(Moved from iPad bug report thread)

Jo
JoRo
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Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:18 am Post

We are conflating two issues here (syncing and future development), but hopefully people can deal with that.

FOR STASIS

1. Some forum users (possibly ageing, and some open about having conditions that don't always welcome change) who are happy with things as they are.

2. macOS is currently more powerful than iOS.

FOR CHANGE

1. Some forum users who are unhappy with Dropbox syncing.

2. iOS is improving all the time.

3. Reviewers on the App Store who are unhappy with Dropbox syncing.

4. Well-known writers who a few years ago were evangelising about Scrivener are now evangelising about Ulysses and other writing apps.

5. Read any article that mentions Scrivener, and you are likely to read (in the article or comments) about Dropbox issues.

6. Apple have made it clear that iOS-based apps are the future. Jobs even said this 10 years ago when he gave his trucks-versus-cars analogy.

7. Tim Cook and Apple have pushed the idea that an iPad is a computer and the only computer most consumers will ever need.

8. Apple has gutted its iWork, iLife, and other consumer-facing apps, rebuilding them based on iOS designs. They have been successful. The future of Apple app development is clear.

9. iOS has a far larger number of users than macOS.

10. Look at articles on Apple-centric websites this week about iOS 13 and Catalina. The iOS 13 articles have five or six times more comments than the Catalina articles. iOS is clearly the main market.

11. It is far easier for a developer to develop once and publish everywhere (mirroring Scrivener's core ethos) than it is to run two or more development streams for the same product.

12. It is far cheaper for a company to develop and support one common app than two or more.

13. It is far easier for a company to bring developments to one app rather than two or more.

14. It is far better for users to have a single app design that works on all their devices: learn once, be productive; don't waste time learning a different interface.

15. Forum users are already posting comments about switching to using iPads alone.

16. Outside the forum, many people are switching to using phones and tablets (mainly to the detriment of desktops).

17. Apple will release ARM-based laptops: they are likely to run iOS-based apps.

18. Project Catalyst absolutely is about encouraging developers to develop once and publish everywhere, and it absolutely is about moving developers away from producing macOS-only apps.

19. Apple's entire drive with the move to iOS, ARM, Swift, etc, is all about making iOS the core platform for consumers. Does anyone really think that after all the hardware and software changes made by Apple in the last decade that the company will suddenly lurch back to making macOS its headline product?

20. Tech sites already acknowledge that Catalyst is about bringing more productivity apps to macOS and not just games (as repeatedly and wrongly suggested by some here).

21. Modern users are used to working with convenient and cohesive designs: they use technology without having or wanting to think about it. Dropbox presents an unnecessary barrier. Two different designs for Scrivener create another unnecessary barrier. Why would any developer want to put up barriers that keep buyers away? Surely one app cannot fly in the face of change and expect modern users to work as old users did in the past. We are at a point where tech barriers are coming down and the tech itself rarely needs to be thought about. The current system is more complex than it needs to be, and it absolutely is putting buyers off, irrespective of what some people are claiming.

We have all seen resistance to change: vinyl is better than digital; 35mm film is better than digital; floppy disks work so well, etc, etc. The arguments being made here are pretty much the same Luddite positions that have been expressed about tech changes in the past. With all respect, no one has come up with a single cogent reason as to why Scrivener should be held back while other apps, such as Ulysses, are clearly forging ahead to meet the needs of modern operating systems and modern users.

Of course, Keith can do what he wants. But in the world I live in, I am seeing people drift away from the macOS way of doing things and drifting away from Scrivener and third-party barriers such as Dropbox. I want Scrivener to survive and thrive and to reach out to the huge iOS / iPadOS market out there. No one has explained how an ageing macOS and a two-design app is supposed to compete against sleeker options.

For the writers I know, an updated version of iOS Scrivener compiled for macOS and which syncs seamlessly using iCloud (as other writing apps do) would be far more preferable than what is available now. Perhaps their brains are wired differently, but people growing up today with technology all around them are wired differently to those who grew up when all of the current tech was just a dream.

For the record, I like Scrivener 3 and don’t need it to change. But I believe Catalyst presents an opportunity for Scrivener to streamline its development, support, and user-experience in a way that will be beneficial to the company and the vast majority of users in the years ahead. Sure, vinyl sounds better than digital, but most people would rather haul around 50,000 digital files on a small handheld device than lumber about with a heavy sound system and 50,000 slabs of vinyl. The tech around Scrivener has already changed and is going to change even more: in what alternative reality does a dual-design Scrivener with a clunky third-party sync function actually have a glorious future?


Slàinte mhòr.
Last edited by JoRo on Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jo
JoRo
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Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:22 am Post

The company website has long had a notice up saying that it is experiencing a high volume of tech-support requests, causing delays. Why not create a simple app that is easier for users to use and easier for the company to support?

From the blindingly simple questions we see repeatedly asked on the forum, we know that a lot of users need and want a more simple app. Why do you want to stop those users enjoying Scrivener, just because of your arcane needs?

A single app would surely mean less work for Keith. That has got to be better for him, his health, his sanity, and the amount of time he has to spend with his family, enjoying the rest of his waking hours. Why are people asking to increase Keith’s workload unnecessarily when Apple is presenting a system that would allow Keith to work more efficiently, allow the company to be more effective, and make the app more user-friendly?

For the love of Keith, the support team, the survival of Scrivener, and future users, embrace change. And please deal with reality as it is, not a fantasy world where things are not changing around you.

Slàinte mhòr.

Jo
JoRo
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Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:10 am Post

The two post above have been moved from another thread by someone else. The title is not mine. That is not what I am proposing.

Slàinte mhòr.

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lunk
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Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:18 am Post

JoRo wrote:The title is not mine. That is not what I am proposing.

Well, in essence it is.

I call it back-seat-driving :lol:
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running the latest MacOS
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 8, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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AmberV
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Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:29 am Post

I moved your posts because they had nothing to do with fixing a status bar bug on the iPad.

Feel free to suggest another title and I will fix it, but that's what it sounds like your argument is. Stop making the full desktop version of Scrivener and just pipe a simplified iOS version over to them, no?
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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Ki
Kinsey
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Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:32 am Post

lunk wrote:
JoRo wrote:The title is not mine. That is not what I am proposing.


Well, in essence it is.


Lunk, I don't think you are reading the arguments presented at all.

JoRo, I disagree with the majority of what you're saying, but appreciate the thought behind it. I'll also reiterate a point I made before- the "simple" app has already been created. It's iOS Scriv. Misunderstandings arise when people attempt to write on two separate platforms and don't want to use Dropbox, Airdrop, iTunes file transfer, unzip projects, etc (there are a lot of ways to work cross-platform!), or expect iOS Scriv to have the same features as macScriv.

Your posts on this forum tell me that you are a very knowledgeable and helpful Scrivener user. You are also clearly worried about the future of Scrivener, but I'll reiterate another point I made in a discussion with you elsewhere: We, as users, have to trust that Keith et al will continue to develop Scriv in an optimal way.

PS - the forum moderation in this instance is not great, IMO. JoRo's posts were made in the specific context of another thread, and the creation of a new thread with a provocative title should have been cleared with him first.

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OwenKelly
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Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:58 pm Post

I have one problem with this argument: it seems to have been proposed from within the Apple ecosystem, where it might make perfect sense.

I use iPad Scrivener a lot: almost every day in fact. I do not need a laptop, because I have an iPad and a magic keyboard for when I need it. However, I DO also use scrivener on my desktop computer, which runs Windows 10. I have Dropbox on both (and on my phone).

Windows is a much more popular choice for desktops and laptops than MacOS. On the other hand iPads are much more popular than Android tablets (or, heh heh, Windows tablets). Given that, it does not seem very likely that I am one of the only Scrivener users with a Windows computer and an iPad.

If I am correct then Scrivener has a large number of users for whom iCloud means little or nothing. My few attempts to use it on my Windows computer were even more hassle than my final few attempts to use iTunes on Windows.

I have had a paid Dropbox account for years. I have almost a terabyte of stuff stored there. I access it from any device and don't regard this as difficult or obstructive. The opposite, in fact. Dropbox has always "just worked" for me.

I am far from convinced that dumbing down Scrivener to make it fit on the iPad would be a good idea. I use Scrivener on two big screens on my desktop to do tasks like editing/rearranging whole projects that work far better with more space. I use my iPad for writing and editing text I have written. I sync these happily using Dropbox because as a Windows/iPad user I find this an easy and pain-free experience.

Your mileage may vary :)

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devinganger
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Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:41 pm Post

JoRo wrote:1. Some forum users (possibly ageing, and some open about having conditions that don't always welcome change)


Whatever good intent you may have in pushing this discussion is lost in the face of the casual ageism and ableism displayed in this quote. You've seemed to be a really decent person over the years I've seen you on the forums. Please rethink how you worded this. You appear to be assuming that people who don't agree with you have some deficiency that would keep them from coming to the correct (e.g. your) conclusion. This is not the case.

I can't speak for anyone else, but my position has always been, and will always be:

1) You are accurately describing the general trends (and certainly the way Apple hopes most developers will go)
2) Scrivener is not a mainstream application and does not meet the assumptions required to easily fit those trends
3) Until one of two events happens, all of our speculation is as useful as wetting oneself in a dark suit (it gives you a warm feeling but otherwise, nobody much notices). Those two events are:

a) Apple finally levels up the iOS/PadOS implementation of system functions so that *core Scrivener functionality* (such as being able to edit in scrivenings mode) is not lost in the mobile version of Scrivener.
b) KB decides that his core vision for Scrivener can and should be modified to fit within the technical limitations and proceeds on the required re-engineering.

Talking about development trends and potentially losing market share and such is all well and good, but if you have to break your product to keep up with the Joneses...now you strongly risk alienating ALL of your customers. Only the L&L folks know what their sales numbers look like and how their customers are actually using the darn thing. Maybe it's only a vocal minority who are attempting to use the sync workflows and are even affected by the Dropbox/iCloud brouhaha.
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Silverdragon
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Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:11 pm Post

Thank you, @devinganger, for your post. As one of those who has self-identified as disabled, I appreciate your support.

Those of us with ADHD are not known for resisting change; on the contrary, we are known as novelty seekers. I won't bore the forum with the loooong list of writing apps I've tried over the years that "fostered collaboration", had "simple interfaces", or provided a "distraction-free environment" (This last is a laugh to anyone with real ADHD. There is no such thing. Our brains generate distraction events the way uranium gives off radiation.) I keep coming back to MacOS Scrivener for long-form writing, and use iOS Scrivener as a drafting environment in which I can use handwriting input. Before I discovered how much more productive (of fiction) I can be while handwriting, I had almost stopped using iOS Scrivener except for travel.

Despite my disagreements with some of @KB's design decisions (anyone who was on the iOS Scriv Beta team with me knows that I can be almost as stubborn as he. :wink: ) I respect him for sticking to them. He will make his decisions---partly based on forum imput like @JoRo's and others contributing to these discussions, but largely based on his own evaluation (which I note he has not yet provided.) I'm content to wait on his decisions in these matters, and make my own when he's announced or implemented them.
So you know where I'm coming from:
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lunk
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Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:37 pm Post

JoRo wrote:But in the world I live in, I am seeing people drift away from the macOS way of doing things and drifting away from Scrivener and third-party barriers such as Dropbox.

I think we can safely assume that Dropbox’ decision to impose the three device limit on their free plan and other recent decisions on their part, were based on sound business logic.
I think we can safely assume that Apples introduction of Catalina and the new Mac Pro are based on an assumption from Apple’s side that MacOS and its way of doing things has a future.

So a logic conclusion could be that what JoRo sees is not what L&L, Dropbox or Apple are seeing.

And... Project Catalyst is still only meant to provide iOS app developers with a way to sell their products to the MacOS world, without having to write a new MacOS app. There will still be a substantial market for complicated, niche MacOS apps that are almost impossible to port to iOS or the coming iPadOS in a meaningful way.

So I think JoRo’s conclusion is completely wrong.

PS. Those who want a more light-version-writing-app, have you looked at Storyist? Its Mac version is as limited as its iOS version, and both are too limited from my point of view. I tried them , for some time, and they are simply not good enough. But they do sync via iCloud, automatically.
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running the latest MacOS
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 8, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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Silverdragon
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Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:44 pm Post

Oh yeah, Storyist. On my long list of discarded apps.... :wink:
So you know where I'm coming from:
  • I'm a user, not an L&L employee.
  • Mac Scrivener 3.1.3, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.14.5 (Mojave)
  • IOS Scrivener 1.1.5; iPhone 8 Plus, iOS 12.3.2; iPad 6th gen, iOS 12.3.1

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kewms
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Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:28 pm Post

Every single feature in Scrivener is there because either Keith or a vocal subset of users (or both) wanted it. The implication that complexity has been introduced for its own sake and can therefore easily be discarded is ridiculous.

Comparing the number of iOS devices to the number of Mac OS devices, and using that information to predict the market outlook for an application that serves a very specific niche is equally ridiculous. It's like saying cars are too complex because there are a lot of bicycles in the world.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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kewms
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Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:30 pm Post

JoRo wrote:6. Apple have made it clear that iOS-based apps are the future. Jobs even said this 10 years ago when he gave his trucks-versus-cars analogy.


This was, as you said, ten years ago. And yet...

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Silverdragon
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Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:09 am Post

Have you noticed how many pickup trucks are on the road these days? :twisted:
So you know where I'm coming from:
  • I'm a user, not an L&L employee.
  • Mac Scrivener 3.1.3, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.14.5 (Mojave)
  • IOS Scrivener 1.1.5; iPhone 8 Plus, iOS 12.3.2; iPad 6th gen, iOS 12.3.1

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lunk
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Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:40 am Post

This is two years old but still correct:

https://www.businessinsider.com/steve-j ... ?r=US&IR=T

Developers need Macs and MacOS.
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running the latest MacOS
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 8, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS