Is Scapple still being actively developed?


Is Scapple still being actively developed?

The trial version I have seems to be called “Version - 08 Oct 2013”

I think Scapple looks extremely promising but there are still a lot of rough edges… and I am reluctant to learn a new application (let along pay for one) that is “dead in the water”.

Many thanks


It’s not “dead”, we wouldn’t be selling it if it was, but it is on the back burner for the moment as we work to get the next major refresh for Scrivener completed on three different platforms. Just to put this into perspective, when I say we have 100% of the developers working on Scrivener right now—that means three people across three platforms. :slight_smile:

It would also be worth pointing out however that Scapple was designed to be a very simple tool both for us and you. It does 100% of what it was meant to do at official release, and it was never intended to become some sprawling piece of software that is continually updated and revised. If you don’t like what you see right now, it might not be the right tool for you. Because we most certainly do not think of it as being extremely promising with a lot of rough edges! If that’s your take on it, then you may have an entirely different concept of what this program is meant to do, than we do, and I’m not sure if even further development on it in the future would satisfy you as it is bound to be more along the lines of moderately embellishing the core concept.

Nothing is perfect.

When I spend my (precious to me) time learning a new software tool I like to feel part of a community that can contribute to improving it. Yes Scapple does look promising but with a fresh pair of eyes I see lots if things that are slightly irritating about it.

For example it would nice if the system could align shapes better. For example have a look at the way yEd works when you move shapes around - it’s brilliant. It barely snaps (if so it only moves by 1 pixel) but yEd shows you with a quick grey line that briefly appears when a shape is exactly aligned to another shape. It does this by either edge or by centers of objects. And this in no way gets in the way of anything else but it simply allows better alignment without resorting to any alignment tool.

Also when moving a box the screen relative to another box it would be nice to be able to do the modern thing of being able to hold down shift or control to make it jump to the nearest interval of 45 degrees.

When doing selections in more complex diagrams to have more sophisticated selection tools. e.g. clicking and dragging from left to right and from right to left works differently on modern design tools like (One way you just need your selection box to touch each shape, the other way you need to completely encompass each shape)

The application of note styles is clunky too. It would be nice to quickly copy and paste one item’s style into another without creating a whole new style.

When I say rough edges there are some small issues in the Windows version of Scapple at least ,whereby when you enter new shapes, the entire diagram is jumping around the screen when it has not been asked to do so. And when you edit a box it jumps sideways massively out of position for some reason (the good news is that it does jump back but this is an unhelpful quirk)

EDIT On closer inspection it turns out that for some (insane) reason the hotkeys used in the Windows version are very different from the Apple version that is described in “Introduction to Scapple”

e.g. Instead of “M” in Apple you use Alt/M in order to get Movement Mode.
Also the “Z” key turns out to work in an extremel quirky way. i.e. only does anything at all when you are too zoomed in too close and will only then deliver “a bird’s eye view of the document” as described in that video.

Trying to help… but if you people have a zero budget for enhancements of any sort for you to your software, then reluctantly - as there is much to like here - reluctantly, I’m afraid you’ll need to count me out.


Fine but that fails to address my points.

To get clear is Literature and Latte are hoping to keep making money from this product indefinitely without any enhancements of any sort?

If so I’m afraid you’ll need to count me out, because I like to use software that I can genuinely believe in and which I can recommend to my friends, and anything whose interface (IMHO) clearly still needs at the very least a little more work and which has has never been updated since it’s first version approaching 3 years ago, is frankly something of an embarrassment to at admit to be using.


You’re not alone in wishing that Scapple was something it’s not. But apparently there are many out there that, like me, love Scapple for what it is:

Indeed, it’s nice to have at least one piece of software that does not participate in the modern update-frenzy for update’s sake. A software that is finished.

Like a hammer. Today’s hammers are, more or less, the same tools they were hundreds of years ago. New materials required minor updates, but the basic principle remains unchanged. Because there is nothing more to improve about the principle itself.

Scapple is a hammer. And no tool box goes without a hammer.

Bravo! Zugabe!

Are you KIDDING me?

The hammer keeps evolving and keeps evolving. Different sizes, different weight, heads made from different materials (hard rubber, soft rubber, steel, brass,) different shapes of head, different shafts (wood, plastic, soft rubbers for better grip), short handles, long handles, extendable handles… the list goes on. But forgetting minor differences there over 25 completely different TYPE of hammer - here are some:

Ball-peen hammer
Boiler scaling hammer
Brass hammer
Carpenter’s hammer (used for nailing)
Cow hammer
Cross-peen hammer
Dead blow hammer
Drilling hammer
Engineer’s hammer, a short-handled hammer
Geologist’s hammer
Joiner’s hammer, or Warrington hammer
Knife-edged hammer
Lathe hammer
Lump hammer, or club hammer
Railway track keying hammer
Rock climbing hammer
Rounding hammer Blacksmith or farrier hammer.
Sledge hammer
Soft-faced hammer
Splitting maul
Stonemason’s hammer
Tinner’s hammer
Upholstery hammer
Welder’s chipping hammer

And that’s ignoring the differences of shape, proportion, colour, material (etc) between different bands.

Is the hammer a mature technology? Yes, absolutely.
Have the basic principles changed? No… not for the normal middle-weight carpenter’s hammer. But inventions like pneumatic hammers and ultra-sound hammers take hammers into completely new directions.

But even the middle-weight carpenter’s hammer DOES continue to evolve. And that’s my central point. When a carpenter is buying a new hammer, why not have a hammer with a really nice rubber handle? Why not find a metal that is that bit harder and more resistant to changing shape with use than the current steel? Or maybe just find something that is cheaper and yet cheaper? Or better balanced inthe hand? Or maybe has a slightly more efficient claw on it. Or that is quieter to use? Or that has a slightly rounded face to avoid making sharp dents in the wood…

I agree that there is no need for FRENZIES of updates to the hammer. But absolutely no way on this earth is the hammer “finished”.

Yes maybe my own software toolbox does need an equivalent to a “Scapple”. But for the same reasons as why we don’t all buy the exact same version of the hammer made by say Draper, there is no reason why we should all buy L&L’s hammer. And Draper need to do keep gently improving their hammer.

Adapt or die, Draper. And likewise L&L.

I’m confused. If other tools work better for you, why are you bothering those that find this tool acceptable? What interest are you really serving by continuing this discussion?

You’ve stated your opinion. If folks choose to ignore it, why do you care? Just move on to the next software that works the way you want it to. As it is you are losing credibility and your argument becomes invalid.

I’m honestly curious what you hope to accomplish. You either have a real goal that is not obvious or you are just being a troll. I can’t think of any reason to be so aggressive since you’ve already identified another tool and you have no money lost (you have not clarified if you have purchased a license).

I discovered to my surprise that I have the marvelous yEd already among my applications. Version 3.4.1 from 2009. When I started it, I remembered playing with it long time ago, before I closed and forgot it. Because: way too complicated for what a writer needs. It’s more like a hammer-with-screwdriver-function-plus-integrated-microwave-and-microprocessor-controlled-telescope.

Thank you, Scapple, for being just the way you are! :laughing:

Yes I agree that yEd has lots and lot and LOTS of things that writers don’t need. It’s slightly more clunky and less obvious how to do things than is Scapple, but it’s free (I think). With discipline a writer can just not use all the features that aren’t useful.

Jaysen: “Aggressive”? I genuinely have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. There seems to have been some misunderstanding about the reasoning behind some of the points I was trying to make so I have been seeking to clarify my position - that is hardly “aggressive”. Does anyone here feel personally attacked? To the best of my knowledge I am making no personal ad hominem attack I am merely explaining my thinking. If I express extreme surprise that is because I am genuinely surprised. However surprise is not emphatically not the same thing as aggression.

Jaysen, you have criticised my style of presentation, but I don’t think I have done the same thing. I certainly have not resorted to any form of name calling.

I started this thread to see if Scapple is still being actively developed. Apparently it is not. Which is fine… But personally I’m not investing my time or money in something that has ceased development. The nagging suspicion is that is something better out there that has blown it out of the water, either that or L&L are in survival mode and in danger of going bust. Either that or they are too arrogant about what they have created (which seems good, but is a long, LONG way from prefect). If some sort of re-assurance from the developers was forthcoming that Scapple is not (in a developmental sense at least) “dead” that might change things.

However it is becoming increasingly clear that L&L have no intention of improving it whatsoever.

I have yet to find a tool other than yEd which can do what Scapple does. And unfortunately yEd seems to have serious bugs when running on my main PC.

Enough! If I find anything really good I with spirit of helping this community as well as helping inspire L&L into action, I shall gladly return here and share what it is with you.

Just one word: Speed. Speed is the most important feature of all. Scapple is up and running while other, more feature-rich apps are still contemplating, and it is - due to it’s simplicity - the only application I know (and I know a lot) with which I can really think and forget about the “functions”; the only app of this kind where the user interface does not stand in the way of creativity.

Others do more things, maybe even more beautiful (Curio for example), but you have to have the creative part done before you can start using them. Maybe on a piece of paper. Or … in Scapple.

I think it’s possible to see the potential in a piece of software and like it and still wish for a little more polish from it without wanting it to radically alter the nature of what it is – and for some users, those little bits of polish can be a big deal.

I thought the OP came up with a remarkably cogent list of small enhancements that would not change Scapple from what it is today for people, but make it a bit more inclusive for those that feel like it’s just “not quite there”. The alignment hints in particular – that is a subtle change but one that can make a world of difference for those of us to whom that degree of precision matters (not speaking for anyone else, but a pixel or two off alignment can be like walking on a splinter in my brain). It helps speed up the process of using the software because that quick visual indicator lights up, we know “this is the place,” and we can move on without that splinter.

It’s not like there was a demand for layers or complicated hierarchical relationships or any of the features that would require a change to Scapple’s core vision.

I would also add that most of the things on that list are things we have on our own list to look into, once we come back to looking at Scapple. They may not all come to fruition, to be clear, but better style application and management as well as real-time alignment aids are definitely things we have some ideas about. Are there things that can be polished? Always.

So once again to the OP, despite your strongly phrased speculations otherwise, we will return to Scapple when the time is right to do so, and we’ll do so in force—not just token aesthetic refreshes and ceaselessly tooling around merely to make updates frequent enough so that people can come in and say, “ah, this program has been updated frequently, it must be good!”. Good things can exist without changing much or quickly, and if something is good for you, maybe that’s all you need. I believe that was the point of the hammer comment, not that the hammer as a tool hasn’t evolved over the course of 60,000 years. That was a personal metaphor, not an anthropological one.

Never mind what I said earlier, it seems it doesn’t fit within your narrative. We have a difference in opinion over whether good software requires constant fiddling to be good. Personally, some of my favourite utilities don’t even have web pages any more. Some of my favourite utilities have so many updates I’ve turned off their update checkers because it’s annoying. Hey, my favourite Linux distribution is Debian precisely because they spend a long time getting things right, and then you sit on a stable version of the OS and all of your software for years while they work on the next.

What others are perhaps referring to as “aggressive” is that you’ve taken this difference of opinion and projected your own sensibilities onto ours. Because we don’t frequently update, that means we consider it dead and are arrogant in thinking nothing can be done to improve it, etc. It couldn’t possibly be that we just don’t agree with you on this point. :slight_smile:

Well, let’s see. You’ve posted two different threads on the exact same topic. And in both those threads, you’ve chosen to insist on your “Scapple is dead” narrative in the face of frequent reassurance that it is not. And you’ve chosen to share a wide range of opinions, none of them complimentary, about L&L’s purported success (or lack thereof), software development methodology, and customer relationships.

So no, you haven’t sunk to the level of ad hominem attacks (yet), but your claim of wide-eyed innocence is on pretty shaky ground.


Yay! Good news indeed. Right now, I want to use Scapple, but the little things are just a little too much – if your analysis leads towards addressing some of these issues, I for one shall be eternally grateful.

Sorry I have been finding it hard to work out who on this thread works for L&L.

If L&L are still thinking about doing at least some enhancements Scapple that is quite different, and is totally at odds to the impression several users seem to have been giving with all their talk.

That’s excellent news in fact! :slight_smile:

I would also add that most of the things on that list are things we have on our own
list to look into, once we come back to looking at Scapple.
And that’s extremely gratifying to hear not only that there is such a list but also that your thinking is in line with mine.

I still say it’s disappointing to see something like Scapple having NOT been updated over the course of a full, what is it, 2.5 years, since “v1.0.0.0” as I find it hard to imagine that at least some of the small changes suggested would take long to implement. And 2.5 years is a long time for devinganger’s “small splinters” to niggle.

To get clear it’s not that I see any need for updates just for the sake of updates. It’s more like it’s reassuring to the user community that even if the time available is only say 2 or 3 hours per month that the requests for specific items of fine-tuning & polish are actually being heard.

Anyhow, that sounds promising. I shall probably sign up now. :slight_smile:

To be fair to L&L, a lot of us don’t want them necessarily adding every feature request or change that comes along in the forums – many of the people who come in and make suggestions are either making suggestions that have already been discussed and turned down for one reason or another, suggestions that don’t need to be implemented because they need to spend a little more time using the software and figure out how to accomplish the task (or equivalent), or suggestions that won’t get implemented because they don’t fit the vision for the program.