How is Scrivener Developed (The Sausage Factory View)?

I am curious, and I’m not sure where (which forum) to ask the question…

How is Scrivener developed? Not asking so much technically, but organizationally, though some top-level technical info might be nice…

I don’t know much about the history of L&L or Scrivener, and I’ve heard variously about “two teams” and “Mac development” versus “PC development”, and working to harmonize the PC version with the Mac version, and so forth.

I understand that each “version” is being developed on a separate platform, with different OS’s that each have features and abilities that the alternate OS may not have, or functions differently, etc. Out of curiosity, why is Scrivener not being developed at a higher, more abstract level, and then a “compatibility layer” developed to apply it to the target OS?

(I’m just asking for my own edifcation, not intending to be a pain about it)

Does one “camp” (Mac/Pc) lead the other? If not now, has that been the case in the past? Is that where some of the “issues” between Mac/PC versions have cropped up? I have, at times (ie., the forum), heard that there are two teams…? And that the PC team has to wait for instructions/directives from the Mac team?

(Please be aware that my perspective is 100% external and I have no prior knowledge of L&L history or operation)

Thanks for any insight you have to offer. These questions are driven only by curiosity, seeking understanding in how/why things are the way they are.


This may answer some of the questions:

Also, mine the blog. A few good starter pieces:

On the Mac/PC relationship, the key point is that Mac Scrivener has nearly a five year head start on PC Scrivener, and makes heavy use of tools that are only available in the Mac OS environment. So however useful it might theoretically have been to use a compatibility layer as you describe, that horse had left the barn before PC Scrivener was a gleam in Keith’s eye.

I suppose one area where it really sticks out that Scrivener started on a Mac is the nature of the Scrivener project – on a Mac this is a “package”, which is a disguised folder. Quite a few Mac users are surprised to discover that it isn’t a flat file like a Word doc, because it looks for all the world as if that is what it is. If you want to poke around inside the package (not recommended) you have to go through a system menu that many people never see.

That’s probably the most salient response. The rest I was just curious about.



This one is a good answer to my questions, thanks!!