Scrivener for iPad

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tony
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Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:02 pm Post

Forum Administrators and all of a sensitive disposition please do not read this.

I too waited in the hope that Apple might give us a portable secondary machine that could be suitable for typing/writing. They haven't. Of course we could find ways of getting it to work but the Heath-Robinson dock-keyboard they've created is itself an admission of what the iPad is not. The solution therefore is simple. Go over to the dark side.

Having accepted the iPad's unsuitability, I have since gone out and bought a £220 Dell netbook. It is now running Snow Leopard, Scrivener and Dropbox.

P.S. I also have a Mac Pro and a 15" Macbook Pro - neither of these sit quite so lightly in my bag.

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KB
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Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:02 am Post

My long and rambling thoughts on this whole thing:

http://lit-n-lat.blogspot.com/2010/02/i ... pment.html

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poritsky
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Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:28 pm Post

Great blog post. I would comment there but my blogger persona is, uhhhh, a bit defunct. I want to offer this one teensy weensy addition to this long discussion:

I know we don't view these devices and content creation units, but I get a lot of writing done on my iPhone. I can type pretty fast on it, and I find myself reaching for it more often than my moleskine because I can sustain writing on it on the subway for longer than with paper and pen. Besides the fact that I can do it phone handed, my hand just doesn't get tired.

Now, who knows that writing on the iPad's screen is going to be like. I just wouldn't count it out of content creation.

And another note on Pages. While it's an impressive looking app on the iPhone, I stopped using Pages a long time ago because it's a bloated formatting app, which Apple now admits! There are two modes, one for writing and one for formatting! So the looks of the demo show an app that will be really cool for content manipulation (i.e. moving a giraffe around text) but not creation. Which is why I hope a bigger, beautifuller WriteRoom comes to iPad. Much like Scrivener, and like Apple claims about all of their products, it just works.

So there you have it. You've convinced me I don't need Scrivener on the iPad (until you convince me the other way) but I'm not so sure it is just for content consumption.
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Rayz
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Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:27 pm Post

poritsky wrote:@rebecca and @typo This is very interesting. You're right, come WWDC Apple has a lot of explaining to do. Devs have been worrying about this ever since the iPod, and the company drove the point home when they killed the "Computer" and became Apple Inc. I work in video, and it's a constant fear that Mac Pro advances will cease. The last revision to the MacBook Pro line really upset a lot of video people because they nixed the ExpressCard slot, not to mention how pissed P2 shooters were when they got rid of the PCMCIA slot.

Every 6 months or so, Apple's focus appears to be somewhere else. Mobile, Music, Pro, Consumer, they dance around a lot. But are they the Developer's platform? They damn well better be! The real irony of the iPhone OS is that it's intention was to bring more Devs to the Mac OS platform. "Hey, look how easy it is to program in our languages, come over here and check out Mac OS" But over time it has really pissed off a lot of Devs, given the locked down nature of the iPhone OS.

Anyone reading this forum, on either side of the "make Scrivener for iPad" fence, should realize that Lit&Latte's stance is widespread and vital to Apple's existence. If Mac OS Devs feel they're being left out in the dust, they may just quit development altogether and move to Windows or something else. Great software sells computers, so Apple reall has to prove to Devs and the rest of us that they're still in the Computer business.

But iPad's only been known for a few days. Give them time, they'll come around and show us something totally nuts that'll make our hearts aflutter.


Very good points. To be honest, I've been worried about this for quite some time. When Jobs was out in the wilderness, a journalist asked him what he would do if he were still in charge of Apple. His reply was something like, 'I'd milk the Mac platform for all it was worth then move on to the next big thing.'

My problem is that 'the next big thing' seems to have arrived much sooner than I'd anticipated. I'd love to be proven wrong, but I don't think we're going to be seeing anything special for MacOSX at the WWDC, now or in the future. A list of three hundred changes made up of stuff like 'made the scrollbars wider', but nothing much more than that.

I mean, how long has Keith been wrestling with their poor implementation of tables, which, oddly enough, doesn't seem to affect Pages?
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Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:10 pm Post

Content removed by moderator at user's request.

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AmberV
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Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:15 pm Post

Edmo, let's please keep conversations like that to PM or e-mail. The discussion you are asking for isn't technically legal in many countries, and so probably shouldn't be a part of the Scrivener forum.
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Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:23 pm Post

@AmberV - Will do. Not sure how to delete my earlier post.

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Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:51 pm Post

I cannot imagine a viable process of moving Scrivener projects into and out of an iPad in order to facilitate the use of an iPad in my writing. I will be an early adopter of the iPad but all I really care about is getting some of my writing into and back out of the iPad. Therefore, the most I would hope for from Scrivener is something that helps me export it (already there) and then bring it back into the correct place in the stack. It can be made to work now and if that workflow could be streamlined a bit I think it would be nifty enough for any of us looking to do this.

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Mr Grinch
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Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:02 pm Post

KB wrote:Hi poritsky, actually I was replying mainly to Mr Grinch there! And I didn't mean it to come off quite as harshly as it did either, ...


Where did you get the idea that I was implying that it would "serve you right" if someone else came up with a Scrivener like iPad app? That's absurd because I completely support and promote Scrivener every chance I get. I heard about Scrivener through Andy Ihnatko on Mac Break Weekly, and coincidentally, he was the first person I heard mention Scrivener as a wonderful combination with the iPad (actually, well before the iPad was revealed in name or design).

The market will dictate, just the way it is. Perhaps a tutorial or means to interface with Scrivener in the context of who will be using the iPad might help. I don't think the iPad will become the sole platform for professional writers, but I do think lots of people who need to write will use the iPad and would also benefit from Scrivener.

Kidding ourselves that the iPad won't be used by students in a big way, especially with textbooks coming, is shortsighted. Right now developers are trying to get their head around this device, some will prosper and others will be left behind on this type of device. This doesn't mean their products won't continue to be popular on laptops and desktops using the full OS. I could easily see Apple choosing to do something with iPad/Pages to cater to students to make the device more appealing to that market.

Difficult situation because no one understands fully how well the platform will be embraced. I think the idea of getting the computer out of the way will be appealing to a host of people who need to write.

I wish you the best, whatever you decide.

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KB
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Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:47 pm Post

Mr Grinch wrote:Where did you get the idea that I was implying that it would "serve you right" if someone else came up with a Scrivener like iPad app?


Er... I have no idea - sorry! I just re-read your post and I have no idea what I was thinking. I think I just read it after a barrage of about a hundred e-mails and forum posts about the iPad, most just asking if I had plans, others mostly supportive, a few of the "do-it-or-fail" variety, and by the time I read your post my brain must have descended into negativity and paranoia.

The main thing for me is that I want to have time to write in Scrivener and not spend every hour of the day developing it, otherwise it's sort of for nothing. One version of Scrivener is more than a full-time job when there's only one person to code and do tech support, let alone two version. Even were I to make a fortune out of Scrivener (unlikely, but I can still dream), if I didn't use it to write something - if I didn't at least finish something someday - I'd feel I've wasted years of my life on the most amazing procrastination project ever. I know from a user's perspective that may sound perverse ("But you're making money out of it! From me! And what do I care about your writing you precious fool?"), but on the other hand if I stopped being Scrivener's first user then I think it would become a lesser app, too.

All that notwithstanding, I am downloading the iPhone 3.2 SDK as we speak, and received a book on iPhone development today. Obviously I'll only be dipping into it when I get chance, as 2.0 for the Mac is my priority, but I figured I ought to at least know a little more about programming for the platform. Before it's even downloaded, though, I have had some feedback from a couple of developers which would seem to indicate that you won't be seeing full-on writing apps from independent developers for a little while; not unless they have teams behind them. Apparently it still has no rich text system - they have introduced CoreText, which is the basis for developing a text system, but it's not a text system in and of itself. If this is indeed the case, then it means that either:

• Scrivener for the iPad would need to be plain-text only. This would really screw things up for import, export and sync'ing with documents in Scrivener for the Mac, which is rich text.
• I write my own text system using CoreText. But I only have one lifetime.
• I wrote a text system using the WebKit. But see above. And also, this is what someone else did only to have his app rejected. (Note that Pages is built on the WebKit - but the Pages text system is not available to developers on any platform.)

If this is the case (and I've no reason to doubt it), this is a serious problem.

All the best,
Keith

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Eldritch
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Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:15 pm Post

http://venturebeat.com/2010/02/02/apple-makes-developer-remove-usb-sharing-from-stanza-iphone-app/
Saw this and thought it quite relevant in regard to apples treatment of developers and not wanting pages facing competition.
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Stike
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Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:41 pm Post

Eldritch wrote:http://venturebeat.com/2010/02/02/apple-makes-developer-remove-usb-sharing-from-stanza-iphone-app/
Saw this and thought it quite relevant in regard to apples treatment of developers and not wanting pages facing competition.

Ah! THAT was the reason for the update I refused to install today! Apples policies are officially a pain in the butt, and probably the best reason not to develop for such a closely controlled platform.

Such requests from Apple on an open platform would cause quite a stir I believe. Developers should sue Apple for this.
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Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:53 pm Post

This is smelling more and more like the iP* devices are slowly being closed to developers. Really really sucks.
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Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:03 pm Post

I can't remove this Internet Explorer icon from my desktop. Hrm.
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Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:39 pm Post

KB wrote:All that notwithstanding, I am downloading the iPhone 3.2 SDK as we speak, and received a book on iPhone development today. Obviously I'll only be dipping into it when I get chance, as 2.0 for the Mac is my priority, but I figured I ought to at least know a little more about programming for the platform. ...

• Scrivener for the iPad would need to be plain-text only. This would really screw things up for import, export and sync'ing with documents in Scrivener for the Mac, which is rich text.
• I write my own text system using CoreText. But I only have one lifetime.
• I wrote a text system using the WebKit. But see above. And also, this is what someone else did only to have his app rejected. (Note that Pages is built on the WebKit - but the Pages text system is not available to developers on any platform.)

If this is the case (and I've no reason to doubt it), this is a serious problem.

All the best,
Keith


Glad we got that miscommunication cleared up. :)

I definitely see the issue you are facing in terms of resources vs priorities. Any iPad app would not need to be full-featured Scrivener, just a way to arrange thoughts and input text, then sync with Scrivener or any other app that could then input the material into Scrivener if a direct sync would be too complicated. In fact, when I saw the Keynote demonstration, I wondered if it could be used to organize thoughts, employing the slides similar to the cork board concept.

Can developers talk to Apple about what is permissible directly before they commit to hours of work that might be rejected? I get the impression that the rules are well laid out, but people push the envelope and don't ask before they spend time on something that might violate Apple's policies.

Also, I tend to see a Scrivener app as a marketing hook to get people interested in the full OSX application. The biggest developing market would seem to be students, who might be a major player with the iPad.

I say this as textbook publishers reveal that they have inked a deal to publish their works on the iPad, and my son is at a University that issues iPod Touches or iPhones to every student. Apple has been working with them on the "iPhone Initiative" for two years. They have come up with innovative ways to use the little devices in the classroom, but the real value is that students leave hooked on Apple devices. They are used in every class for a variety of means. I would bet that his school will be one of the test markets for the iPads. Universities are full of students who desperately need to better organize concepts into written presentation. :wink:

The bottom line is that you are in an enviable position. Customers are pleading with you to expand your product to other platforms. That's a whole lot better than chirping crickets in your inbox due to a lack of interest, eh?