Is this app stable enough for use in a school?


A friend who is a writer recommended this free app to me to use with students in my creative writing course. Working for a school, we have a very small budget and are always looking for free apps that can be useful to further our students’ learning. After going over the tutorial it looks like a wonderful tool and I’d like to use it in my class. However the author states it is no longer in development (not a problem) and contains a few documented bugs (red flag). I cannot find a list of these bugs, and I am concerned about the stability of this app. If these bugs are small things (saving the current state, minor annoyances, etc.) I can live with that. If it means the app could crash at any time and my students would lose their work, well I just can’t live with that. Could someone please give me a rundown of the bugs and risks using SG? Although the betas look wonderful, I think the simplicity of SG, along with the price, is perfect for my students.

Thank you for the help.

Actually, I would say the betas are even simpler to use, but hey. :slight_smile: To the best of my knowledge - based on various bug reports and the fixes I did for SG - there are no major bugs that would cause data loss with Scrivener Gold. The bugs that are there mainly consist of things such as a lack of proper state-saving between sessions, a rare display bug in Draft mode, and a couple of bugs that can cause the app to crash in rare circumstances but neither of which should cause any data loss provided you save regularly. That said, of course, I make no guarantees because it was beta software that was never truly finished or cleaned up. In short, I would say that it is stable enough for your uses, but at the same time, I don’t make any promises. :slight_smile:

That said, if you do like Scrivener, I really would think about using the newer version of Scrivener, which is more stable and a much cleaner program. Although the individual licence for Scrivener will retail at around $30-$40, I would be more than willing to discuss a school licence (with the right proof etc, obviously) when the new version hits 1.0. Contact me at if you would be interested in this. If you still prefer to use Scrivener Gold, though, as I say, it should be absolutely fine as there are a number of users who have been using it for over a year with no problems.

All the best,

Thank you so much for the reply. I think we’ll start with SG to get a feel for the program and I will watch for the official 1.0 stable release. Keep up the good work, and thank you so much for releasing a free version!!

I never had a data destroying event in Scrivener Gold that I can recall. A few weird things happened when Tiger came out, but that is about it. Never lost anything.

Eh? Scrivener Gold never supported anythiing less than Tiger. :slight_smile:

Well then my memory is messed up. I remember some change in the OS caused some display bugs, such as the never-ending stack of shadows under the synopsis card that some people had.

Yes, that was a weird one… It might have been one of the Tiger updates, but Scrivener has never run on anything less than Tiger because the PDF view and certain QuickTime methods that both SG and S1 rely on were only introduced in Tiger.

Hi mrdoolie,

  1. It might reassure you somewhat to know that if you use SG you can save your students’ files to DOCUMENTS > SCRIVENER DOCUMENTS (just create the folder Scrivener Documents in the documents folder), then the precious files are stored seperately from the application.

  2. Make it a regular part of each lesson to get students to SAVE at the end of each session - a very useful learning objective. The manual SAVE is something Keith strongly recommends and most regular users endorse equally strongly - even though the application will save automatically.

These two routines should give almost complete assurance - but then computers being computers I would also suggest a burned CD backup, say when 20 or so new pages have been completed. A session CD will hold several novels burned this way. You could probably do a CD backup of all students files at the end of each week and name the CD something like Semester 2 - Week 4 SG Backups (DATE) - Writing 101.

Hope this helps a bit. The initiative is brilliant because, frankly, the application is the best bar none for writers and the offer Keith is making for your educational needs is very generous. The best application for the job at the best price.

My advice - take the offer!