Just about out of patience

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kewms
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:18 am Post

Aw, shucks. :?

Katherine
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takirks
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:29 am Post

kewms wrote:The beta is available for download whenever you like.

Stamping "Windows Scrivener 3.0" on the current beta, releasing it, and charging money for it will have ZERO impact on the quality of the code.

So people who are "out of patience" are demanding that they be given the opportunity to pay for code that our developers believe is not yet ready.

What could possibly go wrong?

How will these people react if, come January 15, they have gotten their wish, paid their money .... and encounter a critical piece of missing functionality, or a showstopper bug, or something else that demonstrates that yes, in fact, it really was beta quality code?

Probably not with outpourings of delight and appreciation.

When Windows Scrivener 3.0 is ready to release, we will release it.

Katherine


I, for one, am happier to see this attitude from Literature & Latte than the usual software industry "Let's sell the beta..." mentality.

Ain't nobody got no reason to be bitchin', in my book--They're not releasing anything before its time, and they've not collected a dime in revenue during development. If it takes ten years to get 3.0, so be it. It's not like they've broken any real contractual promises, which most software companies do all the time, by releasing software that's really not ready for a production environment.

I think all of you folks complaining about 3.0 not being out yet need to relax. There's nothing to complain about, because they're taking their time to get it right. Now, if Literature & Latte had released a 3.0 that was "not quite done", the way a lot of shady companies do, and you were losing work to bugs and crashes? Yeah, then you'd have a right to bitch. As it is, I think y'all ought to give the nice people some room, and relax. It's not like you've paid for anything as of yet, now is it?

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Thanatos0042
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:41 pm Post

Seems to me that these days people do have a reasonable expectation to voice their opinion of praise or critisim, compliment or complaint of a company, especially when they provide a public fourm for their product.

I personally believe it's pretty narrow minded and unreasonable to dismiss people who complain when they have had their expections set and then reset and set and reset and then finally told to expect nothing.

When you set a goal and you don't meet it you end up hurting your reputation and your credability and when you do it repeatedly, you only make it worse. When you then leave vaccuum of real updates and don't try to get a handle on the narrative it's not really fair to expect people to change their behavior and act differently.

...and trying to dissuade people from complaing by insulting and dismissing them is only going to fan the flames and bring other people to the argument.

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devinganger
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:54 pm Post

Thanatos0042 wrote:I personally believe it's pretty narrow minded and unreasonable to dismiss people who complain when they have had their expections set and then reset and set and reset and then finally told to expect nothing.


Characterizing L&L's current stance as "told to expect nothing" is disingenuous at best and dishonest at worst.

It has been shown over the course of the lifetime of Scrivener for Windows that people are going to complain no matter what L&L does because they feel entitled to something, no matter HOW L&L tries to set the expectations. No matter how carefully worded the blog post, no matter how many times they use terms like "estimated", there is always a vocal minority who let slip with the raging entitlement and come in with toxic attacks.
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AmberV
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:23 pm Post

…When you then leave vaccuum of real updates and don’t try to get a handle on the narrative it’s not really fair to expect people to change their behavior and act differently.


We’ve put out almost a dozen updates since then, and have closed hundreds of tickets. The software is progressing very well, both internally and publicly. This “vacuum” you speak of seems to be largely rhetorical, care to explain what you mean by that? I can attest to one thing, this “get a handle on the narrative” isn’t something I’ve ever been a fan of. Sounds like politics and spin to me. I’d rather just get work done.

As to the rest, I’m not really sure who you are speaking about to be honest, but that doesn’t sound like a very productive or interesting line of conversation to me. Let’s talk about the software, and how that’s going on, not who is worse than whom (that goes nowhere good). Thank you.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:43 pm Post

I'm new here but I'm long in the tooth with computers & software. It appears the crux of the issue is whether, for whatever reason, there is a need for an official production version as opposed to continuing to use a beta version that is by and large stable but requires periodic refresh.

I don't know L&L's criteria for when V3 will be considered production ready. Others here have testified that they've been using the beta versions productively without major problems. By comparison some vendors will ship software if there are only a few obscure problems that few users are expected to encounter and decide to fix those in updates. I've productively used open source software that is still to reach V1 status even after several years.

There is a natural suspicion to the quality and stability of software identified as beta but it seems by now any major issues have been worked out. My approach is if I can be productive with the current beta to go ahead and use it even if I need to periodically refresh, although I may use a little extra backup just to be sure. So as others have mentioned, you have V1 and V3 beta is available free of charge, is it all that important when they slap the official V3 tag on it?

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AmberV
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:01 pm Post

I don’t know L&L’s criteria for when V3 will be considered production ready. Others here have testified that they’ve been using the beta versions productively without major problems.


Mainly, completion of the core design, and the parity between interface and functionality. When we had to delay the the launch a few months ago, the main problem was that a very significant majority of the GUI in the compiler wasn’t wired up yet. Obviously, we couldn’t release that. :)

The other problem is that what was wired up wasn’t yet working to core design specifications, broadly speaking. We’re talking stuff like having the ebook output produce a valid ebook that reacts to the settings you provide, or being able to compile footnotes at all, etc. Again, not problems you can have in software you sell.

Of course we knew we’d get no end of people piling on and telling us how bad we are as a result, and we know we’re going to continue getting that until the end—that’s the choice we made, and there will never be a shortage of people who prefer that mode of discourse. It should be obvious to anyone with an ethical bone in their body though, which choice is the correct one. Heck, even if you aren’t much on ethics, arguably releasing prototype code and selling it could actually lead to legal problems, not just people eager to lodge complaints about development speeds or what have you.

By comparison some vendors will ship software if there are only a few obscure problems that few users are expected to encounter and decide to fix those in updates.


Indeed that is almost always necessary to some degree. Given the delays, we’ll probably have to have more of those kinds of things that I personally would like to see, but that’s just how it goes. It’s going to be a long time before it’s “done” (in the foggy sense that software never is). The goal for 3.0 though, is being able to do what’s printed on the tin. That’s just simple, logical necessity, and I don’t think many would seriously debate that.

I think you’ve highlighted one of the problems, in fact. Scrivener is far larger than most people realise, it is an extremely ambitious project. Look at its user manual, and now consider that the one you see when hitting F1 has nearly 250 pages of redacted text in it on account of things that weren’t working at the time (excepting stuff that will always be Mac specific, like support for the programmable OLED touch strip above the keyboard on their laptops). For those who never encounter those areas in the missing pages, they might be utterly baffled as to what we’re going on about—after all, it still had 600 pages of user manual, and that’s an awful lot of software, one can use it for years without straying outside of that realm. :)

But here’s a simple one for you:

  1. Create a new blank project and paste several paragraphs of lorem ipsum into the starter file.
  2. Click into the second paragraph and set it to “Block Quote”.
  3. Load File ▸ Compile....
  4. Select the “Modern” compile format in the left sidebar, and assign the stock section type in use to the “Section Text” layout, in the middle column.
  5. Compile to RTF, and open in any word processor.

If you’re a biographer, well, you can see how this might cause problems! In this case the font family didn’t override, though it should have while leaving the custom indenting intact (and not mangled), but that’s just one problem on the docket. The full integration between the stylesheet system and how it passes through and is optionally transformed by the compiler is very complex, particularly where we get into the permutations of combinations of these features. And these solutions sometimes require custom outfitting for each output type. What styles do to an ePub file (generating CSS classes and automatically generated attributes, along with the ability to code your own—all only recently made possible) is totally different than what they should do to RTF files, or Markdown files.

There is a natural suspicion to the quality and stability of software identified as beta but it seems by now any major issues have been worked out.


Indeed that is true and expected. But one thing we’ve done a good job of so far I think is in stability. What is there is pretty solid. For a program this complex and still under heavy construction you would very rightly expect crashes and data loss bugs now and then—but look around, you won’t find many. I test with it daily and extensively, and it it is very rare I hit a serious issue like that—and my definition of data loss is very broad: I include stuff like the colour of your annotations getting lost, since one might use blue, red and green comments for strong and important semantic purposes, meant to communicate to future versions of themselves for years to come.

But keep those backups—and keep doing it when it goes gold as well. I don’t use any piece of software without backups upon backups upon backups. It’s not just the software I’m protecting myself from, but the hardware, the operating system, the weather and even my own foolishness (perhaps primarily so).

Anyway, thanks for stopping by the forum.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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ZeroDrawn
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:27 pm Post

devinganger wrote:It has been shown over the course of the lifetime of Scrivener for Windows that people are going to complain no matter what L&L does because they feel entitled to something, no matter HOW L&L tries to set the expectations. No matter how carefully worded the blog post, no matter how many times they use terms like "estimated", there is always a vocal minority who let slip with the raging entitlement and come in with toxic attacks.


I take issue with this only because the blog set the expectation of August, with the subsequent August delay post quoting "I do believe we are a matter of a few weeks away now - I'm certainly not talking months.", which was almost 3 months ago.

Its fine. If it is worse to release what they have now, they shouldn't release it yet. And I don't think they deserve any sort of retribution for missing their 'estimated' release dates.

But I don't feel that those two blog posts were very 'carefully worded'. One was explicitly spelled out, about as close to a promise as you can get, the other a be-at-ease sort of too-optimistic outlook. Aside from the insight into the developmental issues, which is valuable, they otherwise have ended up as meaningless. Heartfelt, I fully believe, but ash spilling between fingers in the end.

And its less that I want to hold L&L to eternal blame for this sort of thing; Moreso that I'm put off by people who consider L&L blameless and who consider any who have complaints or a bad taste about this situation to be completely lacking in merit.

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Noachian
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:51 pm Post

Some folks seem to be forgetting that the original expected release date was "Q1 2019" for the longest time on the Scrivener 3 for Windows page.

Regardless, no one has paid for it yet, so throwing tantrums because they haven't met projected deadlines yet serves no purpose.

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AmberV
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:56 pm Post

That blog post you mention stated in black and white that no estimations will be made until it is done. You seem to instead be referring to a quoted text from the change log instead. That was a regrettable thing to speculate about, I’ll admit, but taking that away as the "next estimate" is a clear misinterpretation of the actual post, and the statement we made of our policy going forward.

So knowing that, perhaps you will feel better about it all. Now it is just a missed launch date with a firm statement that our next launch date will not be calculated during the development phase, and that in addition we would no longer speculate even broadly, since some people even take estimates as being hard expectations.
.:.
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:44 pm Post

ZeroDrawn wrote:I take issue with this


Don't, because I wasn't talking about you. As I said, I'm generalizing the pattern that has happened for the entire time that Scrivener for Windows has been a thing.
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ZeroDrawn
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:47 pm Post

AmberV wrote:That blog post you mention stated in black and white that no estimations will be made until it is done. You seem to instead be referring to a quoted text from the change log instead. That was a regrettable thing to speculate about, I’ll admit, but taking that away as the "next estimate" is a clear misinterpretation of the actual post, and the statement we made of our policy going forward.

So knowing that, perhaps you will feel better about it all. Now it is just a missed launch date with a firm statement that our next launch date will not be calculated during the development phase, and that in addition we would no longer speculate even broadly, since some people even take estimates as being hard expectations.


I disagree that it is black and white in the sense of full disambiguity, given that the quoted text is from one of the two windows developers, the same one who was the one who made the last blog post, while the blog post itself caps off by the writer noting they are the developer of the mac version. This means there are two people saying two things that may or may not conflict with each other.

The quoted text and the last line aren't even necessarily in conflict - its only weeks, not months, but no announcements of release dates -, and still aligns with what I said in my last post - that it feels like a very hopeful outlook that ultimately shouldn't have been (publicly, at least).

But, again. That situation bothers me less (because its in the past and nothing can be done to change it) than -some- of the reasoning folks have for being so incensed at those who have a problem with it.

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AmberV
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Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:57 am Post

Thanatos0042 wrote:I can see that, by reading through the beta post when it's updated. It's not exactly out there or easy to see unless you are specifically looking to download the beta and then, there really isn't much in there, except the bug squishes.


(Note: actual quote above can be found in off-topic flame war thread. I'm only responding to the part that is salient to the conversation before it was split off.)

I see, I meant to specifically respond to the comment that we have not posted any updates since August. You are clarifying here that the definition you are using excludes how we communicate, which is unfortunate. I'm not sure precisely what kind of updates you are looking for, but hopefully you will agree that no matter what kind of updates we do, there will always be those that feel we should be doing something different.

But we certainly do come from other sides of the realm, it seems. Myself, if I were interested in a project that was in beta, and all I got from the company was a narrative about it, I'd feel as though I wasn't being spoken to in a substantive way. I'd rather download the beta and see how it is actually coming along as a physical, real thing, not how people paid to talk about it talk about it. I would want to contribute to their bug tracking, following the change logs religiously and spark up conversations with others on the forum; maybe even have a little contribution in how it takes final shape.

We could try to cater to "everyone" I suppose, but that's probably not possible, and it's not something a small team of mainly geeks is really good at doing, nor probably should be spending their time attempting, well or not. A lot of work goes into maintaining the lists and putting out regular (bi-)weekly builds, from the assembly of the installers, to updating the servers, to compiling documentation and writing any necessary summaries. In addition to keeping the reports curated and clarified for development, conversations maintained (hello), bugs tested and so forth---perhaps you can better appreciate where we spend our time, for what it is, even if it is not your cup of tea---and in that appreciation, not feel so negative about the project in general.

It's coming along nicely but there is still more work to do, if you can't hear that yourself from the data, then take my stating that right then, as a way of twisting your narrative and receiving an update.

ZeroDrawn wrote:...while the blog post itself caps off by the writer noting they are the developer of the mac version. This means there are two people saying two things that may or may not conflict with each other.


Ah, it might not have been pointed out in the post, but the person writing is the closest thing to a "CEO" that this company has. So when they say there will be no future estimates, that's really the thing to keep underscored. But as I said, ultimately I agree with you in that what was quoted was a regrettable comment considering the context. I'm not sure what else I can really add. :)
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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Thu Nov 28, 2019 3:23 am Post

As solid as the Beta is... I'm actually grateful every time a new beta is released so I can keep using V3 for free, lol.

Scrivener is the best writing software available imo, so let'[s take this to the video game world that everyone keeps bringing up.

Developer: "We have developed the greatest game of all time." *Shows off game*
Me: "Wow, I've never has this much fun playing a game. I'd be willing to pay top-dollar for this! When is it coming out?"
Dev: "We can't say, I know it looks great over all, but if you look closely, we can't quite get the clouds to render the way we want."
Me: *Blank Face*
Dev: "So we are giving away the current version as is for free. When and if we finish, you can pay us at that point.
Me: "Okay!!!"

Also me: "Hey, Hacker Buddy.... I need you to keep putting tiny bugs in Scrivener V3 for Windows so I can keep using it for free."

For legal reasons... that last bit was clearly a joke... yay for living in the age of lawsuits.
You will find more evidence of the ridiculousness of humanity in the bathroom mirror than any other place in the world.

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Thu Nov 28, 2019 3:51 am Post

AmberV wrote:Ah, it might not have been pointed out in the post, but the person writing is the closest thing to a "CEO" that this company has. So when they say there will be no future estimates, that's really the thing to keep underscored. But as I said, ultimately I agree with you in that what was quoted was a regrettable comment considering the context. I'm not sure what else I can really add.


I imagine that would have helped, as that was not something I was aware of. I also understand that no future estimates is the path that is being taken forward. I think that's a good choice, and comes from an earnest place, with a positive future in mind.

I appreciate you being willing to engage with me. I wish for many blessings in L&L's future, and a fruitful symbiosis between the the instruments you create and the writers who captivate with them.