Commitment & responsibility...

Just curious, but in his blog post, Lee posted:

According to the latest update (Scrivener 3.0 Beta - Release Candidate 10 (Download Links & Change List)),this deadline will be missed – again. Honestly, this is both utterly embarrassing for L&L and insulting toward the userbase. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, eh still okay. But fool me half a dozen times? No, thanks.

I was about to recommend L&L products to a larger group of peeps who may not yet all know about these tools, and I thought I’d quickly check to make sure all updated versions will be available this weekend as promised again and again and again. But surpriiise, yet another deadline wooshed by. I’m sure Douglas Adams would be proud.

Needless to say, I won’t be recommending L&L products for the foreseeable future. But do enlighten us: How exactly will being held responsible look like? :question:

Scrivener version 1.9+ for Windows works quite well. It has for me since 2011.

It’s a shame that so many people you know need a release version of Scrivener 3 to do their writing.

And, of course, you are right. There are many other writing products out there, including Word. Some of them even require a monthly fee to use. Good luck with your recommendations and your writing.

Ah yes, the usual predictable snark as soon as someone dares to criticize L&L. In every other company, people would’ve gotten fired if they had missed multiple deadlines and miscalculated the required efforts by many months.

FYI, I would love to pay a few bucks more if it meant they’d hire additional competent developers resulting in a more reliable product. Others have repeatedly said the same.

Also FYI, I posted in a forum called “Feedback (Windows”), not in “Praise & Buttkissing”. :wink:

I agree, slin. This is basically just how L&L operates. It was this way for iOS development too. It went on for years. The other problem is that they have loyalists who won’t put pressure on them and are quite snooty. L&L can do no wrong in their eyes.

My question exactly, though. What does “held responsible” mean?

I don’t think it looks like much since people giving them flack on the forums yields the loyalists to come out and burn you at the stake.

Lesson for us. Things don’t change.

I’ve been a very loyal customer. I bought my last computer because of Scrivener, as well as my phone. But things change and I had to get a Windows device. It’s a bad side of the road to be on. Since Scrivener for Windows is based on Scrivener for Mac, things get massively overlooked. Windows has capabilities Mac does not, for instance in my case, a touch screen. You’d think that would be a much needed feature seeing as how there are Windows tablets everywhere.

But, things don’t change. :cry: :cry: :cry:

You’re being so nice. Lol. I refrained from responding because being set on fire means you are then burning and can set others on fire by getting too close.

FYI: the forum rules that long-term posters try to follow. I encourage newer members to read and absorb them too.

By being snarky? That’s not polite… So I hope this is directed at Twolane.

Based on loyalists responses, dissent and criticism of L&L is not allowed. It is met with scathing passive aggressiveness at the least.

Nothing to do with ‘loyalists’, perhaps more about people who appreciate that posting nothing but endless bitching achieves nothing whereas understanding the reality of complex software development and having a little patience is more productive not to mention respectful of the team that is working hard on Win V3.

I like others hated the long gestation period for iOS Scrivener, however were adult enough to understand the challenges (including additional ‘expert developers’ being paid to help who proved incapable of getting to grips with the complexity - see below comment.) We didn’t threaten to dump Scrivener, demand people be held accountable, and by and large managed to avoid acting like spoiled children.

Dumb comments such as ‘add more developers’ displays a complete lack of understanding of software development. That one has been shown to achieve little at best and at worst slow development.

As for demands to know how people will be held responsible for the missed deadline. They’ve apologised, stop sulking and move on.

Yes a forum called “Feedback” meaning feedback on the program, not “Empty Threats and Whinging” a forum for those who feel inclined to make threats about not recommending Scrivener because the team haven’t grovelled enough about a (wise) decision to focus on a smaller number of remaining bugs for a more few weeks, or apparently let you know they’ve fired someone for their (wise) delay.

@Astaff: Speaking of “childish” and “dumb” etc.: I suggest you carefully re-read my posts and then look at your responses. You’re doing nothing but prove our point that valid criticism of L&L is not tolerated by a group of snooty loyalists.

First of all, my post was neither a threat nor a demand nor spoiled whining. I haven’t made a single negative post about L&L elsewhere and don’t see any reason to do so (though I see many reasons to warn outsiders of the L&L forums here thanks to people like you). I’m not on a vendetta against L&L. However, as I’ve said before, this is a feedback forum for Windows users of Scrivener, and I am such a user, therefore I am posting feedback. L&L can ignore it or take it to heart – whatever they think is best to keep their business successful. Lee posted that he wants to be held responsible and I’m asking what that is supposed to mean, given that we’ve already heard numerous apologies and they begin to lose their meaning when they are just empty words and nothing changes.

I also haven’t said “add more developers” but, and I quote, “hire additional competent developers”. Let me say that again because your loyalist glasses seem to make it hard for you to comprehend this: “additional competent developers”. I’m not a native English speaker but I’m fairly certain this is a proper way of saying there already are competent (!) developers but just not enough of them. This isn’t a dumb comment but a factual observation based on what we’ve been seeing over the last months. The only thing “dumb” here is your snarky remark and false assumption that I don’t know anything about software development based on your false reading of my post.

Also, regarding “lack of understanding of software development”: again, nope. If you have an existing software product (i.e. some baseline experience) and you are a skilled Windows developer (judging from the blog posts that seems to be the case) but you’re repeatedly mis-estimating the required efforts and you’re off by many months, then no, that’s not a lack of understanding on my part but a lack of planning capability on L&L’s part. I suggest you simply learn to accept that fact. Or, as you would say, “stop sulking and move on.” (Also, it’s equally inappropriate of you to claim I want someone fired when I have explicitly stated I want them to hire more people, and I’d be happy to pay more for the software if necessary.)

Finally, the claims made explicitly and implicitly by you and Twolane that I was threatening or that I know “so many people who need a release version of Scrivener 3 to do their writing” – once again, I never said anything like this. I’ll be happy to go into more details for loyalists like you two who seem to be unable to even consider different viewpoints: I’m a member of a fairly large writing group on Facebook (more than 3,000 members) that is about to embark on a month-long writing marathon (kinda like NaNoWriMo but just within the group) and has therefore also seen an uptick in membership. There was a discussion about brainstorming/outlining tools going on and someone posted a screenshot of another (more expensive) tool that immediately made me think, “hey, that looks just like what can be done with Scapple and Scrivener” (both less expensive). I was about to post screenshots of my own outlines made with L&L tools and recommend people look into these tools, but, as I’ve said before, first wanted to make sure all the tools are up-to-date before recommending them. Why, you may ask? Because these people want to focus on their writing for the next month (and beyond), not on dealing with unfinished beta versions or outdated older versions. Nor do I feel comfortable recommending a company whose leadership is repeatedly misleading (even unintentionally) part of its userbase and whose loyalists are always standing by with a limitless supply of snark and derision.

If just 2 percent of that writing group (which is an international one, and filled with many newbies/amateurs who may not all be aware of L&L’s products yet) would decide to buy the L&L products, that’d be ~$3,000 for L&L just like that, with one tiny recommendation in a FB group. You don’t think that should be motivation enough for L&L and its loyalists to do better?

With all due respect, we have no idea what that amount compares to L&L’s current revenue and sales. Making assumptions in absence of any data is not productive.

I don’t really mind how long this has all taken (though of course I wish it had gone by faster), and I understand the complexity involved in what the L&L team are doing. I don’t think they can be criticized for the time it takes them to complete such a big project, but I DO think they should be criticized for continually promising dates they don’t deliver on. It is unprofessional.

I doubt anything will make me stop using scrivener, it’s such an amazing tool and I’m sure I’m not the only one. who feels that way. There’s no point of me making threats about moving over to a different program, because I won’t (unless something else got released that had all the same functions with a more reliable team behind it), so I guess from the L&L standpoint, they don’t really need to do anything but what they’re doing. No one holds them accountable, and I doubt they’ll lose many clients over this. The only consequence of their continuous broken promises will be a poor reputation that will probably stop quite a few users from recommending their program (I know I used to rec it all the time, and I haven’t done so in a long while now–not that the 20 or so people I might have brought in would have made a lick of a difference), and new writers, or writers who are still using word and google docs (90% of my writing friends use these two programs) won’t be moving over to scrivener.

Complaining won’t do any good, but neither does blindly defending L&L and hating on those that are fed up with dates that never hold up. I don’t really know why I commented, as I basically never post on forums or anything, but something about this just bothered me.

Which is why I said L&L can use my feedback any way they see fit. It’s their decision based on their insight into their books and revenue. If my feedback is an outlier, ignore it. All I can do is offer my perspective and some numbers in a forum called “Feedback”. Others can do the same. As a business owner myself, I’d appreciate this kind of feedback. I’d rather have an early indication that customers will or won’t be returning instead of realizing too late that I won’t meet my targets.


L&L head honcho (and sole macOS and iOS developer) here. There’s not much I can say in response to all of this really, other than “sorry”, which isn’t really going to cut it.

Fair enough, I can’t really disagree with that, or with your assessment that this batters our reputation, which is gutting. I’d also like to emphasise two things:

  1. As long as it’s done as politely as possible given the circumstances, it is absolutely fine to post grievances and express frustrations here. At this point, it would be unreasonable of us to expect everyone just to “put up with it”. I don’t want people to think that the forum is only for praise (as much as we like that).

  2. We do care. We’re not sitting around laughing like Skeletor at missing yet another self-imposed deadline.

It’s fair enough to suggest that we hire more developers and so on, but the reality is more complicated. As Astaff mentioned, we have tried this in the past with very little joy. We went through two different developers on the iOS version, each of whom spent a year or more on the project without being able to get it to completion. We then hired a company specialising in building iOS apps, and even they weren’t able to do it to an acceptable standard, so in the end I took the project on myself. I’m still trying to find another developer to come on board and help. (There’s also the logistical problem of how we have no offices and are scattered around the world, making it very difficult to train up new developers.)

As for someone taking responsibility, it is unfortunate that the blog post phrased things like that, because no, no one is getting fired. If we fired our Windows developer then there would be no Windows version at all.

What we should have learned from the iOS version is never to give a release date. But people don’t like that, either: people want at least a vague idea of when something will be ready, which is why we originally said Q2 of 2019 (actually at this point I can’t even remember if that was the first thing we said - I think we said some time in 208 first, argh). Honestly, we wouldn’t have made the update free for v1 users from late 2017 onwards if we thought we’d be giving away nearly two years of free licences - we really thought that it would be done by now. But it’s not. It’s just not in a state we can release, with whole parts of the UI in Compile not fully hooked up yet. Which is a horrible place to be for all of us.

So yes, there are certainly some hard lessons we need to learn from all of this. But sadly there is no short-term fix. All we can do right now is have the Windows team keep coding away like mad with the rest of us testing builds and cheering them along until it’s ready for release, and apologise like crazy to disappointed users in the meantime.

Let’s try to give a little more leeway and have a little more understanding on both sides, though. It would be great if those expressing their frustrations didn’t accuse those defending us of blind loyalty or zealotry, and those defending us (which we appreciate!) should make allowances for the genuine frustrations of those who were looking forward to having a completed product by now. Personally, I genuinely appreciate how much all of you care about Scrivener. Thank you.

All the best,

Thanks for the response KB. Appreciated. I do get there are struggles on the devs side. And I understand you appreciate Scriv users defending your team, but it does not help frustration levels to feel constantly delegitimized by their defenses, so I hope you at least understand that, and I’m assuming you do, given the nature of you’re response, which, again, I appreciate.

I understand there is not a short term fix, but there is the additional issue of the promise that Windows would catch up to Mac. It does exacerbate the issue quite a bit, and I understand that perhaps you don’t have a fix, but it would be nice if at the least devs and such stop assuring that Windows is as much of a priority as Mac, because no matter how much it’s said, it is the pure and simple fact that Windows is still years behind Mac and updates reach Windows users years later, so it’s said, but it sure doesn’t feel like that and that seems to sow discord.

Hope you can understand that.


No demands. Just the irony of “held responsible”. I don’t want the Win dev fired, but it is a pretty weak statement that doesn’t hold a lot of weight. I didn’t see it in the initial post but where we’re standing right now, it is a pretty meaningless thing to say.

As for “stop sulking and move on”. No. Not at your demand certainly. The more you say “stop sulking and move on” the more it fuels the annoyance. So really, if you want people to stop you should probably change your responses a bit.

Thank you for your post, KB.

Is that true: Is there one sole Mac developer - KB - and are there two Windows developers - Lee and Tiho?

@ForgottenGold: I definitely understand, and don’t want anybody to feel that their frustration is being legitimised. We have created the frustration ourselves, so have only ourselves to blame for users venting at us over this.

@Rubinstein and ForgottenGold: It is indeed true that there is only one Mac developer (myself), and two Windows developers (Lee and Tiho). I do most of the design (with some help from Ioa, our UI designer Janik and user suggestions) and all of the code for the macOS and iOS versions of Scrivener and the macOS version of Scapple; Lee and Tiho handle the Windows versions of Scrivener and Scapple. This, to an extent, is why we say (and mean) that we are just as serious about the Windows version - it has twice the number of coders as the macOS version. (They’ve had to build a lot of things from the ground up that macOS provides “for free”, though, I believe.)

We’ve put other resources into it too, though. Jennifer, who has an incredibly in-depth knowledge of Scrivener for Mac and who used to be one of our key support personnel, has for a long time now been moved over to working with the Windows team to test all features against the Mac version and to check nothing is missed. And Ioa, who writes the manuals, has been nearly full time working on the Windows manual and testing every feature against the Mac manual.

None of which has got us there anything like on time, of course, so at this point this is all academic.

All the best,

I understand the disappointment, but I think the reasons for not releasing by the deadline are pretty sound. If the product is not ready, is not up to standard, it is far better to delay than to release something that is half-finished or will require extensive patching and updates to fix bugs.

The beta is still usable in the interim and if that is an uncomfortable thought, Scrivener 1.x or is it 2.x is still a valid option. I for one am quite happy to wait as long as necessary for the final product because I know it will be up to standard. It is refreshing to see a company committed to their standards.

KB, thanks for that clear and helpful indication of who does what. Especially considering that Windows programmers have to create stuff (spell checker is the one I actually know about) that the Mac OS supplies, it’s really not surprising that such a massive update should take so long. Frankly, I’m in favor of small software developers seldom or never indicating release date goals. It only agitates the herd. :smiley: (Speaking as one of the herd, but not an agitated one.)