Linux community

Hi Beta Testers,

I saw this post and thought you might be interested. I’d really like to get a gauge for how much of a true representation this has for the greater Linux community interested in using Scrivener. I’m not sure how to do that? … a-release/

When I put a page up for Scrivener in the wine app db, there were a couple people who emailed me, asking if it were ready for production use. (Told 'em to wait a bit, since it was the very, very first beta.)

Seems like these things spread a lot more by word of mouth. Linux folk are still a bit anarchist. :slight_smile: Are there certain writing trade boards/websites/etc? I’d think specialized software like Scrivener would have more of a niche there. NaNoWriMo seemed like a good signal booster, too.

Edit: Wow. Conspiracy theorists in the thread linked. AND OSS wank. And a canonical RMS mention! drinks

There are many linux users like that, but there are also many who aren’t. Just like everything else. I personally am not one of them.

Yeah…the tone on that post kind of surprised me, and I was having flashbacks to 1999. I don’t hang out around the greater linux community as much as I used to. Those types on that thread are hurting the linux community as a whole.

I’m as big a fan of OSS as it comes. every piece I write goes out under a creative commons license, and I will happily give you my source code. But I completely understand (and empathize) if a programmer doesn’t want to release his/her source. (I play WoW, Guild Wars, and a few other games under linux, for instance.) And nowhere in any of the writings on OSS’s philosophy have I ever read that a programmer should never charge for the program. I worry that the entitlement to completely free/closed source software is going to be the death of the linux community. Or at least the continuation of the ghetto it’s currently in.

What we’re dealing with is specialized software. It’s the sort of thing academics and “real” writers would use. I don’t think it’s ever going to gain a market share against word processors for people who don’t really write or already have the tools they use. If you use specialized software (see also: Finale, Sibelius), you’re going to pay for it. I think those in the professions that use such things understand this, but the rest of the community might not. (A license for Sibelius costs upwards of $200-300, if you’re a student, last I checked.)

Thanks guys and girls,

Yes, it was a surprise to me. People still have to eat somehow?

Anyways, Linux will remain in beta status for some while yet. We’ll keep creating builds so the Linux community is not neglected. All in all, it will remain usable we’ll just increase the trial periods for Linux.

If people whinge about Scrivener software they are using effectively for free, then I can’t think of anything constructive the say about that sort of attitude - which as you’ve pointed out, only hurts the community itself.


Hearing from my fiance a bit about the whole to-do over the paid app thingy in ubuntu, it sounds like the snark on the comments was more of a reaction to the paid app thingy than Scrivener, per se.

But, cripes. I haven’t seen grousing like that since I used Debian. (Hence my flashback to the 90’s.)

There will always be people like, and they’re very vocal, because they’re very committed to the hyper-ideal of free software (not open source – free software. There is an ideological difference.)

However, they aren’t really the ones you have to worry about. The fact that WINE exists and is so popular proves that there are people willing to purchase licensed software on Linux.

HOWEVER, a rather more important group you will have to at least respond to are those who worry about the quality of ported software. Software ports have been done in the past (WordPerfect was ported twice, and was a mixed success each time) and it carries with it a certain level of worry.

For example: when I first started downloading and testing the software my understanding was that the Linux version was being offered but was unsupported, because it was essentially a recompile, and what you got was what you got. That was fine by me, because I’d already got it running under WINE so I knew if the Linux version didn’t work out, I had a backup.

But there are problems specific to the Linux version of Scrivener that do not exist in the Windows version… if you’re running 64-bit Linux you need to jump through a few hoops to enable spell checking functionality, and even when you do that you get an issue where perfectly spelled words are underlined as misspellings, and the only way to make those underlines go away is to add the words to your local dictionary. Because this appears to be specifically a linux problem, not a windows problem, based on what I understood with the downloads, I have no reason to expect this problem will ever be fixed.

That, more than an objection on ideological free software grounds, will make some people hesitant to use the Linux version. From my perspective at this point the Linux version is something to open up every once and a while and play with, but if I actually want to write I run the Windows version in Wine – because I know the Windows version will have bug fixes and will be supported.

Anyway, just an extra thing to think about. I hope you continue to publish the Linux version because it’s very cool and I think at some point someone will figure a workaround for the spellcheck problem (like they did for enabling spellcheck on 64 bit machines in the first place) but it’s still worth nothing.

I would like to add my thanks for working up a native Linux version.

I think one of the advantages you will find in supporting the Linux community is that we tend to be excellent bug reporters; for example, if I report a bug, and you want a logfile, well, I can usually scrabble around under the desktop and find it. If you need me to get on the command line and bash around, as it were, Linux users are mostly used to that.

More than happy to help work the kinks out, and will be happy to pay a reasonable fee to use the final version. Right now, it’s not quite functional enough for me to use.

off to report a bug or three…

again, thanks!