😉 I'm in love 😉 (and have a question)

First - I am in LOVE! (And trust me, I’ve never been attracted to a writing tool, yet alone in love with one!) Please tell me that this will continue to develop into a full product, and that if I start using it, it won’t lock down (31/01/07) with no subsequent versions or at a cost that is prohibitive for students. (I’m literally starting my dissertation, and have wanted something with this type of functionality and was about to give up hope that it would exist by the time I started writing my dissertation. At this point, I just need to know that it will continue to exist and have some degree of support for the duration of my dissertation work.)

Second - What follows are my notes as I progressed through the tutorial.
In step 6 when you refer to the “green ‘zoom’â€

There are a number of your questions addressed in the faq. I recommend you have a go through it, but I am biased. :slight_smile:

The tutorial was written for version 1 of the beta, and we are at version 5 – near release. There are a lot of inaccuracies in the tutorial, and a lot of features that have been added since it was written. The lists are huge, but at the moment the best documentation is the change log which came with the Scrivener DMG. I can see how you’d rather wait for proper docs though. Half of them are already in the help menu.

The biggest limitation with Snapshots is that it doesn’t show differences between versions, this is why it isn’t called versioning. There have been a few discussions on the complexities of doing that properly. It is one thing with text files, and another thing entirely with rich text files. Perhaps the second limitation is that meta-data does not get put into the snapshot. So notes, synopsis, keywords, all of that – all it saves is the text area. Other than that, it is a pretty nice system. You can press Cmd-5 and forget about it; keep on editing.

Menus were dramatically re-organised recently. Tutorial will be really off there.

As for exporting to Word, there is a long response to that in the FAQ, it explains how to get footnotes and all. Styles are not possible because RTF, which is what Scrivener uses, has no concept of true styles.

Text containers are not created directly; they occur when documents are placed beneath other documents. The concept of folder versus document is really pretty hazy in Scrivener. You might have noticed you can turn off the Corkboard view for folders and edit them like normal documents. The two can even be converted back and forth between each other. It is more an aesthetic decision in the Binder, which to use – and a functional decision when it comes time to export – if you wish to put different export options into the different types.

Hey Amber,

[size=134][color=indigo]Thank you so much for such a quick response, on a [color=green]h[color=red]o[color=green]l[color=red]i[color=green]d[color=red]a[color=green]y [color=indigo]no less![/size]

The FAQs are indeed very helpful. I’m sure I’ll be visiting them again often! Since I actually have to work on my dissertation, I’m going to have to search for the footnote/MS Word instructions tomorrow.

On another note, is there any possibility of adding ‘types’ of notes and folders, with a corresponding change in the binder graphic. (Yes, there are labels, but the aren’t visible in the binder. Also, I think the pushpins are a better interface than the watermark for status, so I’m planning on using the labels that way.) For example, a ‘quote’ type card could have an open quote (i.e. ") on the notecard icon, while a ‘question’ or ‘follow-up’ type card could have a question mark or unchecked check bod on the notecard icon.


p.s. I saw in one comment that Keith isn’t a big fan of open-source software. Just an FYI, my dissertation study is a cost-benefit analysis of open-source and proprietary software in my field of study. 8) At this point, from the perspectives of economics, software quality, and software innovation the literature and previous research indicate that open-source is most often the way to go. Yes, there may be branches off of the main project, but if those branches don’t have people to continue their development, they die; if they have people to continue their development, then a need is being met by that branch that isn’t being met by another branch. What I’ve seen of Scrivener, in just the last 36 hours, demonstrates that it definitely meets needs of mine that I haven’t been met in any other software I’ve seen. But consider my request above; I don’t think that Keith is interested in such functionality (the rest of the tool is so thoroughly thought out, if such functionality fit within his writing methods, I have no doubt it would all ready be implemented), but it may be something that other users have enough need for that they could add that functionality to Scrivener, through either a whole new branch or something more simple like a plug-in. (After all of that, sadly, I can’t be the one to add such functionality as I’m not a programmer, and my advisor would have my neck if I stopped work on my dissertation long enough to gain the appropriate skills. :wink: )

Quick answer regarding footnotes: When exporting for Word, in the “Text Options” tab, make sure “Include footnotes as:” is checked, and select your style preference below. Then export as RTF, not RTFD. Import this into Word and you should be all set. It works for other word processors that support RTF footnotes, too, such as Mellel and NeoOffice.

Alas, the Binder display is without custom icons. I think eventually it would be nice to have some sort of visual possibilities, but such a thing would have to wait for a while. There is one way to see Labels and Status in the Binder, and that is to do a search.

I’ve come to the same usage conclusion that you have regarding pins and watermarks. I like using watermarks, but found that typical “status” type messages made that whole interface option feel cluttered. So My watermarks are becoming simplified – I like your idea of using symbols instead of words. This might be taken even further with Unicode (brief testing indicates that some symbols work, and others do not). I use colour labels/pins to denote status. It is very easy to see which items need to be edited when they are bright red. :slight_smile: In the FAQ document, I use colour for status and text label to show revision number, so I can quickly see which version of the FAQ something was published in.

Re: Open source. I used to be quite the OSS fanatic. Before I switched over to OS X, I had been using Linux exclusively since around 1998. Then OS X got really good around 2002/3, and I bought my first Apple computer around then; haven’t looked back. I still use a lot of OSS through the X11 or CLI avenues. My position on pay-for-use software has changed a bit. I’ll put it this way, I don’t mind when a developer wants to support themselves with their hobby/profession. I am still not keen, and probably never will be keen, on commercial software. I know, I know, the operating system. I still have my internal battles over that one. It helps that the most important parts of it (from a stability and security standpoint) are OSS. Anyway, I have learned one thing from my transition: There are a lot of really dedicated shareware Mac developers out there who put their souls into their applications. I respect that. I still think that OSS in general is healthier for a piece of software, but I no longer have an “ethical” problem with charging for programs, as long as it is relatively personal. But I’m that way with most things. I get produce from farmers and clothes from seamstresses.

Anyway. :slight_smile:

And I bet you have to pay the farmer and seamstress, and that they don’t just happen to have a bunch of people who happen to like working with them and giving away their wares for free. :slight_smile:

Thanks Amber for answering all of the questions here. Indeed, styles are not supported because they are not natively supported by Apple’s implementation of RTF export - I had to add things like footnotes, images and comments myself, which was no mean feat. And all of these things only work if you use Scrivener’s RTF export (though not MultiMarkdown -> RTF), because they are only supported by RTF - and even then, they will only be recognised in dedicated word processors such as MS Word (not, for instance, in TextEdit).

As for binder graphics: not for 1.0, I’m afraid, or the foreseeable future. A line has to be drawn in the sand somewhere.

As for open source software, I often think that the real love for such software comes from a desire not to pay. :slight_smile: I am actually not a big fan of OSS - I don’t like the way it is always changing, the way it never feels “done”. Not than any software is really “done”, but you know what I mean. As a user, I always prefer to pay for something that I know is being supported by a dedicated developer (or team). This is mere prejudice, but on the other hand, you mention that you could not program what you want yourself because your tutor would kill you for spending your time on such a thing - but that is just what I did. Two years, in fact. I am not asking much money for it ($34.99), but I know from experience that even if it was freeware there would be just as much call for support. So, no more talk of OSS for Scrivener unless you have spent two years on something and then given it away for free - then you can moan at me. :slight_smile:

Interesting comments. You have explained what’s in it for you, but you didn’t explain how Keith is supposed to make any money from open sourcing Scrivener.

Even if he charges for it, with the source code out there, anyone else can build their own Scrivener and give it away if they want to.

But why on earth should a piece of software like Scrivener be free? It’s simply intellectual property, like a book, or a piece of music, or a photograph. If you want to use it, please give its maker in return the possibility to earn a honest living. I really don’t see what’s wrong with that.

Like Keith, and for reasons partly similar to those mentioned by him, I’m not a big fan of OSS. I prefer to pay a decent price for my working instruments.

I think you all have misunderstood my comment. :slight_smile: The thing with OSS is that it generally arrives collectively. So comparing it to models like farmer’s market, or even software that was developed by a group of people (or one person), is not quite right. I enjoyed using OSS because it was always evolving and never fixed, and because it represented a community effort. I’m not in favour of turning Scrivener into OS, it did not come from that model. Farmers grew that corn, they should be paid for it. Now if the neighborhood plot is being divvied up, and everyone spent some time taking care of it – nobody should pay for it beyond what they already have in seed and time. They all put in towards it creation. Sure, you could take OSS and just download it all, use it, and never contribute – but that would be like worming your way around shareware limitations. Are there people who do it, of course, but the cause itself should not be identified by those who never plow the neighborhood plot, so to speak. And all of this really have nothing to do with the shareware community. It is a whole different universe, and the two shouldn’t really be compared to each other.

There, that’s my bit. I’m done.