On the Issue of Bloatware

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nontroppo
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Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:54 pm Post

AmberV wrote:Wait until you see what the system will be capable of doing for MMD and other various forms of plain-text writing … multipurpose functions are a way of doing more with less bloat (to stay on topic) … Styles for me will replace a labyrinth of regular expression-based Replacements, some post-compile scripting and other downright hacks of the feature set


Oh boy — bring dat styling bloat baby ON!!! :P

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lunk
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Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:00 pm Post

yosimiti wrote:So bloat-free is a euphemism for 'we don't listen to everyone'?


No. Listen is one thing, doing is something completely different.

Besides, not every user has wishes or demands new features. Some of us just happily use the software and focus on using it instead of procrastinating by trying to come up with requests for things the software currently can't do. ;)
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
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* 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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Sanguinius
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Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:52 pm Post

yosimiti wrote:So bloat-free is a euphemism for 'we don't listen to everyone'?

Are they required to listen to ridiculous requests? If I say that I want Scrivener to have the capability to display all formats of ebooks that I might want to import into the Research folder, and L&L decides not to incorporate it, are they ignoring my desires, or did they realize that my request is silly? They can make whatever program they want, without any input from us. Just the fact that they actually do give us a voice and consider options that we suggest should indicate that they are not the type of company that ignores its users.

Bloat is stuff that slows down the user experience, either by negatively affecting the machine's performance or by insinuating so many extraneous features that the user is unable to work as quickly for having to fight their way through the quagmire of menus and options.

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Sanguinius
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Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:57 pm Post

lunk wrote:
yosimiti wrote:So bloat-free is a euphemism for 'we don't listen to everyone'?


No. Listen is one thing, doing is something completely different.

Besides, not every user has wishes or demands new features. Some of us just happily use the software and focus on using it instead of procrastinating by trying to come up with requests for things the software currently can't do. ;)

This is me to a 'T'. I'm still on 1.8.6 because it does what I need it to do. Honestly, I'd be perfectly happy to continue using it until I stop my writing career, unless something completely earth-changing is introduced into a future version. With the updates that have been put out so far, though, the earth hasn't changed for me. None of the new "features" improve on my own process, so they're really examples of updates for the sake of updating.

I'm sure that when 3.0 comes out, though, I'll probably be blown away and take another plunge.

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scshrugged
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Fri Aug 26, 2016 5:11 pm Post

pigfender wrote: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).

Agreed, but I'd add that that fundamental design standard is a reflection of their overall product standard. KB and company have been consistently clear on this, without contradiction :

...It’s not about the updates

Literature & Latte is committed to making the best writing software possible. But “best” is subjective, and some people will prefer other packages (see the links page for a selection). That’s fine—and good, because one of our underlying philosophies is that Scrivener (and Scapple) should never try to be all things to all writers; software that tries to please everyone only ends up bloated and annoying most. Instead, our software has a well-defined general feature set, and the aim is for this feature-set to be as solid as possible, and as refined, user-friendly and intuitive as it can be. Feature requests will always be seriously considered, but just because another application has it, it doesn’t mean that it will necessarily fit into what we are trying to achieve (the relatively-low pricing of Scrivener and Scapple is not an indicator that they are wanting in features; we just don’t want to price out struggling writers). Although some people buy shareware programs as an investment in what they hope those programs will become in the future, this is not what Literature & Latte is about; we are about creating bloat-free and stable writing environments. When considering your purchase, therefore, please base it solely on the current feature-set of the software.(Of course this does not apply to bugs—all bugs will be tracked down and eliminated as soon as possible after they are reported.)

That said, Scrivener and Scapple will receive regular updates because we are continually refining and improving them: major features are often added or overhauled in free updates, and we work hard to ensure that our software not only works on the newest operating systems available for the platforms on which it runs (while maintaining as much backwards-compatibility as possible), but also takes advantage of any appropriate new technologies that come along.

http://www.literatureandlatte.com/about.php

That's what I bought and hope will never change.
I'm a Scrivener user, not an L&L employee.

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markfasano
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Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:52 pm Post

Sanguinius wrote: None of the new "features" improve on my own process, so they're really examples of updates for the sake of updating.


Hang on a second. You do want certain features WinScriv is lacking. You've said so yourself.

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Sanguinius
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Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:05 pm Post

markfasano wrote:
Sanguinius wrote: None of the new "features" improve on my own process, so they're really examples of updates for the sake of updating.


Hang on a second. You do want certain features WinScriv is lacking. You've said so yourself.

Yes, there are things I've said I want. Those things haven't been integrated yet, so the statement you quoted is valid in regards to my personal experience. The features that have been added to WinScriv in the versions since the one I use now are not anything that I need. The things that I want aren't necessary to my workflow, and if Winscriv development stopped right now, I wouldn't lose any sleep and would happily continue writing with the version I have now. Additionally, since what I want are either going to be incorporated because of increasing parity with MacScriv or will never be added because of Keith's vision for the program, then there's not really much that I have to complain about.

Edit: After re-reading your post, I'm curious what you're referring to when you say that I've said myself what features WinScriv is lacking. Are you conflating this issue with my annoyance about Apple products (which I HAVE said do not do what I want them to do)? As far back as I can recall, the things that I've asked/wished to be included in Scrivener are things that are already on the docket or never will be (in the case of timelines, which is easily solved by using Aeon).

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yosimiti
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Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:17 pm Post

I guess even after all that has been said, I still don't know if I should just switch back to Microsoft Word now that I can buy a computer that can actually handle it, bloated in all its fatness and glory. :|

I probably should spend less time worrying about the software I write with and more time actually writing! But that's for a discussion another day.

I do think that if Keith is going to advertise a bloat free product, there should be a disclaimer about the complexity of the word 'bloat' and what such idea entails to the user, both positively and negatively. The matter is complex, and seems to strike a strong chord with many (as this discussion clearly elucidates).

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markfasano
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Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:29 pm Post

Sanguinius wrote:Edit: After re-reading your post, I'm curious what you're referring to when you say that I've said myself what features WinScriv is lacking.


The Proof of God feature bug was what occurred to me:

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=31664#p202936

Sanguinius wrote:All I can say is wow. If this is a bug, I hope it's never fixed. This is actual dual monitor usage for a single open project. I've been waiting for this for a while, and it's been brought up multiple times in the forums. What you've done is similar to an atheist discovering the proof of God by accidentally reading the Bible backwards.


Not trying to cross-examine you, btw. I was just struck by the seeming difference between your enthusiasm for new features on that thread and your more zen-like indifference toward new features on this one.

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devinganger
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Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:35 pm Post

There *is* a difference between "must have" and "nice to have"...there's a lot of feature parity with the Mac version I personally will be very happy to start taking advantage of, while still liking Scrivener for Windows for what it is today and it being "good enough."
--
Devin L. Ganger
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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Sanguinius
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Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:44 pm Post

markfasano wrote:
Sanguinius wrote:Edit: After re-reading your post, I'm curious what you're referring to when you say that I've said myself what features WinScriv is lacking.


The Proof of God feature bug was what occurred to me:

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=31664#p202936

Sanguinius wrote:All I can say is wow. If this is a bug, I hope it's never fixed. This is actual dual monitor usage for a single open project. I've been waiting for this for a while, and it's been brought up multiple times in the forums. What you've done is similar to an atheist discovering the proof of God by accidentally reading the Bible backwards.


Not trying to cross-examine you, btw. I was just struck by the seeming difference between your enthusiasm for new features on that thread and your more zen-like indifference toward new features on this one.

Ah, yes, I got a little carried away on that one, didn't I? Again, though, I was merely waiting for it, not complaining that it wasn't available. I believe that dual monitor support was something that was eventually supposed to be coming to Scrivener, or maybe it wasn't something that was ever really intended.

Either way (and especially if the second is true), for a random "bug" to produce an effect unintentionally that gives the user something he or she has been told is coming sometime in the undisclosed future was mind-blowing to me. It was something that I didn't need, or even expect to see, at the time, but it just happened to fall into my lap. I guess it would be like if people who were waiting patiently for iOS compatibility suddenly were able to sync with their iOS devices while being told they wouldn't be able to do so for another year.

I try to remain fairly "zen" about most things in regards to Scrivener, since it does as many things perfectly as I can think of. But I also allow myself to be taken over by enthusiasm for the unexpected, as I'm sure will happen when 3.0 is released with things that I never thought of beating me over the head with how useful they are and how wrong I was to never think about wanting them.

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markfasano
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Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:26 am Post

Sanguinius wrote:Ah, yes, I got a little carried away on that one, didn't I?


Nah, I didn't think so. It is, as you said, mind-blowing. It actually got me wondering what else might be hidden under the hood ... ("Hmm. Maybe if I click on the Inspector button while resting an elbow on the Space key, Snapshot comparison will appear.")

Sanguinius wrote:I try to remain fairly "zen" about most things in regards to Scrivener, since it does as many things perfectly as I can think of.


Hence your handle, eh? That's fantastic. The Zen of Scrivener (to borrow a phrase) depends, I think, on your workflow. For instance, I've read a number of posts by new Scrivener users shrieking with outrage that WinScriv can't compile to CreateSpace or some such POD outlet. Since I don't publish to print, I shrug, and think in an alarmingly detached way, "Yeah, I guess I can see why that might be upsetting -- to someone else." On the few times I've run into a limitation or had a problem with WinScriv, however, it's front and center.

Meanwhile, some Scrivener user on the other side of the world may well be peering at his/her screen and thinking, "This long-winded asshole again? 'WinScriv broke up my imported comments from a Word doc.' Yawn."

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markfasano
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Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:37 am Post

devinganger wrote:There *is* a difference between "must have" and "nice to have"...


That is certainly true, for those of you with adult levels of patience and the ability to delay gratification. :D

de
derick
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Sat Aug 27, 2016 3:13 am Post

I guess even after all that has been said, I still don't know if I should just switch back to Microsoft Word now that I can buy a computer that can actually handle it, bloated in all its fatness and glory. :|


The main reason to use scrivener over word has nothing to do with bloat - it's that scrivener is built for long-form writing, with the binder-based structure VC. If you're worried about things like feature bloat (and text selection in another thread), then it seems like you're not really focusing on what scrivener offers. I work in Word quite a bit out of necessity on collaborative projects and revisions from editors who use it, but I'd never choose to give up the organizational strengths of scrivener if I didn't need to.

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lunk
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Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:40 am Post

derick wrote:The main reason to use scrivener over word has nothing to do with bloat - it's that scrivener is built for long-form writing, with the binder-based structure VC.


The main reason to use Scrivener is because it's built for writing, "authoring", not for wysiwyg. It's better than word not only for long-form writing, but also for relatively short texts because of "the binder-based structure" with which you handle the text. Split in smaller groups if you like, restructure, switch to composition mode to focus on the words, etc.

To me, "bloat" is all those extra things you add just to be able to mention them when you do PR for a product. It sounds good, even if it's totally irrelevant for day-to-day use.
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