Scrivener should become subscription

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Silverdragon
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Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:01 am Post

Hi, @kewms! What about the Tabs and Indents dialog? I haven’t figured out how to get to that via the compile dialog. I know you’ll say I should just use the ruler, but I can’t be precise enough with the ruler to meet my ridiculously high standards. :wink:

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lunk
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Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:44 am Post

kewms wrote:The line spacing dropdown in the Section Layout -> Formatting pane has all the same options that the Format menu does. (Click "other" down at the bottom for things like paragraph spacing.)
Oaky, I learned something new today. But how do you expect me to think that line spacing would lead me to any other kind of formatting? When I click on that to change line spacing I assume that "other" is something more about lines, not completely other stuff.
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

is
isagirl
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Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:01 am Post

Keith, thank you very much for the detailed reply. Hopefully, you have some time to consider my comments.

KB wrote:That said, the way the market is heading, I wouldn't be surprised if one day we were *forced* to go subscription-only. Apple encourages the subscription model on the App Store, with subscription software "only" having to pay 15% of the profits to Apple after the first year, as opposed to the blanket 30% for one-time-purchase apps. And many third-party store providers are trying to move in that direction, too - Paddle, who we use these days for our online store (after eSellerate disappeared), often urge us to consider the SaaS model; it’s the direction they are most interested in. It may, alas, just be a matter of time before online store providers remove other options.

The push to subscription services and SaaS is because investors value "recurring" or "subscription" revenue more highly than organic revenue growth. It is discounted less because the impression (not without reason) is that "subscribers" are to some degree locked in. Buried beneath that logic is the stick: stop paying and you lose access to your content or the ability to edit it. Developers are incentivised to put in hooks to lock users in even more to maximise "retention," to lower subscriber "churn." Even if a given provider can hold their own against the temptation to wall the garden off, overall that's not a great incentive tradeoff long-term if you worry about customers.

I'm not sure you care much about the philosophical end of the argument (nor is there any particular reason you must) but it is fairly important to me. I am obsessive about my writing. I slave away at my content. I pour my heart into what I create along with blood (once: injury sustained while typing), sweat (especially during the summer) and tears (sometimes in the final act), Even putting my work in progress on someone else's hardware (Dropbox, iCloud, etc.) rubs me the wrong way. I don't want to have to read a set of Terms and Conditions to figure out how much of my prose I still own after I upload it and what real responsibility the recipient has to keep it safe (not to mention private... ahem... Apple, I'm looking at you). To suggest that my prose is not entirely mine (de facto and de jure) just seems so backwards to me.

This movement to make you buy something and then act as if you are only renting it, and in renting it anything you create with it is only kinda-sorta yours (and can be subject to an effective digital lien if you miss a payment) is anathema to me. I am aware that this is not the future one envisions when one "merely" wonders about Scrivener "going subscription" but it is the future your upstream providers envision for you as developers of their SaaS offerings. Apple is not discounting developer fees on subscription model priced software 50% because they make more money that way now. They are discounting it because their investors like "locked in" customers, and from those customers they expect to make it all back later and then some (because of the time value of money, of course, they have to pull in more later than they sacrificed today).

This realisation should give one pause. Really.

Contrary to some suggestions in the replies, there is actually good reason to believe that subscription models for software actually delay and blunt development (particularly for small to medium development shops). To the extent a subscription model locks in users or at least removes some incentives to switch, the costs to a developer of delayed updates is reduced. The pressure to focus on the product from the customer's perspective tends to me dulled when the customer base is locked in (even "just a little").

Adobe lost me forever when they spawned (from whence we shall not inquire) Creative Cloud. Microsoft 365 is a nightmare.

I might add, nothing about a given software package may bother the upstream SaaS provider today, but someday it might. Maybe a logo offends users in the Chinese online store. Maybe Canadian liability rules are violated by content sharing among users. Who knows. There is a big world out there filled with all sorts of value systems. Not all of them overlap perfectly. And because your user-base is locked in what power do you as a developer have to resist the upstream's wishes if they change next year... next month? In my view that's way too much control to give to a large multinational that looks at your users just as a stream of credit card approvals. Your mileage may vary.

Still, as I mentioned, those are essentially philosophical complaints. I feel better now that I vented them. Thanks for your indulgence. I have concrete concerns as well....

KB wrote:Software expectations have changed. Users are less willing than ever to read a tutorial or spend time learning software, and Apple has made everyone expect software to “just work” with iCloud.


While I appreciate the generalisation, I cannot wholeheartedly agree. As there have always been, there many different kinds of users. I've never been a "read the manual" girl. I always tinker my way into learning software, and I always have. Scrivener is no exception, and I've done the same with more complex packages with steeper learning curves as well. If you just want to sit and write a first draft on tap straight from Melete, Mneme and Aoide, even Microsoft Word is overly complex. Personally, given what I write (literary/historical fiction) and the way I write it, I need Scrivener's complexity.

Literature and Latte seems to have been so comfortable carving out a niche, and doing it better than anyone. Serving as an alternative to Ulysses (even just compared to the payment paradigm) is ground I hope you do not cede.

KB wrote:But Scrivener is built around a paradigm - being able to throw anything and everything into a project, file size be damned - that doesn’t gel with modern syncing expectations (we’ll need terabytes-per-second connections in every home!), and it has grown so much over the years that it is often difficult for *me* to keep track of its features and options, let alone our users.


To the extent Literature and Latte's paradigm resulted in the current version of Scrivener it was responsible for the most fundamental and positive life-changing shift any piece of software has managed to cause for me. If what I have to eventually do is stick the current version of macOS and Scrivener in a virtual machine and sandbox it off from the internet and the world for the rest of my life I will do it. But that would be most unfortunate.

Whatever happens, I'm eager to see (and participate in) the survey.

-isa

Ta
TadeoBlanco

Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:21 am Post

(Dropbox, iCloud, etc.) rubs me the wrong way. I don't want to have to read a set of Terms and Conditions to figure out how much of my prose I still own after I upload it and what real responsibility the recipient has to keep it safe (not to mention private... ahem... Apple, I'm looking at you).


I don’t understand this statement. You appear to be suggesting that Apple has failed to keep information private?

There has not been a single Apple caused leak of customer data. The iCloud leak a while back was caused by several high profile people using the same password on multiple platforms and the passwords being compromised from one of those other platforms. Apple has stared down government agencies in maintaining customer data privacy. Internally within Apple staff are regularly trained on customer privacy and data security with consequences for any breach of policy. If you forget your AppleID password and don’t have the appropriate 2FA device and/or phone number you can’t get your data back, and not even Apple can recover your data.

Apple’s allowing/moving to subscriptions in the app store began as a direct response to some developers requesting that feature. I don’t dispute Apple see a benefit in that lock in. I dumped Adobe over CS and refuse to have anything to do with 365.

Ki
Kinsey
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Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:38 am Post

Let’s try to keep the thread focused on Scrivener.

All very well said @isagirl, I agree with most, if not all of it. One key point is that Scrivener has created a niche for itself that is clearly much envied - witness all the look alike software in development or already offered. I hope that future development maintains that distinctive Identity.

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mbbntu
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Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:45 am Post

johnnyalpha wrote:the majority of your user base are legacy users who don't want frequent changes made to their well-loved and nurtured software tools every month or quarter

How do you know that? I would have thought that only extensive research could tell you that for certain.
You should judge people not by how close they get to the top, but by how far they have come from the bottom. Some people have a mountain to climb just to get to the place where others start out. (Me, 2010)

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kewms
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Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:58 pm Post

lunk wrote:
kewms wrote:The line spacing dropdown in the Section Layout -> Formatting pane has all the same options that the Format menu does. (Click "other" down at the bottom for things like paragraph spacing.)
Oaky, I learned something new today. But how do you expect me to think that line spacing would lead me to any other kind of formatting? When I click on that to change line spacing I assume that "other" is something more about lines, not completely other stuff.


Well, the relevant commands on the Format menu are in the Line and Paragraph Spacing sub-menu. The idea that line spacing and paragraph spacing belong together doesn't seem radical to me.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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kewms
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Tue Aug 11, 2020 4:01 pm Post

Silverdragon wrote:Hi, @kewms! What about the Tabs and Indents dialog? I haven’t figured out how to get to that via the compile dialog. I know you’ll say I should just use the ruler, but I can’t be precise enough with the ruler to meet my ridiculously high standards. :wink:


There's no menu, but you can make the Compile pane as big as necessary to make the ruler gradations visible.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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krastev
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Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:29 pm Post

Astaff wrote:
I don’t understand this statement. You appear to be suggesting that Apple has failed to keep information private?

There has not been a single Apple caused leak of customer data. The iCloud leak a while back was caused by several high profile people using the same password on multiple platforms and the passwords being compromised from one of those other platforms. Apple has stared down government agencies in maintaining customer data privacy.

This is an absolute ridiculous statement. Apple works with the Chinese government. There is no need for more evidence that they are not your friend when comes to privacy.
Krastev
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Silverdragon
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Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:55 pm Post

kewms wrote:There's no menu, but you can make the Compile pane as big as necessary to make the ruler gradations visible.

Not the problem. The smallest movement possible is .03". If I'm going to fiddle with tabs etc. I want the precision available in the dialog of .01". Also, setting stuff en masse via the dialog is just easier and faster than dragging things one at a time in the ruler.

Ta
TadeoBlanco

Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:32 pm Post

This is an absolute ridiculous statement. Apple works with the Chinese government. There is no need for more evidence that they are not your friend when comes to privacy


Absolute uninformed tin foil hat brigade rubbish.

Apple does not work with the Chinese govt. it obeys Chinese law, as it obeys the law in every country it operates in.

I suspect you refer to Chinese iCloud accounts being required to be hosted in China. It applies only to Chinese accounts and the data is encrypted before it leaves the customer’s system. And if course they have been required to remove apps that breach Chinese law. You want them to say FU to the Chinese govt and have their supply chain and access to that market turned off overnight?

I guess you’d only be happy when Apple stop making and selling product and services in China because that is what would be necessary if they refused to follow the laws in question. Amazing how people spout crap about Apple yet remain silent about every other major who follow the same laws to be able to operate in China. Guess Apple is too successful and an easy target for some. Tall poppy syndrome we call it down here.

Apple is a ruthlessly effective company with many flaws but data privacy is most definitely not one if them.

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kewms
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Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:58 pm Post

Ahem. Please take discussion of Apple's relationship with the Chinese government to another thread.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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AussieDoc
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Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:36 am Post

Well, that escalated quickly ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Windows 10 Pro 20H2
Bought Scrivener 1.9.16.0 but loving 2.9.9.14 Beta
And I will write 500 words
And I will write 500 more...
:D

is
isagirl
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Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:39 am Post

AussieDoc wrote:Well, that escalated quickly ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I'm afraid that's my fault for touching the third rail in my reply.

Ta
TadeoBlanco

Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:26 pm Post

isagirl wrote:
AussieDoc wrote:Well, that escalated quickly ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I'm afraid that's my fault for touching the third rail in my reply.


My response was addressing privacy concerns as someone who has some knowledge of the issue.

Rapidly turned into a standoff in the South China Sea :shock: