Expirations on Beta versions

Yesterday I tried to use my Scrivener, 3.0 beta and guess what, it would not open. My version stopped working on Sep 30, and on Oct 1 it was dead. Now I was forced to go to the website, try to find the download button for beta, which would not tell me if it was version 3 or 1.9. Then I had to hunt through the forums, found the download message, could not remember if the one I had installed was 32 or 64 bit. Didn’t want to install the wrong one and end up with two copies cluttering my HD.
By this time I had forgotten what I wanted to add to my novel.
Finally I hunted in my win 10 and found where I could manually change the date for the system, then my existing Scrivener opened and I could update from there. All in all a total waste of time.
Why are these deadlines so heavily enforced? Do you really want to make your users get all frustrated? I am a paid user, I paid for this new version. Either limit the betas to only paid users, or make it available to everyone and only cut off the use once you have the final product,
Seriously if I have to go through this BS again , I am out of Scrivener for good.
This is just such a mickey mousey system, if you want to use your users as beta testers, at least in return make things a bit easier for them. I would be willing to pay another $100 for the software,if it would just get finished and work properly with all the features that the Mac version has. And before all you holier than thou flamers start on me, think about this. If you were a carpenter , you would go into Home Depot and buy the best tools you could, because you use them every day. That adds up to hundreds if not thousands of dollars, but it its what you need to make a living. Same with Scrivener, if you are using it to make a living, a $100 bucks is not unreasonable for a good, production ready, dependable piece of software, is it?

This is a beta not a finished product and is labelled use at your own risk. Beta software is a test version, there for the developers to find bugs in the program prior to the actual release.The whole point of putting an expiration date on the software is prevent people from using older versions. Why? So they aren’t getting reports on bugs that have already been fixed. It is a very common practice among developers. The expiration date is noted in the thread. It’s unfair to criticize the developers because you failed to see it.

Yeah, it’s a bit of a pain, but if you aren’t prepared to live with the inconvenience perhaps you shouldn’t be using the beta. Why not make use of the generous trail period for the current latest 1.9.x release?

I’m assuming your questions are rhetorical venting, so I’m just going to suggest that you bookmark the following forum post:


It provides all the links and information you need to get a fresh copy. If you happen to open scrivener on the day before an expiration, the updater will download and update your beta with very little fuss, but if you’re not using the Beta-testing version of Scrivener on that day, then you’ll need to go to the forum linked above.

I bookmarked the download link after several expiration dates. So much easier now.
What would have made every beta tester’s life easier is to automatically link to the download site when a user tries to open an expired version.

I agree with OP - that’s over the top and I work in software development.
Guess what - pirates will always pirate and all Scrivener versions up until now have been cracked. I personally want to support the developers, so I pay up, In return I don’t want to be treated with suspicion and patronised. Excessive licensing enforcement or other mucking around with expiry date etc will just annoy regular paid up non-technical users. There are some fantastic examples of software where the cracked versions are considerably more user friendly than the paid up versions, due to licensing paranoia. It’s not the end of the world if some user is using an old Beta a bit longer than intended.
With that said - Literature and Latte is not a big software house, every license counts and people who use this type of software must understand that the software house needs to be paid what they are due, in order to be able to continue.

I totally understand the frustration of OP who might have had limited time to write that day and ended up spending all of it messing around with an enforced, unnecessary update. If this had happened to me, I could well have written a similar post.

Hi martienne,

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion about excessive licensing practices.

The thing is, this thread has nothing to do with licensing practices. The OP is a rant about the expiration date on beta software.

Surely, as someone who works in software development, you agree that developers have to control what software version their testers are testing? :smiley:


I support the idea that protection should never impede an honest user,. but I think you do a disservice to them by casting this in that light.
This is not about pirates. it’s about producing good software. By using the beta we agree to be software testers. Part of good process is to only test the most recent version so you don’t report and chase bugs that are fixed or changed in the current build.

It is a small company. The last thing they have time to do chase stale bug reports.

  • It’s Beta
  • It’s free (there are lots of companies doing agile software development that charge for what is often beta quality software)
  • So if you don’t want to test in the system they have created, don’t But don’t complain like you are a paying user with some implied usability in place.

Not sure how people who installed the software from the beta once, get so confused finding it again in the same place. My wife missed the date, It took less than 5 minutes to get her machine updated.

Its a beta, chill or use the released version.

No one in this thread has “paid for the new version,” because the beta is currently free. The licensing mechanism hasn’t even been enabled yet. While some companies do charge people to participate in their beta programs, we do not.

As such, the expirations have nothing to do with licensing. They are intended to ensure that beta testers are using the most current version so that developers aren’t hunting bugs that have already been fixed. This is standard practice for beta programs throughout the industry.

If a beta expiration, or a beta bug, or the beta version’s missing features will have catastrophic consequences for your work, you should not be using beta software for that project.

The most current version of the Win Scrivener 3 beta can always be found in the first post of this thread:


Question: Will you be working automatic updates in the software? If so, that would be a nice usecase to test while in beta to have the new beta be downloaded and installed automatically at each end of the month.

I agree with the OP regarding the price. I’m new to Scrivener and really like it so far. The price could be $100 or $150, it would not matter to me if this would equate a stable version 3 soon, and thereafter new releases without years of delay - with good bibliography management.

Charging more would do nothing to speed up development, and often the case, neither does throwing more developers at a problem.

While some have no issue paying $100 or more, I suspect the vast majority would find that sort of cost prohibitive.

Obviously not true. If it was true, then Microsoft would have only one developer employed.

Do I really need to point out the problems behind your logic?

So first of all, Microsoft is not developing one product. They are developing an armada of suites and programs and solutions to most of the world right now. Not the same scale.

On a program level, there is a cost associated to adding a programmer this late in the game. While yes it would be another productive person, he would have, at first, to acclimate to the code base, and that training could take precious resources from the barebone staff they already have. This late, it would be an hindrance more than a boon at first. His patches would have to be reviewed by the current staff each time he commits something after that.

Sometimes, throwing more money at a problem won’t fix it, and this is one of those cases. They are in the end stretch, squashing the bugs in the base they know. They just need time to get this right.

Someone doesn’t know much about either (a) software development or (b) computer history. IBM proved decades ago that throwing bodies at development projects (the IBM 360 system, to be precise) is no way to speed up development. Putting together a team is one thing…it’s easy for a focused team to be productive. To simply add people to speed things up doesn’t work.

It’s beta software. You knew this going in. The current version expiration date shows up every single time you open the software.

Every writer should know the most elusive thing in the world is an idea. When Scrivener failed to open, the first thing you should have done was not futzed with the software, but open Word, WordPad, Notepad, the voice notes app on your phone, or grabbed a pen and a piece of paper and written the idea down. The preservation of your work is the most important thing, not the tool used to create it. If you’re trying to make a living with this, you maybe shouldn’t be using beta software, and you maybe should have alternate means of doing work.

I’m truly sorry you lost what you wanted to add to your story. I know that pain. But the fault is entirely your, not the software’s, and not the development team’s.

Someone doesn’t know that a single anecdote doesn’t equate a proof of a position, replied the former Project Owner. However, it is true that more coders will do little good if the team is poorly organized. Still, a larger budget would be an advantage, not only to hire more people, but also to hire better people. Saying the opposite is nonsense.

There have been many more examples other than the IBM one.

Your comment ‘better people’ is an insult to the current L&L team.

I don’t know if you are aware of the history of iOS Scrivener. L&L hired expert professional coders who could not come to grips with the specialized nature of Scrivener and turned out to be a waste of money. It fell to Keith who knows Scrivener inside out to learn iOS coding and do it himself. I might add he came up with an app so tightly coded it is smaller than many with less functionality (IMHO)

I find the attitudes of some of the writers on this site to be both fascinating and flabbergasting. I would assume that as purveyors of the written word, we’d all have a better appreciation and understanding of digital products, but maybe not.

Perhaps because I’m a professional author and have also been a professional programmer, it’s easier for me to empathize with both sides, but let me try and defuse some of this programming criticism by putting it into writing terms:

Imagine you’re writing the next War and Peace, the penultimate novel of your life. It’s so ambitious, that you decide to share early drafts with your fans, so that you can get feedback to help you reach the novel’s full potential. You’re a small writer, and depend on your royalties to feed your family, so the long writing period puts a lot of stress on your family. But your fans come to the rescue. They’re willing to give you feedback, in exchange for influencing your story and the opportunity to read in advance of the “ordinary reader.”

So you send the early drafts out, at no charge, in hopes of quality feedback, but instead, you get a ton of complaints about all your grammatical and spelling errors. Half the respondents are not even commenting on the “meat” of the story, just your silly typos. “But, it’s a rough draft!” you insist. “No sense correcting all the grammar until the main plot is complete.”

Still, your fans bitch and moan about the typos. You spend tons of time answering these complaints, rather than writing or correcting the plot. But now, your fans want special treatment over and above the chance to read your work early, even though you didn’t charge them for the privilege. Instead of appreciating this advance access, they start questioning your writing ability, the sloppiness of your prose. They get angry because you wasted their reading time with a less than perfect novel. They start questioning your abilities as a writer. They complain because you can’t email them updates as quickly as they would like.

Stressed with the deadline of your novel, you grow frustrated and bitter. After all, didn’t you offer the advance manuscript as a favor and privilege? At no cost? If your fans didn’t like it, they could always stiff you for the final novel price and go somewhere else. But they wouldn’t do that, you tell yourself. After all, you made yourself vulnerable and accessible by trusting them in the first place.

But over time, your confidence is shattered, your trust in your fans violated, and you start to ask yourself the question, “why did I even offer the rough draft to my fans? They don’t even seem to understand the concept of ‘rough draft.’” Then, finally, you release your life’s work, after wasting hundreds of hours responding to fans with ridiculous and petty requests, only to find out that they have moved on to another writer, who churns out cheap dime-store novels, at a rate of 3-4 per year.

Despondent, you wonder why you went to all that trouble in the first place. You step outside, take a deep breath of cold night air, sigh, and pull the trigger . . . .

This was a great metaphor right up until the end. Please do not trivialize the pain of suicide just to make a debate point – you don’t know how many people out here it has touched.