[NB] Overall Impression: I Would Not Upgrade

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Sat May 19, 2018 1:07 pm Post

krastev wrote:
StaceyUK wrote:

Are you sure you monitor is working properly?

Yes. It works fine with all my other applications. The issues I'm discussing are UI specific to Scrivener 3 beta.
Blessings, Stacey

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Windows 7
Scrivener 1.9.7 / 2.8 /3.0.3/1.1.5 (1301)
Windows Beta

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Sun May 20, 2018 6:39 am Post

Carefully reading through here (not the first time), and trying things especially with thoughtful regard to how Stacey's been as thoughtfully reporting, I may have an idea for a way to describe the issues -- which also points to how they may be solved.

The word I think is operable (we're about words here, right?) is: contrast.

Having a few pretty wonderful (and quite variable) problems due to some combination of age, heredity, and degree of aftermath from a pretty heavy situation of diabetes (I'm fine, thank you; it is arrestable), that is a word I can personally well relate to.

That's especially so because there are a myriad of eye and equipment situations which the visual brain works hard to resolve less than clearest information, and when it can't entirely, the perceived result will be a distinct loss of contrast.

This includes focus and retinal issues both, as well as differential between eyes (not seeing identically) and so forth.

A strongly exacerbating factor which often is a problem when Mac people look less than closely at Windows comparability in screen quality, not to say differences in brand setup. I think we've had the basic gamma difference long enough sorted that this is not an issue any more, but it certainly was a big one, especially for images. The differences in font weights, I am not so sure of -- and there Macs have been categorically heavier. Meaning automatic high contrast.

The big difference today may be in screens. When you pay the Apple premium, you get a better screen, typically.

(n. b. to avoid politics:you can know that I carefully went for one of the very first Macs, loved it and upgraded for many years through laptops, newtons, etc.. but left then, over need to interact with corporates in Europe once, ended up with too much expensive software to replace, and Win10 does work. Hence Windows Scrivener, as part of that load.)

Now, screens.

If you have an IPS screen, not to say a Retina one, you are greeted every day with a bright, highly colorful, high contrast display -- and all these things over wide angles of viewing. That's what you get on a Mac, or if you pay a considerable premium, may discover you can get if you know to insist, on a Windows machine.

However, many, many Windows laptops and monitors do not have this. They have variations on the TFT technology, because it's cheaper. Then, the contrast is just plain considerably lower to begin with -- and slowly gets worse with age. Much worse, it and color vary so much with viewing angle that on many (all??) laptops with screens of this type, you can't ever get far enough away so that the entire screen will show the same color and contrast. Typically half of the view vertically will be considerably darker or lighter, while greyscale and color values (even solids like icons) fade or bleed away.

I will have to note that for my own eyes, the medical issues just multiply the difficulties on a bad day, as much as I understand how to get the best of the situation.

The difference for software lies in that contrast is something we _can_ improve, by giving options in the application.

No, it isn't quite as simple as it sounds, because of those subtle but all-too-visible differences in the physics results of screen types -- and manufacturers' preferences in presenting them (too bright or too undifferentiated etc. by design choices, mostly for the sales floor).

What can be done in software is what Stacey is asking for, and others have suggested. This is the chance to accommodate a necessary few of Scrivener's appearance factors by means of themable elements.

With care, it could be done with just a few additional settings, it seems.

I started to make a list, out of things Stacey and I have separately suggested, about luminance and colors that could use improving in specific cases, but am thinking of how much designers like to do things themselves.

Also, that way we are much more likely to enjoy a nice and unified look to Scrivener Windows in the sets of settings to be offered. That's important to everyone -- and just so, equally for the needs of overall screen reliability.

Thus after all these thoughts, really it comes back to only one. There should be at least two levels of overall screen contrast -- in unity each. One that looks good on best screens, one that shows up well for normal Windows/laptop screens, and especially for the many actually with present or potential vision issues.

We all don't stay 24, if continuing as best can to think adequately that way :)

If you can work out colors and grey shades, possibly with some border shapes or thicknesses, for two levels, that will probably make it quite easy to have three levels of contrast, which should do very well.

One for fine screens, one for ordinary, and a further step to harden up the view for the days or hours (sometimes) or longer term need to have comfort in use when vision is not so cooperative.

And each level will look like Scrivener.

It's a concept, anyway. An approach.

Will you see what you can do, given your own chance to think about it?

I think I've heard back positively on that one particular button I couldn't read, and this wider picture is really not a different thing.

And please remember the point I managed to leave out here, the further ability of a 'night' screen. We're helped a lot by recent software like free and wonderful f.lux (https://justgetflux.com/), so much better than Microsoft's attempt, while many of the eye issues I've alluded to are also affected by blue-white led screen-back illuminators and _their_ contrast problems.

If you make the Scrivener screen 'smooth' in the several contrast modes, which would be your nice design preference, f.lux should go a long ways towards letting you do night screen mode later, and I imagine this should help for operations. In fact I'm looking tonight at this forum, with all its spindly if pretty fonts in a sea of light background, and with your actual wide border shading plus f.lux, it works. Design can work.

Thank you,

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Mon May 21, 2018 9:34 pm Post

Wow, I've never seen so many people get worked up over color palette / shapes for a program where the overwhelming the majority of the time the overwhelming majority of the screen will be whitespace (or text you created yourself, and that's with a font of your choosing)! [Redundancy used on purpose.]

Making an exception for those who have a disability that makes finding things difficult, I honestly am shocked to see people discounting a program whose main purpose is to help you share text with the world because of what colors the different parts were, or the shapes of boxes. All I have ever cared about in software is functionality - the exception being entertainment software, such as games. At this very moment, I can't even remember what the cork board icon looks like, only where it's located - cause that's all I need, and I never changed the default colors on any version of Scrivener, because everything was readable and navigable, But, then again, I've never understood why people are willing to pay over half of what it costs for a full writing and e-publishing software like Scrivener or Ulysses for "distraction free writing" - in other words, they actually pay to have useful features removed. Most writers I know, once we get in the zone, the world around us fades. I don't even think about being in Scrivener, or on a computer at all. Only the flow of ideas from my mind to my fingers.

Personally, I'm thrilled with the Windows team. I actually downloaded the Beta on my family's old computer just to make sure that all the features from Mac I wanted were on there. Yep. I did that because my old MBP is in dire need of replacing, but the only thing that has kept me tethered to a Mac for nigh 8 years now (Ii've been using a Mac for 15) is Scrivener. Don't get me wrong - I loved OSX (I miss the Snow Leopard days...) over Windows, and still strongly prefer MacOS over Windows, but Apple's hardware decisions are driving me away from them. Butterfly keyboards, touchbars, soldering RAM on the MB so I can't upgrade it... I've just had enough of that when they charge an arm and a leg for their products. It used to be worth it because I could upgrade the machine to last 8+ years. That's not possible now. I feared I was going to be forced to buy yet again to keep using Scrivener's full potential. At last, no longer.

Thanks L&L for working so hard to bring Windows' feature list up to par with the Mac. You just saved me hundreds of dollars.
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Tue May 22, 2018 7:36 am Post

pigfender wrote:
Hey there.

I'd agree with you that a certain amount of clarity around project planning, milestone targets and delivery expectations would be both common and necessary if having a conversation with corporate investors on a non-tech development programme. However, in the tech space (and software especially), that expectation of programmatic certainty is both old fashioned and unwarranted. What you've described is known as 'waterfall' project development. Software, in contrast, tends to be be developed in a more 'agile' environment that recognises the inherent uncertainty around the time and resources needed to implement change, and the necessity of both flexibility and reactive planning to deliver robust products.

First, I think Scrivener is a very good value in terms of features for cost. An extremely one at that.

But as a Windows user, I relate to many of the comments here. How many times have I picked up a Scrivener book to find that many of the greatly needed features are "sorry, Mac only."

We Windows users are hoping, if not begging, for feature parity once and for all. That is at the crux of our frustration IMHO.

I manage R&D projects for a living, and many of them are software projects. As I read through many of the comments from Windows users, it is not about waterfall vs. agile... but let's try putting it into agile terms to some extent to attempt to show that the key questions end up being the same in waterfall or agile...

- have the Mac vs. Windows epics and use cases been mapped to each other (which would show feature parity of platforms)?
- have the sprints been scheduled (which would provide at least an estimate of delivery schedule)?

L&L: keep up the good work but you would do Windows users a great service if the 2 above questions were answered.

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Tue May 22, 2018 9:35 am Post

It’s the “greatly needed” bit that interests me the most about your comment.

Plenty of people have written fantastic works in Scrivener for Windows. I planned and wrote a collaborative novel in the Windows Beta version 8 years ago. And let’s not forget that Scrivener 3 has only actually been out on the Mac for a few months.

If you really do need those additional features, then you’re right... Scrivener for Windows isn’t for you yet (but will be before too long!). Hopefully you can muddle through with Scrivener for Windows in the meantime. In my opinion, it’s the best writing software available on Windows, and it’s definitely better than not writing at all until WinScriv3 is out.

I get that you’re super-excited about v3, and the lack of certainty to the release date is therefore frustrating. The lack of certainty is a reality of software development — as your comments show you clearly have experience of and appreciate. I’d encourage you to take what comfort you can from the commitment to deliver feature parity, and further comfort from the fact that LL have a track record of getting stuff right before they release it.
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Tue May 22, 2018 2:12 pm Post

Is Scrivener for Windows version 1.9 better or worse than Word (or some other word processor)? That is the only relevant question.

If the answer is yes, use Scrivener.
It the answer is no, use that other software.

Wether Scrivener for Mac is better or not or if there is feature parity or not is actually not relevant, unless you have the option to choose freely between a Mac and a PC.

Should you upgrade to Win version 3 once it's out? That depends on the same question: Is it better or worse than your current alternative?
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.
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Tue May 22, 2018 6:18 pm Post

I think Lunk has got it exactly right. Windows users should focus on comparable *Windows* software.

And for those folks obsessing on "feature parity", here's a news flash: Windows and Mac Scrivener versions will *never* have feature parity. There will *always* be some differences, due to fundamental differences in the platforms, and differences in the frameworks that L&L leverages to deliver these products. This tiny company is not coding all that functionality from the ground up. They are working with and sometimes around frameworks that do a lot of the basic heavy lifting, and those frameworks are different, which may lead to different implementations of "greatly needed features".

So focus on parity between these two different platforms all you like, but do it knowing that you'll also have to learn to live with disappointment.
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Thu May 24, 2018 6:13 am Post

Psssttt.....Hey! You! Come here!


I't's beta for Pete's sake!

Quit yer bitchin'!!!

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Thu May 24, 2018 8:50 pm Post

jandrewnelson wrote:Psssttt.....Hey! You! Come here!


I't's beta for Pete's sake!

Quit yer bitchin'!!!

Really? Isn't the purpose of a beta test to gather feedback about what is and is not working well for users? How is offering suggestions (even from a less-common experience) bitching?
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Thu May 24, 2018 10:12 pm Post

Please let's all remember to keep a civil attitude, whether or not you agree with the opinions of other posters or of the software developers and designers. Scrivener isn't going to be the best choice for everyone, and that's fine. We're making it the best software we can make to meet the goals we have for a writing program. As Keith said, the overall design of the software is set and not something we're going to be changing at this stage, but as the Windows version is still in development, not all the pieces are entirely in place. That's just something that comes with the territory in beta testing at this stage. Though it is a "sneak peak" of the coming update, the testing is mainly intended for catching bugs in the functionality.

Once 3.0 is officially released, it will have a 30-days-of-use trial period, just like the previous version. That will be the best opportunity to evaluate whether the software is a good fit for your writing needs.
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Fri May 25, 2018 12:37 pm Post

Respectfully, it isn't "bitching" when it's an accessibility issue. There are issues others have pointed out in better detail (since they deal with those issues, and I don't) about Scrivener and the accessible Windows themes. It's like calling someone's need for a curb (or kerb, if you'd rather) cut "bitching."

I do think once Scrivener gets the ability to load themes (as the OSX version has), that should help out a lot with some of the issues people have been having with it.
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Fri May 25, 2018 9:32 pm Post

People should keep in mind that there are still features (for example, compile) that:
1) Gate whether Scriv3W can be used for production,
2) Affect everyone, and
3) Still need to be completed.

For features that only affect a minority of users or are merely an inconvenience, a little patience is called for until features that fall into the above category are finished.

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Fri May 25, 2018 11:33 pm Post

pcgeekesq wrote:People should keep in mind that there are still features (for example, compile) that:
1) Gate whether Scriv3W can be used for production,
2) Affect everyone, and
3) Still need to be completed.

For features that only affect a minority of users or are merely an inconvenience, a little patience is called for until features that fall into the above category are finished.

At the same time, having the dev team be aware of the sorts of accessibility issues being brought up may affect how those missing features are implemented so that those concerns *can* be met with less effort/rewrite.

It's always better to get requirements *before* you write the code.
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Sat May 26, 2018 9:27 pm Post

devinganger wrote:It's always better to get requirements *before* you write the code.

But doesn't the Scriv3Win team already have their requirements? And aren't those requirements something akin to: "Bring the Mac version to Windows with minimal user-visible changes."

After all, there is a price to diverging from the Mac feature-set and interface paradigm, a price we already have seen in the Mac-oriented Scrivener2 web articles that confused and frustrated some of us Windows people.

With that in mind, if Scriv3Mac already addresses an issue, waiting for and/or encouraging the adoption of the Mac version's solution would be appropriate, or if the Scriv3Mac version does not address the issue or does so in a way you think inadequate, asking the Mac developers to improve Scriv3Mac, with the idea that the improvement will then be adopted by Scriv3Win, might be a good idea.

But if someone wants for an innovation in Scriv3Win that is not found, planned, or requested for Scriv3Mac (and I'm not saying anyone has or hasn't BTW), I'd argue against it as a violation of Win-Mac compatability.

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Thu May 31, 2018 4:52 pm Post

It's not a "violation of Mac-Win compatibility" to support extensive customization of Scrivener's appearance. Customization, including themes, is very much a feature of the Mac version.

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