davecake wrote:Not a total redesign to be a tool that has a different focus, just an acceptance that edit conflicts are not just a mistake to be avoided that can be handled as a clumsy error, but rather a regular thing that happens and should have some tools for it. That literally would be enough for me to use it for collaboration effectively.
Perhaps once 3.0 is out cross-platform and stabilized, KB might have time to consider the minimum viable product for such a feature that would work with the Scrivener philosophy -- but to do so, one would need a realistic set of scenarios painted out, not just the "it needs to be like Google Docs" that most people lead with.
What would such a conflict resolution experience in Scrivener look like to you?
This collaboration thread makes for highly amusing reading. Never before have I seen support staff explaining lack of features by comparing the size of other companies support staff. (Not development teams!) Also very entertaining with the Lambacopter: Such a funny metaphor, but a totally flawed argument in this context.
As more of the posters seem to be Minimum Viable Software Developers as opposed to writers, here's a little gold nugget of information: Most writing outside of the lonely researcher or the ditto poet is a highly collaborative activity. In fiction we collaborate weekly with our editor, in tv drama I collaborate daily with episode cowriters and directors.
In other words, adding collaboration isn't an odd feature that would turn a writing software into a Swiss Army Knife. It's an ability that's at the core of the craft. Also, one would have thought it's a feature that software developers should recognise the value of. Millions of GitHub repos tell a compelling story. And since a couple of years, large enterprises set up their own internal version of GitHub for code sharing and increased productivity for cross-functional teams.
And, of course, the apparently dreaded Google Docs. A great example of software that kind of suck (What, why do we need menus like a 1990:s version of Word?) but is hugely popular due to a central feature - collaboration. The need to collaborate is so high, that writers around the world stomach the rest.
As for complexity and resources, Google Docs is actually a really interesting case. Here Katharine is very much off with facts, because it wasn't 'the immense resources of Google' that built the collaboration feature. A team smaller than Scrivener's developed something called Etherpad which had non of the font et cetera glitch of Docs, but live collaboration. This was bought by Google.
But before you go on saying 'Aha - immense monies!', the Etherpad team open sourced the collaboration engine. This was in turn picked up by another little group of enthusiasts who tweaked the open source version into something beautiful called Hackpad. Which in turn was snapped up by Dropbox and is now - tada! - Dropbox Paper. True story.
So, to conclude, the open source engine is still - uhm, open source - and lying around for pickings. Git is of course also open source, and there are already people who have hacked Scrivener into syncing with repos. (https://github.com/carsomyr/scrivener_starter
) When I say people, I mean single individuals. Without of the vast resources of Google.
Obviously, I have the highest of understandings of the complexity imbued in software development, But let's give paying customers the right arguments. I mean, if the thread is still there, you could see this one as a dead ringer for the one requesting an iOS version!
(Short summary: No, we can't do it. Software people chiming in and comparing it to different kinds of flying vehicles. Scrivener coming back after many moons and announcing it, but also being honest about the time frame.)
What have we learned?
- When it comes to writing, collaboration is so central that it's not a strange 'add-on' feature transforming the app into a flying machine, but at the core of people in the trade are doing on a regular basis.
- Collaboration is also the top driving force behind much of the current tech development, fostering everything from the move to the cloud to the record user penetration of Slack. That's also why many players already sitting around the table are going all in on collaboration, like Dropbox with Dropbox Paper.
- There are tools that could be appropriated, so the feature doesn't necessarily need to be developed from the ground up,
- Actually, there's already a MVP out with GitHub sync for Scrivener that could be interesting to look at and learn from. (I already hear the naysayers complaining that it would require a GitHub account, but then they forget that syncing with the iOS version demands a Dropbox account.
- Obviously, in a couple of years there won't be any writing software left that acts like an isolated island, because even more work will be done online with collaborators from all over. And nobody will accept sending versions back and forth. In the Septic's land on the other side of the pond, production companies are already talking about ditching the long time industry standard Final Draft because of the lack of collaboration.
Just put it on the backlog and be honest about when it's picked up into sprints or not. We can wait, as long as we know it's in the works. As we did with iOS, and what a fantastic piece of software that turned out to be!