(Moved from iPad bug report thread)

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AmberV
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Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:18 pm Post

What strikes me about the truck-and-car metaphor is that it wouldn’t exist were it not for the necessity of trucks. I think most would agree with that, but it seems to me that what Jobs was saying wasn’t that car design should start driving truck design because more people just need a car—he was saying that it was his hope that tablets would be able to one day accomplish what most people had been using trucks for all of this time, a statement that is quite a bit different than saying most people only need a car, in fact! Apple are pleased to have people buying both vehicles, after all. The other argument being made was that “mini-trucks” (netbooks, which was the actual target tablets were meant to take over) were the wrong answer to the question the iPad was created to poise.

And I don’t think anyone can disagree with that. Most people just watch videos, respond to the occasional email and browse the Web. You don’t need much at all for that.

Back then there were many horns being tooted about the death of the traditional computer—that tablets would take over the world save for all but a few highly specialised and performance dependent jobs. That was the great fear in fact, that Mac OS X was already planned to be phased out, and by this point in time we’d all be flicking oversized buttons with our fingers (unless we worked in Simi Valley or something)—or not using Macs. The whole “back to the Mac” speech could be, and was by some, interpreted that way. But as someone said above, here we are. I for one did not interpret the speech that way—I did fear it might be what was meant, but the ultimate result of that “back to the Mac” movement was mostly a sadly crippled virtual desktop system and a weirdly designed (for desktop) launch tool that in my opinion has become as much of a sideshow as Dashboard, in the following years. That’s about all that happened, after all of that rhetoric.

To my mind, this rekindled advocacy for the death of the desktop is but a mere echo, and a rather muted one at that, of the conversations that were going on in 2010. That fear of losing a flexible platform to an OS originally designed for telephones (and only barely adapted to the larger screen of a tablet, at that time) has been vanquished for the most part, which explains why this is no longer such a big talking point in the media. We’ve come to realise that there are crucial ingredients to even “humble” careers like writing, which don’t require much by way of performance—but benefit greatly by being positioned from a platform that can scale with ease (never mind the form factor for an iPad being antithetical to writing, and requiring external peripherals to serve as such).

As for whether Scrivener for macOS and PC should be degraded down to iOS levels of functionality in order to suit a perceived growing trend (one which I am dubious of the factual nature of) is to my mind no different than the question of whether or not a writer should use Scrivener instead of Word, or a pencil and paper for that matter. If an individual does not require all that Scrivener does as a full platform (both the workhorse desktop version and/or the pared down mobile interface), then that’s fine. We’ve never been about consuming the market and taking over everything. We like being a niche tool, and not having to grow into a huge company to support the concept of not being a niche tool. If some other thing becomes a mainstream tool, like the word processor, then more power to them.

To JoRo personally, if the moderation put you off, I should have waited until I was a little less busy the other day with the Paddle site change and releasing four separate product updates at once. I was hectic, and if I didn’t treat your argument fairly I apologise.

The title I used initially was how I understood your ongoing argument—that the time for complex software was coming to a close (at least again, except for people in Simi Valley) and Scrivener should get ahead of that curve and stop making complex software: just focus on one simple UI driven from iOS and propagated through whatever means to PC and Mac. To my mind, that is abandoning Mac and PC development in the sense that one is no longer taking into account the unique advantages of a fully established deep operating system and the hardware these systems have available. That is what must be done, if the lowest common denominator is what drives design and development (at every level, from the user interface to the data model to the logic in between).
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kewms
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Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:52 pm Post

Just yesterday, a friend of mine with a perfectly usable car was asking for recommendations for places to rent a truck.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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kewms
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Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:23 pm Post

AmberV wrote:And I don’t think anyone can disagree with that. Most people just watch videos, respond to the occasional email and browse the Web. You don’t need much at all for that.


I think many conversations around this topic also blur the lines between "work" and "leisure." The very same person who spends their leisure time watching cat videos and browsing the web might *also* spend eight hours a day crunching spreadsheets or assembling presentation materials. They might only buy a tablet or a phone with their personal funds -- and that's a big change from the days when you had to have a computer to browse the web -- but their employer is buying a heck of a lot of laptops and desktops.

Writers as a category straddle the line because so many of us are self-employed or write as a sideline. But writing -- or at least the kind of writing Scrivener emphasizes -- is a *work* task, demanding *work*-capable tools.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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garpu
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Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:34 pm Post

JoRo wrote: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.


Yeah, and? If someone needs accommodation and some sort of feature that's been there and worked a certain way from the beginning, that's not going to magically change. From an accessibility standpoint, if a piece of software needs to work a certain way to be useful to those who need it and it inconveniences me or doesn't work the way I'd like, then that's on *me,* as one who doesn't need those accommodations, even if that piece of software doesn't work the way I think it should.
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