Apple Design Awards - *sob*

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Amaru
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Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:06 am Post

AmberV wrote:That said, the word processor research that I performed for the section you quoted did show Pages to have a less than adequate handling of RTF standards. So you are right to point that out. Where I think you err is in your implication that this is somehow the fault of Scrivener. Actually, it produces very standard RTFs. It is up to the word processor to handle these standards, and the fact of the matter is, Apple has demonstrated their lack of interest in doing so, not only with the basic RTF support package available to Cocoa developers, but with their flagship page layout program as well.


I just finished a big project, and I would have liked to be able to just export from Scrivener to Pages. But I couldn't, and I had to first export to Word, then save the document as a DOC file, and finally open it in Pages. I use Pages because it's the cheapest option to get a decent page layout, real printer-grade font features, and produce decent PDFs. I know that it's not Scrivener's fault that Pages does not support a more robust RTF. Yet, this is another case in which pointing fingers doesn't really solve the user's problem. DT does not support Pages yet, and when you ask the developers, they blame it on Apple.

This is not a criticism to Keith, or to Scrivener. But I think that it's okay to discuss the little imperfections of something you love dearly.

When it comes to writing, I wouldn't change Scrivener for anything; but, it would be nice to go directly from Scrivener to Pages. Meanwhile, MS Word (that ugly monster) is able to produce documents perfectly readable by Pages.

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kewms
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Tue Jun 19, 2007 7:17 am Post

Amaru wrote:When it comes to writing, I wouldn't change Scrivener for anything; but, it would be nice to go directly from Scrivener to Pages. Meanwhile, MS Word (that ugly monster) is able to produce documents perfectly readable by Pages.


Or, put another way, Apple has decided that it's important for Pages to be able to read files generated by the market leader (Word), and that it isn't important to read standard-compliant RTF files.

It's true that pointing fingers doesn't help the user get work done, but it's also true that Apple is ultimately responsible for Pages, and they have chosen not to follow the RTF standard. Independent developers, with limited time and resources, therefore have to choose between supporting Pages' own internal format, which may or may not be well-documented, and supporting a format that works fine with Pages' many competitors (including Word). Given that choice, what would you do?

Katherine

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AmberV
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Tue Jun 19, 2007 12:26 pm Post

Thanks, Katherine. That is precisely the issue at bay. It isn't just Pages we are talking about here. It is every single word processor that more than ten people use, because that is all it takes to make a "vocal majority" on a forum. You can either go the route of having your application produce industry standard documents, or you can spend months, even years, creating dozens of exporters; hacking black-box binary formats; and hoping that everybody keeps their format stable (which they will not).

When it comes down to it, love it or hate (which most of us do), there is only one word processor worth going through all of that effort for--and it certainly is not Pages.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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Gordon
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Tue Jun 19, 2007 2:29 pm Post

Those of you who are speculating about reasons for Scriv not to win an award should review the Design Awards judging criteria, and then see how Scriv compares to the two winners in the UE category in regards to the criteria.

http://developer.apple.com/wwdc/ada/rules.html

Don't get me wrong, I like Scrivener a lot, but the competition is really good, too. And on the whole, it's hard to say how Scrivener is "better."

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KB
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Tue Jun 19, 2007 7:03 pm Post

Gee, thanks, Gordon. I wasn't actually saying that those apps didn't deserve to win - as I have made clear several times, they are more than worthy winners. (Did you even read my earlier posts?) I was just sobbing that Scrivener didn't, which I am allowed to do (as a sore loser, as I said). What's wrong with that? Congratulations to those apps - and I mean it. But I can still feel sad that Scrivener didn't win, can't I? I did, after all, put several years' work into it, am greatly invested in it and am allowed to feel that it should win. That is my prerogative. If I didn't feel that way then really I shouldn't be charging for it. But really, thanks for that. :roll: Now, if you would like to be a little more constructive and actually post the sections of those rules - which, believe it or not (shock, horror!) I have read - that you feel Scrivener fell down on, that would make a more interesting discussion and may even lead to Scrivener becoming a better application. Though actually, I have read those rules and feel that Scrivener fits them very well. Which is not to say that the other apps do not. How many times must I say that I think both of the winners are more than worthy? THEY DESERVE IT! I can still be miffed that Scrivener didn't win, can't I? No, apparently not. I think I'm going to have to start being more "professional". Ho-hum.

Yeah, I'm in a fricking bad mood right now. :)

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Tue Jun 19, 2007 10:26 pm Post

Keith, is it possible that the problem is that the categories are too broad? You entered Scriv in User Experience, the only really applicable category. The winner and runner up seemed aimed at developers, in both cases website makers. Whereas Scriv is more of a document creation program for end users. Given that WWDC is aimed at developers more than end users, maybe that's why it didn't place? Obviously most of us here consider it our favorite app, and it deserves to win beaucoups awards. Maybe there should be more categories? Are there other contests that provide more specific categories?

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Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:03 pm Post

Hi Brett - I don't think there is really any "problem". :) Scrivener was beaten by two excellent programs; the judges just happened to prefer them over Scrivener, and that is perfectly valid, even though I damn them to hell (j/k). I don't think the categories are too broad because they have to accommodate nearly any app, and Scrivener - I think - certainly fit into User Experience. No, the only problem is me being a bit miffed because I wanted a nice, free cinema display!
Best,
Keith

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Amaru
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Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:58 am Post

AmberV wrote:Thanks, Katherine. That is precisely the issue at bay. It isn't just Pages we are talking about here.


Sure. I wasn't talking about Pages either. Yes, Apple is ultimately responsible for Pages, that goes without saying. Small development efforts have limited resources and time, that goes without saying. But this is a forum to discuss possible solutions for writing scenarios in which Scrivener is used. I don't think that shunning those of us who *print* with Pages is the best solution to this specific problem. Dialogues do not go far where solutions are foreclosed.

Whether we like it or not, MS Word is one of the industry standards. And, yes, their format has been changing over the years, and they are changing it again. Yet, in 20 years of using Word, the DOC format--in its different incarnations--has always been supported by other word processors and page layout programs (hence, Apples support of DOC files). I was suggesting that a good work around to the Pages problem was to support MS Word's DOS format. If Scrivener were to export DOC files, I wouldn't need Word as a middle step towards Pages.

I don't know about other users, and I'm probably alone here, but I need to produce manuscripts that follow certain guidelines, and that cannot be done in Scrivener. Scrivener is a wonderful writing environment--minus a couple of features that would be nice to have--but it is *not* a page layout program. Therefore, I need to use another program to print my documents. It just happens that, for my budget, Pages is the best tool.

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Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:25 am Post

Scrivener is a wonderful writing environment--minus a couple of features that would be nice to have--but it is *not* a page layout program.


Emphasis, mine. Scrivener, as conceived and developed by Keith, encourages writing; not formatting.

Dave

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dhruva
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Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:27 am Post

But Scrivener exports as Doc files. And the whole point of Scrivener is that you write in it as opposed to make text look pretty.

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Wed Jun 20, 2007 1:33 pm Post

Scrivener's .doc file export isn't a true word doc file, it's an RTF renamed as .doc - MS Word will silently and correctly open it, and it doesn't confuse people who know only Word.

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Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:26 pm Post

Amaru wrote:I don't know about other users, and I'm probably alone here, but I need to produce manuscripts that follow certain guidelines, and that cannot be done in Scrivener. Scrivener is a wonderful writing environment--minus a couple of features that would be nice to have--but it is *not* a page layout program. Therefore, I need to use another program to print my documents. It just happens that, for my budget, Pages is the best tool.


Look the only limitation of Scrivener's interaction with Pages--lack of transportability of footnotes, annotations, and embedded images--is driven to a large extent by Pages own limitations, namely its limited support for the published standard format, RTF. When Apple chose to support only the binary DOC format, they knew that this would limit compatibility with third-party developers who rely almost exclusively on RTF, for good reason. Would you want Scrivener (or, e.g., Mellel) to support the binary DOC format if that meant a price increase of $30 and years of development effort (i.e. Apple apparently purchased Schemasoft for this purpose), just for the sake of compatibility with Pages?

Anyway, something tells me the awards committee wasn't trying to transport footnotes and images into Pages, so this whole discussion should really be relocated to the Pages forum. ;-)

http://discussions.apple.com/forum.jspa?forumID=777

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Amaru
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Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:09 am Post

cyberbryce wrote: Would you want Scrivener (or, e.g., Mellel) to support the binary DOC format if that meant a price increase of $30 and years of development effort (i.e. Apple apparently purchased Schemasoft for this purpose), just for the sake of compatibility with Pages?

Sure, I'd gladly pay $30 to have an option to export *DOC* files from Scrivener. But it's not only for "sake of compatibility with Pages"--it would have saved me hours of despair when I was trying to assemble my dissertation, and I'm sure it will save me many hours of frustration with MS Word in the future. Yeah, sure, I would pay for features that make my workday easier and more enjoyable, in the same way that, were I not an Apple user, I would fork the money to get a MackBook *in order to use Scrivener*.

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Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:29 pm Post

Bear in mind that the design showcase award is exactly that - a showcase. What they will be looking for is the applications that make the flashiest use of Apple technology which is entirely different from having the best 'user experience'.

Now unless you make turn the editor into a Core Animation of a book with a quill that floats across the page and scrawls the words as you type, then you might have won ... and everyone would have stopped using Scrivener.

Why get so worked up about subjective stuff, especially with such a large and supportive user base?

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KB
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Thu Jun 21, 2007 5:48 pm Post

Just to clarify I'm not really worked up. :) I was just posting my initial boo-hoo reaction. The supportive user base I will take over awards every time. You should be used to me by now, Rayz - I'm not exactly "professional"; I just post away quite blithely and then realise ten posts in that it may not quite have been the good idea it seemed several beers in the week before. :)

Oh, and Amaru - Scrivener *does* support DOC export. Yes, the DOC files are renamed RTF files with the creator codes changed, but this is valid for MS Word (if not Pages) and is exactly how Nisus Writer does it (I found out how to do this from Nisus, in fact :) ).

Best,
Keith