Ulysses III

da
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Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:38 am Post

Movie Draft wrote:I just took a look at the MAS and it seems Ulysses III is now the only listed app - which is fine from their point of view - but what happens to the users whom bought a previous version and their computer crashed. Can they still download the old version or would they have to buy Ulysses III? Having never released a major update onto the MAS I'm not entirely sure how that works.


Well, it doesn't work. You've just discovered a major problem with the MAS. You can't charge for upgrades. You have two alternatives: you can release the (major) upgrade, as I did, and up the pricing for those who are purchasing for the first time but you then essentially give the upgrade to the existing user base for free (which, if you're feeling generous as I was, is OK); or, you release the upgrade as a new product with a different name and hope that it's sufficiently attractive for previous users to purchase it again. Some developers provide an upgrade path on their websites but that necessitates some sort of proof of purchase and a lot of effort to process it.

The recent episode with Final Cut Pro is an example of the second path. The new FCP has no upgrade path. You buy it again. At its release, it was not feature-complete, though it had a very impressive redesign, and the omissions caused colossal outcries of anguish and outrage from the professional users. Nevertheless, many bought it and in the ensuing year the development team has been steadily adding the missing features. Apple can get away with this because their simply massive war chest of cash allows them to offer FCP and other software for far less than it actually costs to develop them, buffer the initial drop in sales, and trust that the halo effect and generally excellent design will improve their overall profit in the long run.

For smaller developers this is not an attractive option. :(

Dave

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Rayz
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Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:12 am Post

Movie Draft wrote:Oh, totally agree. Don't want to turn this into a thread about Movie Draft though, was just commenting on Ulysses starting from scratch and how it had crossed my mind also.


Fairynuff ... :-)

I think starting again is great, but I'm not sure about taking so much away to move forward, which is what seems to have happened with Ulysses. They have a lot of good will from their users which should give them time to build on what they have so far.

Rayz wrote:But are you sure that MovieDraft needs such a rewrite anyway?


Hmm. Well, half of it is that some of the original code base was written 10 years go when I started writing it as a hobby in my spare time and didn't really know that much about programming. I've learnt a LOT since then, both about programming and what I want from Movie Draft. But anyway...


Yes, in many ways you have to have a clear out just to make sure you have a nice stable foundation. But I'm drifting...

It's interesting that they would release a _new_ version which does _less_. According to their blog they spent 18 months working on this release so I guess most of that time must have been spent reworking the underlying code to act as a better foundation for moving forward with updates in the future?


From what I understand, working with Apple's syncing framework can be quite challenging. The underlying code has been completely rewritten.

I just took a look at the MAS and it seems Ulysses III is now the only listed app - which is fine from their point of view - but what happens to the users whom bought a previous version and their computer crashed. Can they still download the old version or would they have to buy Ulysses III? Having never released a major update onto the MAS I'm not entirely sure how that works.


There's nothing to stop them keeping Ulysses II around on their website, but they won't be able to sell it on the Mac App Store. Having said that, I can't seem to find it ... :(

I'm pretty sure I saw Ulysses listed on the MAS a few months ago and it was around $9.99 (or that could have been in £, not sure) so $39.99 seems a heck of a jump from that price point for something which does _less_.


That is what's known as the 'elephant in the forum'. It does a lot less, costs a whole lot more, so in many ways. It is very much a subjective opinion, but I think that it very steep. It'll be interesting to see how they're sales do now that they've increased the price. Bear in mind that they did warn people that a few weeks after the launch they would increase the price. This may have lead to a rush of early adopters.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I think $39.99 is too expensive for such an app, not at all, I'm just having a hard time understanding why they are charging 4 time more for an app which does less. Or am I missing something? (It's difficult for me to to understand as I don't know Ulysses 2 to compre it to)


Well, as I said, pricing is very much subjective. If your writing is important then I don't think £100 is too much to pay for the right tool. My only reservation is whether or not Ulysses III is the right tool. For some it clearly is.
As if I didn't talk enough: Dom on Writing

ma
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Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:34 am Post

Movie Draft wrote:
Niran wrote:Ulysses is still a v.1.0 product.


Like dumping your current, intelligent yet ok-looking girlfriend, in favour of a less intelligent but pretty blonde.

All the best,

Mark.


That's it! :)

just kidding.

I didn't even want to download U III because I don't even use U II anymore.Yet, I couldn't resist playing with it and I must say U III is much better than U II. There are a few things that need to be ironed out, and it won't replace Scrivener. Yet, I am now using it, while I wasn't using U II at all.

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Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:28 am Post

Hi folks,

I don't want to advertise or such, just babble a bit…

Ulysses was created in 2002. It was first sold in 2003. Ten years ago, there was no iPhone. There wasn't even Markdown. There was no Full Screen mode. No Auto-Save/Resume, Versions, Time Machine, iCloud. Lots of stuff. All of this found its way into the Operating System, and while we slowly switched our code out to make way for the integrated stuff, it did only get us this far.

Then there was iOS and the need to sync. Some of Ulysses' concepts were impossible to sync, though: Tabs (open/saved/unsaved documents), RTF notes, multiple projects, to name a few.

We also hit several feature walls. Stuff we wanted to do different, but couldn't without breaking the app. Our fake semantics for example. They were just arbitrary tags, that had no meaning until you told the exporters. The whole idea of separate projects. The document names.

I think every software will hit these walls one day, and if you look at Final Cut Pro X (was mentioned here already) or iMovie 8 (I believe) and longer ago iWork (they had Apple Works, remember) -- at some point, you need to decide whether you want to go on or make the cut and start anew.

And it's not just about new features. It's that you have learned so much. About coding, about design, about your users, the market, your own goals (one of us was a school kid when we did Ulysses 1.0) and a plethora of other stuff.

10 years in, chances are very high that the product you're working on is no longer at the same level as you are.

Now, that's only my opinion, but we are all independent developers, and as such our drive is our products. And so I believe that we should take whatever risks there may be and just go for it. Make the best product we can. And if that means shelving old ones, so be it. If you're happy, it's good, but if you're not, drop it.

And from my experience, users get this. If you create a great product, and if you put your heart into it, they are willing to live with limitations. Because they know (or at least sense) that something great may come from this. Because you live this. See, whatever you do (Keith, Movie Draft), this will *not* be Skitch 2, right? No board of whatevers that forces you to integrate crap for means of branding.

Of course, some will not move along, not want to, not care. But once *you* made that "next step", even if only in your mind, you can't go back anyway and thus need to think ahead. Everything else is nostalgia. You'll meet new people. You'll reach new heights. You'll go places you didn't even think about going before.

Now, this is hard work. Because it means questioning everything that worked so well for so long. Rethinking perfectly fine solutions. Looking for alternatives, even if you already looked for them when doing the current implementation. Reducing, reiterating. THIS is what takes time.

It didn't take us 18 months to code from A to B. It took us 18 months to design, code, throw away, code, design anew, throw away, and do it all over again. And that was after having the base concept ready for at least half a year. And we now have a highly modern, brand-new foundation, on which we can build new stuff. Cool stuff. We couldn't do most of what will come on top of the old one.

It was risky, but it was worth it. And it's fun again. And I'm not talking about money here.

TL;DR, so cheers,
Marcus

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Movie Draft
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Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:47 pm Post

fehnman wrote:10 years in, chances are very high that the product you're working on is no longer at the same level as you are.


Thanks for your detailed response. I do completely understand where you're coming from, from that regard.

I wasn't a schoolchild when I started MD but I was still a novice. I have learnt so much about coding, design, UX etc in that time that the urge to start again - even though v2 is not a million miles from completion - is incredibly strong. I mean, even if I were to create the exact same program today, I'd do it a completely different way, so kudos to you and your team for actually taking the plunge and doing that.

Was there a point where you thought "uh oh, what have we done?!".

All the best,

Mark.
Movie Draft
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Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:48 pm Post

Marcus, thanks for your comments Your words bring to mind the discussions that Nisus faced when moving to OS X. Some customers demanded an exact replica of Nisus Writer Classic; but the team decided to not adopt Carbon, and rebuilt the application from the ground up. The first year saw some dissatisfaction. But the long term gain was good for Nisus. Obviously some still want something that Nisus had in 1994. But choices have to be made.

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Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:25 pm Post

Was there a point where you thought "uh oh, what have we done?!".


Not feature-wise, or regarding the design, no. This was all rather clear, and we were confident that it was the right way to go. For us, for the app, the platform etc.

But late last summer, when some things went horribly wrong, when it became obvious that iCloud would not be that easy, and when it became clear that we wouldn't meet our "latest possible" launch window… suddenly money became an issue, but we couldn't turn back anymore.

That's when we decided to do iCloud for Daedalus first, because we had to do it anyway, and because we thought we had learned enough from Ulysses III to do it in time. But when that bombed, crashes, data loss -- that was a point of "what are we doing, this will never work, we are doomed, people will hate us, we will fail miserably" and so on.

Good thing was we had strong backup, families, friends, and the team was willing to risk some more and finally publish. We could have gone on for six more months. ;)

Time will tell, if it payed off. Right now we're just happy to have that fun new foundation, which people seem to dig, and that's a great feeling.

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Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:12 am Post

jonmoore wrote:One feature I personally would love to see is a plain text mode so that all writing under the draft folder structure was saved as .txt files rather than .rtf.

Same here. I love the possibilities that Scrivener offers for organising and developing, but when it comes to the actual writing, the WYSIWYG system drives me nuts. I don't want to bother with (or be bothered by) the fonts, the formatting, the indenting.
I just want to be left alone to write.

I know that this is exactly what Ulysses is for, but since U3 turned out to be a note taking application rather than a software for creating books, I still haven't found "my" place to construct and write.

A no-fuss-mode could make Scrivener the best of both worlds, and it wouldn't even have to be all that different.
No font choices (the font is chosen in the preferences anyway; I never understood the need to change fonts mid-text), no indenting (this would happen on export or when simply returning to fuss-mode).
Whether whatever formatting is needed should happen via WYSIWYG or Markdown, would be a judgement call, I guess. I vastly prefer Ulysses' idea of marking text instead of layouting (i.e. not making something bold, but marking it as "emphasized"), but for me personally it's less about the file format being txt and more about not being bothered while I'm trying to write.

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Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:04 am Post

Flexo wrote:
jonmoore wrote:One feature I personally would love to see is a plain text mode so that all writing under the draft folder structure was saved as .txt files rather than .rtf.

Same here. I love the possibilities that Scrivener offers for organising and developing, but when it comes to the actual writing, the WYSIWYG system drives me nuts. I don't want to bother with (or be bothered by) the fonts, the formatting, the indenting.
I just want to be left alone to write.

I know that this is exactly what Ulysses is for, but since U3 turned out to be a note taking application rather than a software for creating books, I still haven't found "my" place to construct and write.

A no-fuss-mode could make Scrivener the best of both worlds, and it wouldn't even have to be all that different.
No font choices (the font is chosen in the preferences anyway; I never understood the need to change fonts mid-text), no indenting (this would happen on export or when simply returning to fuss-mode).
Whether whatever formatting is needed should happen via WYSIWYG or Markdown, would be a judgement call, I guess. I vastly prefer Ulysses' idea of marking text instead of layouting (i.e. not making something bold, but marking it as "emphasized"), but for me personally it's less about the file format being txt and more about not being bothered while I'm trying to write.


You used to be able to do this in Ulysses and you have always been able to do this in Scrivener. I've used it to write two books without having to worry about layout or formatting. That's what the compile settings are for. I can tell Scrivener to put the word 'chapter' followed by a chapter number at the start of each document and make the document heading appear in bold halfway down the first page. Keith has added to options to make the compile-time set up even more flexible. I just discovered that I can strip trailing whitespace from the end of each document during compilation, which helps get rid of erroneous blank pages in the final output.
As if I didn't talk enough: Dom on Writing

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Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:24 pm Post

Marcus, thank you so much for posting.

After getting an iPad two years ago, it quickly became my main working tool. I write, teach, research, draw and record with it. (Just bought the 128GB version!)

Daedalus exemplifies what I love about the iPad working experience, as Daedalus is so nimble, elegant and yet powerful.

I will be purchasing Ulysses III for my MacBook Pro and can't wait to test out the integration with Daedalus. Thank you for making these tools.

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Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:40 pm Post

The integration between U III and DT via icloud is very nice. My only qualm is that you can't use attachments (like PDFs) with stuff you sync via icloud. Not sure where the problem is, if in DT or icloud, but it's definitely a limitation. That's a feature I'd like to see implemented.

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Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:32 am Post

fehnman wrote:I don't want to advertise or such, just babble a bit…


You know you're always welcome around these parts, Marcus. :)

See, whatever you do (Keith, Movie Draft), this will *not* be Skitch 2, right? No board of whatevers that forces you to integrate crap for means of branding.


Brr, Skitch 2. There was an app that went from one of the best simple ideas to a mess in one fell swoop. It was a program that made our support easier instantly, and then they took away everything that made it so good and useful. Fortunately, I still have the old version installed...

It was risky, but it was worth it. And it's fun again. And I'm not talking about money here.


Great to hear that you're all re-energised with U3, and I hope it continues to do well for you guys. I look forward to seeing where you go with it.

All the best,
Keith
"You can't waltz in here, use my toaster, and start spouting universal truths without qualification."

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Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:40 am Post

jonmoore wrote:One feature I personally would love to see is a plain text mode so that all writing under the draft folder structure was saved as .txt files rather than .rtf.


I'm not sure how it it matters to the end user what format is used to save the text inside the .scriv container. You should never touch those raw files anyway. If Scrivener used a compressed or flat file format, you wouldn't even *know* that it uses the RTF format. There's nothing preventing you from treating them like plain text. Turn off the ruler, change the font to Menlo or Monaco, and set up the formatting to use no indents or line spacing.

Flexo wrote:Same here. I love the possibilities that Scrivener offers for organising and developing, but when it comes to the actual writing, the WYSIWYG system drives me nuts. I don't want to bother with (or be bothered by) the fonts, the formatting, the indenting.


As Rayz says, you don't need to be bothered by any of this stuff in Scrivener. You can override all the formatting in Compile. Some users like to set up their text in the editor exactly as they want it to appear when exported; you can do that if you want. But if you just want to write and worry about all of the other stuff later, you can do that too. For me, it depends on the project.

No font choices (the font is chosen in the preferences anyway; I never understood the need to change fonts mid-text),


Well, there are plenty of examples of books with sections written using different fonts (for letters, or code blocks for instance). There's also the point that if the font is set only in the preferences, then you couldn't have different documents within the project using different fonts, and a user may well want a character or location sheet using a different font to the main text.

no indenting (this would happen on export or when simply returning to fuss-mode).


Again, why not just hide the Formatting bar if you don't use it, hide the ruler, and set up your preferences to have no indents? The effect would be just the same.

...but for me personally it's less about the file format being txt and more about not being bothered while I'm trying to write.


Exactly. I guess I don't understand how any of this bothers you while you are writing, though, as you can just turn it all off and get it out of the way. I very rarely bother with formatting while writing myself.

All the best,
Keith
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Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:21 pm Post

I agree with Keith on this. I use Scrivener pretty much as a text editor when I write in it, I don't see how the many options that others may use can get in the way. You just ignore them while you write

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Mon May 06, 2013 3:33 pm Post

I tested UIII / Daedalus, for notes, songs and short stories, it's just perfect. Especially about the sync osx/ios. I do not want to use iCloud, Dropbox, itunes etc.. for synchronization. With a tiny freeware "MediaMaster Server" on osx, I synchronizes on webdav without knowing nothing to webdav. And it works! And that's exactly what I was looking for a long time. Finally, a simple trick! So I cross my fingers that Scrivener IOS can synchronize webdav (or as simple). Because there is novels too in life!
(UD, MediaMaster Server work perfectly with "sync with external folder" and Daedalus, crazy, crazy, crazy! so Literature and Latte can take all their time now with iScrivener. :mrgreen: