, or the font—both of which happen from time to time—I will be able to change the style and it will be applied to every paragraph marked with that style.
...
Mark
Your points are well-taken. But there is still a widespread misconception, particularly among users of the U------- software, that Scrivener *requires* users to mess with final output format during composition. Having Real Styles will only reinforce this error.

That said, it does seem to have some valuable utility in your use case (and doubtless others) so I will shut up about it.
So you know where I'm coming from:
  • I write fiction. I'm not an L&L employee.
  • Mac Scrivener 3.1.4, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.14.6 (Mojave)
  • IOS Scrivener 1.2; iPhone 8+, iPad 6th gen; iOS 13.1.3
  • Website: https://silverdrag0n.wordpress.com

User avatar
yosimiti
Posts: 596
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:56 am
Platform: Mac

Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:26 am Post

From the urban dictionary:

bloatware

A piece of software, hardware or website that attempts to do too much and becomes utterly useless for users. An example of bloatware would be a word processing application that also tries to be your page layout program, drawing tool, and web browser; absorbing half your hard drive and all your RAM in the process.


Mind you guys, this isn't my definition per se; I'm just putting it out there.

User avatar
nontroppo
Posts: 1151
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 5:22 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Airstrip One

Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:59 pm Post

Bloat in software is incredibly relative to the user. I was long time ago a user of Opera (started around 1999), a web browser which took a very opinionated view of the user interface. It came with all sorts of additions built-in: what is now called a tabbed interface, though it actually had a full MDI interface which was much more powerful, mouse gestures, per-site preferences, a sidebar, etc. etc. — basically lots of features. I found all those tools exceptionally useful, and as a Science student took great pride when I could use Opera like a ninja and pull multiple data sources much more quickly and efficiently than others. Opera users were a passionate bunch, and we loved the features that were bundled. However Opera was constantly criticised as being "bloated". You could easily hide the features, but for some users the "bloat" was conceptual: even though Opera was no slower (indeed the user could be much faster with gestures, solid keyboard control etc), took no more memory etc. many people would refuse to use it.

The analogy I want to make is that even if you have infinite computing resource, and a user interface that can streamline features, some people will still complain Scrivener is "bloated". That is, to my mind, ridiculous; but their point of view is as valid to them as my point of view is to me. Bloat is metaphysical!

Personally I can't wait for Scrivener 3. Even though I use MMD for all my writing (thus don't fuss with styling my text for output at all), I neverthless think a better Styles system is going to be a super useful update for many Scrivener users. I'm very much looking forward to the revamped/unified meta-data/bookmarks/references system which is quite complex in Scrivener at present. And I do want (unrationally) access to the latest APIs, more bits and (rationally) a non-buggy PDF system. Bring it on!!!

User avatar
xiamenese
Posts: 4065
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:32 am
Platform: Mac
Location: London or Exeter, UK.

Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:17 pm Post

Silverdragon wrote:
xiamenese wrote:<snip>

Your points are well-taken. But there is still a widespread misconception, particularly among users of the U------- software, that Scrivener *requires* users to mess with final output format during composition. Having Real Styles will only reinforce this error.

I have to say I agree with you on that.

:)

Mark
The Scrivenato sometimes known as Mr X.
rMBP 13" (early 2015) 10.14.5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSID
MBP17" (late 2011) 10.13.6, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSID
2017 iPad, iOS 12.3.1, 128GB, Apple Pencil
Scrivener, Scapple, Nisus Writer Pro, Bookends …