Requesting an iOS style "Projects Page"

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lunk
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Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:37 am Post

devinganger wrote:The biggest reason I personally would want to avoid using Windows search folders for less-skilled Scrivener users ...


Ahh... So we're both referring to "less-skilled Scrivener users" but end up with different conclusions. Luckily we don't have to make the decision. :)
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running the latest MacOS
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 8, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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markfasano
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Thu Sep 29, 2016 3:48 am Post

kewms wrote:That would be an inaccurate assumption. I don't speak for Keith and can't say one way or the other what his views are on this.
Katherine

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devinganger
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Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:48 am Post

lunk wrote:
devinganger wrote:The biggest reason I personally would want to avoid using Windows search folders for less-skilled Scrivener users ...


Ahh... So we're both referring to "less-skilled Scrivener users" but end up with different conclusions. Luckily we don't have to make the decision. :)


No. That is who you may be referring to. I am referring to users who are skilled in Scrivener, but may not be (and may not wish to be) skilled in general computer skills. That is a distinction I have learned to make in my 25+ years as an IT professional, that there are people who just want to use a few key applications and do NOT care about more general computer principles.

When you start to think about it, it makes sense in terms of the current model of computing. I have my app, and I have an overview of the data my app touches. Yes, I can always (unless I am on an iOS device or other such restricted OS) use the general OS file management to handle my files, but having the ability to look at specific locations for associated data files gives the app ways to enhance the user's experience in ways that are more streamlined and efficient.

For example, if the hypothetical Scrivener project page (asked at initial install if you want it, toggle-able) came with an empty "library" of search folders but allowed you to easily add a folder to its "library" as you are finding and opening Scrivener documents, it could build a list of those approved locations (and ignore Scrivener files that weren't in one of those user-approved locations). Any Scrivener project or backup file that ended up in one of those locations would show up on the project page. From that project page, I could easily move projects in and out of my Dropbox folder (for easy management of which projects get synced) and other locations that were in the "library". I could compare a project and its backup and see how out of date the backup is, or compare two backups. I could inspect a project to see which presets were in it and copy them to another project. I could create a template out of a project, or create a new project from a template. Or, I could never use the project page. But I could do all of this from a single spot that allowed me a view of a Scrivener project that Finder doesn't have.
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lunk
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Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:13 am Post

What you are describing is a complete file handler but within Scrivener instead of outside of Scrivener.

I too have worked with IT-related issues since the early 1980s and I know that most older people don't want to learn more than absolutely necessary, basically because they are a bit scared about what might happen if you do something "wrong". But I also know that there is a new generation of humans now, who grew up with computers and aren't nearly as emotionally scared of computers as their parents.

Then again, if people want a simple system, which doesn't force them to understand about syncing or file handling or anything like that, they could use Storyist. :)

I think some basic understanding of file handling is necessary, and thus a built in file handler is surplus as there is already were good file handlers included in the operating systems.
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running the latest MacOS
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 8, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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devinganger
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Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:29 am Post

lunk wrote:What you are describing is a complete file handler but within Scrivener instead of outside of Scrivener.

I too have worked with IT-related issues since the early 1980s and I know that most older people don't want to learn more than absolutely necessary, basically because they are a bit scared about what might happen if you do something "wrong". But I also know that there is a new generation of humans now, who grew up with computers and aren't nearly as emotionally scared of computers as their parents.

Then again, if people want a simple system, which doesn't force them to understand about syncing or file handling or anything like that, they could use Storyist. :)

I think some basic understanding of file handling is necessary, and thus a built in file handler is surplus as there is already were good file handlers included in the operating systems.


And yet they're included in iTunes and Windows Media Player and...and...and...

Sometimes generic isn't the right fit. For your workflow, it works. A project page in desktop Scrivener COULD be just a glorified file handler, but it could also be extended, should KB choose to include such a beast, to make it simpler to work with multiple Scrivener projects and backup files in a way a file handler can't.
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Winner "Best in Class", 2018 My First Supervillain Photo Shoot

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lunk
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Fri Sep 30, 2016 6:21 am Post

A file handler in iTunes?
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running the latest MacOS
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 8, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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KB
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Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:34 am Post

This isn't something that's going to be added, sorry. The projects screen makes sense in iOS because, as Katherine says, there is no file system on iOS, so you need some way of accessing your project files.

macOS and Windows, however, have file systems, and it is absolutely crucial that users understand those file systems and know where their projects are. If we put a projects screen in Scrivener that showed either a list of projects from certain folders or scanned the disk using Spotlight or something (which would slowdown startup), it would put yet one more remove between the user and the file. That's not a good thing. Many users already have problems knowing where their files are. A project page in Scrivener would encourage users to think the projects are all managed by and contained *in* Scrivener, in the same way they are on iOS. (On iOS, remember, if you delete an app, all of its files are deleted too.) It would result in users losing work, because they would think that just copying Scrivener to their new computer would be enough, without realising that they need to copy all of their projects across too.

A projects screen is also far from standard and would go against UI conventions on desktop platforms. iTunes does not have a file system. iTunes is a shoebox app that contains all of the music inside a single iTunes library - the music is not scattered across the disk wherever the user wants it. For document-based programs, it is standard across macOS and Windows to have a "Recents" menu and a file open browser, leaving it up to the user where to store files - the same as Scrivener works (because Scrivener uses standard desktop conventions).

On iOS, every single app is essentially a shoebox app, because the files are all placed within a single container dedicated to that app. So apps that deal with files need their own browser for that (Scrivener's project screen). A projects screen in Scrivener on the desktop would be misleading, making users think that Scrivener was managing all of their files when it was not. The only way it could work would be to remove the ability for users to save projects anywhere and turn Scrivener into a shoebox app that automatically stored all your projects in a single, opaque library, and I really wouldn't want that.

All the best,
Keith
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AndrewPirkola
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Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:36 am Post

This may be a dead idea, but for what it's worth I'd love it (I was about to post this as a suggestion and found this post first).

I understand wanting to avoid creating a Scrivener implementation of Finder or executing a file system scan at startup. To solve those problems, I'd be satisfied if the option was to "Show Favorite Projects at Startup" - where I'd get a screen that lists the project I've explicitly favorited so that I can quickly open one of those.

There's only a half dozen scrivener projects I open with any regularity, and it's annoying to drill into menus to open a favorite or to find it on the file system. In this regard, I enjoy the iOS experience more.

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kewms
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Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:31 am Post

File -> Recent Projects

Alternatively, Finder supports saved searches and tagging. You could tag your projects, create a saved search based on those tags, and configure Finder to have the resulting window open at all times.

(If this is too hard, then a Scrivener Project screen would inevitably lead to data loss for the reasons Keith discusses upthread.)

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AmberV
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Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:51 pm Post

This may be a dead idea, but for what it’s worth I’d love it…


In the sense that the post directly above yours is the developer saying no to the request—yeah, it’s dead. :)

To solve those problems, I’d be satisfied if the option was to “Show Favorite Projects at Startup” - where I’d get a screen that lists the project I’ve explicitly favorited so that I can quickly open one of those.


That’s the kind of the thing the OS, and third party programs that specialise on these tasks, already do a really good job of. It doesn’t even take any of the newer approaches with smart searches and tagging either—you can use ancient methods like creating a folder on your Desktop called “Favourites”, and dumping aliases to the stuff you use most frequently within it. Drop that folder into the Dock, and now you have a two-click launcher for all your hot files.

Beyond that I’ve always been a fan of third-party launchers. The Dock is all right, but I was using DragThing[1] before OS X introduced the “one dock approach” way of working, and then QuickSilver came out, and once I found LaunchBar I never looked back. I have all of my current WIP files quickly indexed in this system and I can get to anything at all with a few keystrokes—all without having to beseech each developer of every program I use to add a Favourites Management Interface. ;) (And then learn how each and every one of them work, and then just find myself wishing they all worked the same or that developer X did something that Y does better or, or…)

It just makes sense to delegate management to even whole programs that specialise in management—and I bet you can find tools and methods that are every bit as streamlined as the bare bones approach, necessary to do basic file management on iOS, too.


[1] To be clear, it’s a bit long in the tooth these days—never even updated for Retina, and with an aesthetic that still harks back to OS 9. Although he is keeping it running. I’m not recommending it—just paying homage to what was once one of the great productivity tools of yesteryear.
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Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:12 pm Post

AmberV wrote:It doesn’t even take any of the newer approaches with smart searches and tagging either—you can use ancient methods like creating a folder on your Desktop called “Favourites”, and dumping aliases to the stuff you use most frequently within it. Drop that folder into the Dock, and now you have a two-click launcher for all your hot files.

Exactly what I do, but in Windows. When I see requests like this, it always makes me wonder why folks are asking for features the OS already offers, and not innovative & cool shiny things. :shock:
I’m just a customer.

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Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:26 pm Post

And Windows does the same thing the Mac does. If you have a program pinned to the task bar and use the other mouse button to click on it, you get all the recent projects right there in a tidy list. So for those that work in a smaller rotation among a few <10 files, you don’t need anything more than the thing you use to launch the program anyway—and that basic concept is incidentally half of what the iOS version does on the iPad with the tiles thing.
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gr
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Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:02 am Post

In addition to File > Recent Projects, there is File > Favorite Projects for your designated favorites.
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xiamenese
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Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:19 am Post

If you're on MacOS 10.13.x, and like me you launch apps using Spotlight—tap Spacebar, type 'sc' … it's probably enough—and you'll get a window which will list apps and other things on the left, but on the right a list of about the last 5 projects opened by Scrivener. I get different lists depending on whether I select Scrivener 2 or Scrivener (3 as default) on the left. Just click on the project you want and it gets opened.

:)

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