Hi All,

Firstly, thank you for the excellent feedback. The quality of excellent descriptive posts, screen shots, and sample files has been fantastic. This really is invaluable to us.

I’ve also noticed considerable effort by many of you kind folk loitering around the forum posts and providing guidance to each other, which again is invaluable to all of us. Thank you.

To be honest, I’ve cruised yesterday and today, I think my mind was a mush in the wake of beta 1.3 and I needed to step down a few gears to re-focus. In light of that, I’d like to step away from code this week and get a handle on all the current bug posts to date and consolidate a succinct list of known bugs and missing features and publish them as an announcement on this forum for all to see in a central location. I want to do this as I’m finding it difficult to focus on two things at once; I am male after all. I’m hoping it will also help slow the duplication of reported bugs and provide a clearer view for all of us.

I’m not sure how we could do this, but once the core RTF bugs are fixed, which I’ll write a few paragraphs on in a moment, if somehow we could work out a way efficiently to vote on the order of fixes - that would be rather cool, and would enable us to deliver the most desired (demanded) functionality in the order you wanted them. I’ll let you all work out a cunning strategy - or at the very least tell me that it’s a really crap idea.

Okay, rich text format (RTF) and why I want to deal with this next. Scrivener is a writing tool, and writers write, right? We need to get this perfect as soon as possible so you can write effortlessly, focused only on expressing your thoughts without being distracted by the program you’re using. This is fundamental in my mind, and often why you can’t go past pen and paper for the ultimate flow.

The problem we have at the moment is that Qt, the C++ framework Scrivener is built on, uses a cut down version of HTML as its editor engine. What this means is that when text is cut and pasted into Scrivener from HTML or Word etc. stray characters are often augmented and remain invisible in the Qt editor - this is the first problem and is a Qt problem that we need to fix. We have decided to bypass this altogether and augment the Qt source code so that all pasted text is first filtered through our own RTF parser. We have not started this work yet, but plan to soon.

The second issue we have is what happens upon exporting or saving a Scrivener document to disk. First the editor text in memory is converted to RTF by our own RTF writer (as Qt does not support RTF out of the box) and when that same file is loaded or imported into the editor it is then parsed through our RTF reader and then loaded into memory for the editor to display. We have many issues with both the reader and writer at the moment and need to re-write large chunks of the code which we have started to do. Interestingly, this was one of the few pieces of work that I farmed out to an expert Qt programmer for 12 weeks to meet the Sept 25th deadline. We are paying for that now and are no longer using these ‘expert’ services. Instead we are fixing many design flaws ourselves - I hate the saying, but my father was right again when he said, ‘If you want something done right, do it yourself.’

The good news is that all this ‘expert’ code is not lost and we fundamentally understand the problem. It’s not like we’re scratching our heads wondering how to fix this. It’s simply a matter of head down bum up and get through it. We have about four weeks ahead of us to remedy all these import/export/pasting and editor issues such as tables, weird line spacings, and hidden characters etc. that many users are reporting. You’ll not get your double spacing features without it either.

So, the reality is that 1.4 will be a huge leap forward, but is probably a month away. After that we can have some fun and start prioritizing which bugs and missing features get fixed first, so we have time to work this all out. If all this takes us until the end of Feb/Mar (which I’m not for a minute suggesting this is likely) then I really don’t care, Scrivener, like writing, is a passion for me and I just want to remain focused on making Scrivener for Windows the best it can be.


I’ve been waiting a long time for Scrivener for windows and thank you so much for all your efforts in working through the bugs. I’ve been a spectator to this forum partly because my issues were already being addressed by others but mostly because others express their issues with such great clarity.

That said, while the type lag seems to have been addressed for most people, I’m still having a problem. It’s not just a lag, but when the type does appear, it bears no resemblance to what I typed in the first place. It’s random letters. I haven’t had these issues with any other programs, so it isn’t a function of my computer speed. I’ve updated, then uninstalled then reinstalled the software but it still doesn’t seem to work. I’'m not fantastically techy, so there might be something I ought to be doing that I’m not.

Lee, have you looked at Windows’ own Wordpad engine for RTF editing? Jarte, a terrific third-party editor, is built around the Wordpad core DLL shipped with Windows.

Thank you very much for both the new beta update and this note regarding your plans for the development of Scrivener. I think your are absolutely right by concentrating first on correcting the RTF code. Certain bugs can be annoying but we always find some way around it. Your idea for the list of bugs makes sense. In the end Scrivener for Windows will be terrific and that’s what counts.

Thank you again so very much for your efforts. We are all behind you.

Take care.



I echo the thanks for attempting to build this plane while it is in flight.

That said, I have to place my vote to correcting the ‘lag issue’ first above RTF and the rest. I’ve tried all the spell check options, longer save options, and everything else I’ve read here, and still experience lag on both systems on which I’ve tried to use the program. One older but very stable XP desktop that is capable of every other program I run on it, and the other a fast, new i5 laptop running Win7. Same lag on both and it makes the program unusable except as an organizer. I have been unable to write in the program from the first release through the v1.3 Beta.

The RTF issue can be completely overcome in the near-term by only copying and pasting text through the Notepad app, which will remove all those pesky hidden characters, but the lag issue makes the program unusable for its primary purpose, writing.

Thanks for the update, Lee. Some of the most distracting bugs (indenting, spell-checking, mutant fonts, etc.) have been fixed, so I’m finding that writing with Scrivener is a pure joy. Maybe I’m unique but I haven’t noticed any lag at all when using the program (with an early version while backspacing over a line of text, yes, but not with 1.3). I love that it provides lots of great features but stays in the background while I write, rather than imposing functions and tabs and fields to populate.
I wanted to thank you for all the great work so far during the Beta, thanks for porting this great app to Windows in the first place, and thanks for giving us a glimpse at what you’re working on next. Your work is very much appreciated.

Sorting the RTF bugs out? Yes top priority, no question.

All other bugs? Sort out the top 100 and number them 1 to 100 (doh!). Invite people to submit an email (or a forum post if easier?) voting for the top ten bugs - but here’s the interesting bit - people are allowed to vote for ten bugs e.g. “1,23,4,5,7,66,52,87,22,10”, the order being unimportant, or ten times for one bug e.g. “42,42,42,42,42,42,42,42,42,42” if that is the most important one for them. Or a mix of five votes, 3 votes, 2 votes for the top 3 bugs etc.

A quick bit of spreadsheetery or string parsing, and you’ve got a prioritised list of bugs.

Hey Lee, thanks for everything so far. Very happy with Scrivener.

Your idea of voting to prioritize bug fixes / missing features is excellent. Perhaps the forum’s polling function can be used to do that – it’d probably be easier than sorting through emails, etc, and give folks a nice visual indication of the rankings.

Very good Idea. Perhaps you can use something existing

I liked this one that exactly does what you proposed:
uservoice.com/plans?utm_campaign … rvoice.com

they are using this one, but I don’t know which version
uservoice.com/plans?utm_campaign … rvoice.com


P.S: Congratulations Lee for staying such focussed even working all day, all night

I think they were thinking about a poll using the tools built into the forum (phpBB). Selecting NEW TOPIC permits you to start a poll instead of a text thread.

How awesome is Scrivener for Windows?

I’ve already doubled my output from my last attempt at NaNo, and I’m still going strong. That’s how awesome.

The tool, even in beta form, does what it needs to, doesn’t try to do too much, and just lets you get it done. I love the corkboard feature (that’s why I’m still going).

Great job guys, and I love the work you’ve done from 1.0 to 1.3.

Thank YOU!

– badger

Thanks JJSlote. I had not considered Wordpad core DLL as I wanted to have the ability to augment and modify any part of our core text engine as Scrivener matures over the years - I wanted to have complete flexibility here with no boundaries. For example, there are Mac Scrivener specific RTF codes/hacks we need to cater for which would be difficult with a proprietary closed system such as Wordpad. Keith, on the Mac platform has had to engage a myriad of hocus-pocus-shape-shifting-trickering to get the proprietary Mac text system to jump through the Scrivener hoops. I did not want to have the same frustrations on Windows, it’s certainly tougher up front as you have less to offer initially and can’t leverage from in built functionality out of the box, but longer term the yield is going to be far better for us. So, it’s all about flexibility and not being tied down and constrained technically.

Oh, there’s one other thing. If I went and used a Microsoft DLL for Scrivener’s core text engine, I’d need a volunteer sacrifice to go and tell those tech-crazed Linux zealots, who happen to use Scrivener for Linux natively, that someone just stepped on and crushed their toy - any volunteers?


I think this is a wise investment of time as well. There already things you can do with the Scrivener RTF engine that WordPad has trouble with, such as footnotes, comments, tables and proper inline images that are supported by a variety of word processors on multiple platforms. Once it gets over the growing pains, it will be a much better platform to work off of—especially for writers which need access to more than WordPad’s basic authoring provides.

Just have to say, thank you Lee for doing this. I have been looking forward to the day Scrivener was released for Windows for about a year. I believe that fixing the core RTF engine problems is definitely the number one priority.

I’ll pass.

…there are ways, I’m just saying. :wink:

Just introduce a couple of circular dependencies in the next version, it’ll keep them busy long enough that they won’t notice anything else.

(I’m nice! No really! :smiley: )

I discovered Scrivener about four days ago (at 2am, when I suddenly decided that doing NaNo was a GREAT idea: a thought I recanted the next morning when I remembered how much work I have to do this month) and am already using it for both papers and tutorials - no fiction yet, it makes me feel guilty for never researching my fiction - and I have to say I love it. After pasting a few paragraphs of German reference text the whole marking random bits of words as misspelled (even when it’s actually the whole word that’s wrong, y’see, or in the case of German the whole ten-word portmanteau) got too much to bear… and I come here and see it’s already fixed! What more could a girl ask for? Thankyou. :slight_smile:

It’s great to hear text integrity is the top priority for the next revision. I do have a question about what to do with existing imported text. I’ve imported (through copy & paste) quite a bit of text and see the usual odd spacing and all. I would like to do some work on the text, but do I need to wait until the editor problems are fixed or will the fixes correct the problems in my existing text? As far as what other features to work on next, I vote whichever are the most efficient at getting Scrivener to release :laughing:

In general, I’d like to say don’t worry about formatting to much, for two reasons.

  1. Compiler will be able to fix most issues and homogenise the text
  2. A feature will be added which will let you select a bunch of documents and conform them to your preferred editing preferences.

Right now it feels awkward, because everyone is used to static programs that force you to work the way you print, or to be stuck with how things are typeset because that is how they are. At the moment, Scrivener feels that way because not all of its tools are in place or perfected, but in the end it will prove to be a much more dynamic environment.

Another way of putting it would be: go ahead and be sloppy now. Don’t worry about formatting because you’ll be able to fix that all up with one sweep when these features are finalised. One of the foundational principles of Scrivener was to “be sloppy”. Write without worrying about header styles and indenting and line spacing—let the program bother with that later on. These tools are not 100% done yet, but they will be, so you can start with the hubris now—if you dare. :slight_smile:

P.S. None of this is meant to downgrade the importance of RTF stability.

That is great and it is a different way of thinking of things! My credit card trembles with the pent up anticipation of buying Scrivener! :smiley:

Definitely true! Most authors find it very liberating to shirk all of the hassles that come along with working in Word or similar solutions. Once you get comfortable with the notion of working in an authorial environment instead of a typesetting environment, it leaves you with nothing but the words to focus on. Write, write, write!

The main exception will be those who need to use formatting to convey meaning in their texts. Most often this will be academics, biographers, and so on who need block quoting and so on. Most novel writing requires nothing beyond italics. Sometimes you’ll need a little finesse if you have telepathic characters, IM chats, or other special cases.