Any plans for an WEB/ONLINE version of Scrivener ?

Are there any plans in the works for an Online/Web version of Scrivener? I’m not always at my desktop computer (where Scrivener is installed) when inspiration strikes. But I normally have some sort of device at my fingertips that I can get online with. It would be nice to access my Scrivener stuff whether I’m:

  1. at home in front of my desktop
  2. at work on my PC
  3. in my recliner on my laptop
  4. on the toilet with my iPad
  5. in Timbuktu with my smart phone
  6. at the library on a public computer.

Just a thought :smiley:

// You have asked

// Scenarios 1-3 are available using the generous multi-machine household licence.
// Scenarios 4-5 will be available using the forthcoming iOS version.
// Scenario 6 would make you as bad as those douches who use library computers to play chess and stop people who don’t have their own computer from doing stuff they need to do because we now live in a world where everything from house hunting to applying for unemployment benefit is done online.

There’ve been several forum threads dealing with this question. The most comprehensive is probably this one, which also gives the developer’s responses.

Why are they douches for wanting to use computers to do things computers can do if they can only do those things on computers at the library? Maybe they ALSO don’t have their own computer and want to do something on a computer. Maybe they’re going to school on a chess scholarship and need to practice. Maybe they’ve been on that computer for four hours job hunting, filling out resumes, and consolidating tax documents and now they just need a quick break with a fun game. Calling someone out for how they use the public computer is insipid. It’s a PUBLIC computer, meaning anyone from the PUBLIC can use it for whatever they want to use it for. If there’s no sign saying that what they’re doing isn’t allowed (porn, etc), then you have no right to judge them for their computer usage. Don’t be mad that they got to the computer before you did. Wake up earlier and maybe you can be first in line next time.

// I have every right to judge them
// I have no right to move them
// You have every right to judge me
// …

Interesting idea; something that would benefit ChromeOS users and other platforms that aren’t supported (Linux, BSD, Android).

That would probably entail creating a hosted service and selling an annual/monthly subscription in a SaaS model similar to GitBook. But as with GitBook and other hosted writing apps (there’s quite a few out there), I’d sooner roll my own solution using Git and an online markdown editor.

Short version: no, there are no plans for an online version of Scrivener.

Long, long, long version: see the thread Hugh linked. Tremendous resource drain for a technically difficult problem with an unclear market opportunity.

I am not a developer and do not speak for Keith. But given that he’s neck deep in the iOS beta at the moment, and users are already clamoring for an Android version, I would guess that even considering whether to think about an online version is way, way, down on the list.


Users can access their own PCs remotely via TeamViewer, which is free for personal use, and has an app on Android. Using Scrivener this way takes a bit of a knack, and the desktop versions might be enhanced to anticipate such use, with a vertical layout option that puts the binder atop the editor, or that puts the panes on tabs, for example. But TeamViewer and similar remote desktop programs have already solved the fundamental problems of online access, translating screen gestures into desktop behavior via conventions the user need learn only once.

Rgds – Jerome

@JJSole, that’s not a bad idea. If your home broadband connect sucks though and you don’t want to keep your box on all the time, you could achieve much the same workflow by running Scrivener on a VPS running Linux with a lightweight desktop environment. I’ve played around with this and it worked quite well.

Best app I’ve found for remote access is Parallels access. Not sure how many platforms it supports. It is a paid app.

Really, if you want mobile, get an iPad or mini. Public beta has to be only a month or two away (he hopes) and in meantime Parallels access gives superb remote access (obviously other apps but this one has topped my testing). Anything iPad 2 and on will run iOS 9 and they are available at very low prices 2nd hand. If you do buy 2nd hand make certain iCloud/iTunes is signed out of and it’s not activation or passcode locked. Some of the higher call drivers for Apple support.

If it has 9.3.1 or if you install it you’ll get 90 days free phone support and that free support kicks in every time the o/s is upgraded which is as good a reason as any to go to the ‘dark side’ if you’re not an Apple fan.

You could probably also spin up a Windows desktop in AWS or Azure, so you were running a current version of Scrivener on a supported platform.

@devinganger, you could but that would cost a lot more I imagine than a $5 a month VPS running on DigitalOcean

Back on topic though, the more I think about OP’s original question, the more I think it has merit.

I don’t know about cost; there are ways in Azure at least to set a VM instance to a mode where it’s archived and not actively costing you money. You’d have a little overhead, but you’d only be paying for when you actually used it.

I just went to Azure and used their pricing calculator - what a convoluted mess compared to DigitalOcean. Anyway, I didn’t fiddle around too much but it seems that a basic Windows VM will set you back $13.39 USD per month + the pain and suffering for using Windows :wink: There does seem to be hourly pricing though, which lends weight to what you said about archiving the VM

DigitalOcean is $5 USD per month for sufficient specs to run Ubuntu with the Mate desktop and Scrivener.

I know where my money is going.

That is probably the most cost-effective approach. I’ve got to the point where I just don’t enjoy tinkering with my applications and systems anymore – I buy pre-built systems instead of components to build my own, etc., and one of the value propositions I personally find in Scrivener is the upgrades and support. Me 10-15 years ago felt very differently – that me always looked at the bottom line and was willing to invest time tinkering, but now I am willing to pay to save time (looking at the instances in the Linux forum about library updates causing problems, etc.) so I can have more time to play with my cat, my radios, and my family (and maybe even squeak some writing time in there). It’s not a change I would have predicted, knowing the younger me.

And yeah, Microsoft’s pricing for Azure is clear as mud. Definitely one of the things I dislike about Azure.

Crikey, I do know where you are coming from and I maybe getting to that tipping point myself. Right now I’m caught between the two. As much as I love tinkering and hacking (and I rely on Linux for my professional life), it is a time suck, time I could be spending with my kids or writing.

I’m quietly waiting for the iOS version of Scrivener. If it lives up to the hype and promise, I may very well switch to iOS as my primary, always with my operating system. There’s something about the single-minded focus of tablet computing that really appeals to me.

Oh, and you raise a very good point about updates; Scrivener for Linux ain’t getting those - something I’m acutely aware of every time I fire it up on my Chromebook.

I gave up on Linux for my “personal” use … 10 yrs ago? Same deal. After managing systems all day the last thing I really wanted to do at home was the exact same work for 3 hours at home (I had a pretty extensive home network at the time). I chose to switch to OSX as I could still do my core “play stuff” as well as have the luxury of having my wife “yell” at someone other than me if my her computer stopped working post update.

As to the online option, I took a look at it. A serious look at it. It just isn’t practical. The cost of hosting the service (think security, disk allocation, and network util) drove the monthly cost well over the cost of buying a license. After 1 year of service you could get a cheap Dell and scrivener lic.

I didn’t even get into the cost of coding before I realized that the idea was just … bad. From a business perspective.

Which is a point folks need to remember. Business is about making money. Not meeting every demand that folks have.

I just posted a topic in the software by other folk forum that might interest those who are looking for online writing software.