On Line Version??

That is my wish!

That’s quite a big wish! I would have to re-code the entire thing in a programming language that could be used in a web app (i.e. not Cocoa), and then I’d have to give up all of my profits and live in a box. So, this probably isn’t going to happen. :slight_smile:

Having heroically used “Search” to find that there was actually an existing suggestion along these lines, I just want to resurrect this “mad, but not entirely insane” (I think) idea.

Yeah, the killer is that Scrivener would have to be entirely rewritten. But, then again, considering that nowadays (late 2010) the Scrivener for Windows project is “a completely separate development effort” anyway, perhaps a completely separate “Scrivener Web” development effort would not seem so crazy. (Still crazy, perhaps – just not so crazy! :smiley:)

I was thinking about this today – immediately after upgrading Scrivener on my Intel Mac Mini running 10.6 to Scrivener 2.0 and while wondering whether it was possible and (if possible) useful to getting the upgrade for a copy on my aging G4 iBook running 10.4. I think it would work, but I don’t use the (slowly dying) laptop that much anymore, and might well never replace it, so I’m not sure it would be worth it. Nevertheless, for those times when I am bouncing around and trying to write on the move, I am seldom sure what kind of computer I’ll have access, too – and so I thought, “A Web version of Scrivener that could access my Scrivener project files either from a USB Flash drive or from online storage would be pretty cool, actually.”

Now while I am not (currently) much of a cloud-computing road warrior, I am aware that there are trends towards more of this kind of thing for both apps access and data storage. So while it might not be an immediate hit to roll out Scrivener Web tomorrow, it might nevertheless seem quite timely within the foreseeable future of the next year or few.

Likewise, I read a lot about ongoing trends towards the growing significance of of social-network-like functionality for various kinds of online businesses, as well as collaborative work, and while the “writer’s art” might continue to be perceived as solitary, there would nevertheless be – besides possibilities for building features for collaboration and content sharing into a “Scrivener Web” – opportunities to harness an online Scrivener for, say, the development of online writing groups/workshops (not to mention for use in universities and other academic environments).

In such contexts, I think Scrivener’s underlying philosophy of being not just a kind of word processor but an integrated “project management tool” would actually put it in a strong position to achieve widespread use as an “online writing environment” for many kinds of writers.

So, though the idea of the work involved for anyone developing “Scrivener Web” might be horrendous :unamused: it might nevertheless be an idea worth keeping in mind. An idea whose time, if not yet actually come, might nevertheless be coming.


The thought of having an online version of Scrivener: Warm, fuzzy.
The thought of writing an online version of Scrivener: Daunting.

I wouldn’t wish that upon Keith. Although if there is a fanatic out there who thinks he or she can pull it off, there is a way to get a headstart: Cappuccino. It’s basically (a subset of) Cocoa for JavaScript. There’s also a tool to convert standard Mac interface files for its own format, so you could have a mockup pretty quickly…not that I recommend it :slight_smile:

I don’t know about a brand new, completely rewritten, online version (has someone checked Keith’s pulse?), but you can already access your projects online via the “cloud” using 2.0’s new sync features. I started experimenting with SimpleNote and, so far, it’s great. It’s so easy to sync the documents I’m working on to SimpleNote “for those times when I am bouncing around and trying to write on the move”.

It seems that Keith (bless him) has already thought this through and arrived at a solution that does not involve cardiac infarction.

Selfish Keith, thinking of his own health like that :stuck_out_tongue:

Online syncing will work for some. I personally don’t go anywhere for long without my MacBook.

If Google can’t do it worth a darn…

Yes indeed – though accessing the application via the “cloud” would be, of course, a rather different thing. More heart-attack inducing for developers :wink: but considerably more powerful for users.

I brought the topic (back) up because I think there would actually be real value in such a beast. Whether that value would (yet) exceed the amount of pain in producing it would be a separate issue! 8)


I’m really not a fan of cloud-based software, and I don’t think it’s more powerful, either… Anyway, there are certainly no plans for anything like this! Maybe in 2015, though, eh? :slight_smile:

Precisely, and Google is just trying to make a very (very) simple rich text editor work online. Scrivener is way more than just a text editor.

I am actually not (currently) a fan of “cloud-based” software myself. Most of what I’ve seen (Google included) is just not sufficiently usable or reliable yet. Still … I can imagine it becoming more usable and reliable. And I think it is precisely Scrivener’s role as something “way more than just a text editor” that actually would eventually make it suitable to the online environment; if more and more research is done online, then an online environment for organizing research materials and structuring the content based on them is not wholly without sense. So, like I say, perhaps something to keep in mind … if only for 2015 or thereabouts. 8) Especially if you found some other sucker to do the grunt work! :laughing:

Could it be more possible to have a thumb-drive (and therefore cloud-computing) capable install? Not requiring registry keys and whatnot, having the program refer only to files in the directory it’s installed within, should be a simplified method of enabling a feature similar to this without rewriting the entire program.

EDIT: I’m not claiming this would be EASY, simply EASIER.

Hmm, I’m not sure what advantage that would give you over just installing Scrivener on all of your machines. The licence allows for this, so it’s no problem from a legal standpoint. Just make the program available on all of your computers and share the project files around (or keep them on your thumb drive)—that is where all of the important stuff is stored.

USB//cloud support allows one to use Scrivener on machines without administrator privileges, such as university and school computers, internet cafes, public computers, and similar. It also makes syncing significantly less of an issue because you simply don’t have to do it, and allows you to use it on someone else’s computer without installing it. Just because Scrivener’s the best tool out there doesn’t mean all your writing buddies want to have it installed, and besides, installing it on a friend’s computer and, purposefully or otherwise, forgetting to uninstall would be a breach of license.

Okay, fair enough and good point, it does let you dodge the admin problem and such. I haven’t actually tried it yet, but theoretically Scrivener ought to run just fine off of a thumb drive. A little slower perhaps on launch, and there might be a few oddities involved with not running it from Applications, but by and large it should be functional. That wouldn’t be much different than running it off of a FireWire drive.

Unless you are talking about the Windows version. I don’t think that works yet.

I’ve not yet been graced by the good fortune of being able to afford a Mac, so yes, I am speaking of the beta version from my own experience (which is where I first noticed I needed administrator rights, as well). Would be ecstatic to hear that the final version would be more self-contained and therefore allow thumb drives.

With or without the ability, Scrivener’s a great program, and doesn’t need to change in order to have my support. It could just have still more :wink:

Huh, I hadn’t thought about trying to run the Scrivener app itself from a Flash drive – though, of course, I could only run it from a Flash drive plugged into a Mac, not a PC.

Possibly I am finding the (hypothetical) appeal of a (hypothetical) Web version curiously greater now that I’m based in South America. When I lived in the UK, I did drag my laptop around everywhere. Now that’s a less attractive option, largely for security reasons; Internet cafes and suchlike are everywhere, however, and most of my friends houses or flats are equipped with broadband. So the Web is almost surprisingly accessible, wherever I might be, but the laptop is less convenient.

(I also work in a local university, and had wondered about the uses of a Web version as a writing environment for both faculty and students. Funding being tight, one would never get uni members to cough up on their own, or the institution for loads of machine-based licenses that might well lie idle much of the time. But a handful of Web licenses for permitting X number of simultaneous users might appeal to them, and one could always easily add to X if the platform proved popular. Oh, well, anyway …)

Well, I’m still digging 2.0 on my desktop machine at home, anyway! :slight_smile:

I don’t see how any of the benefits of an online version would outweigh the massive negatives of an online version. Your web browser was never designed to be a software development environment. It’s aching horrible at it, and the JavaScripters have to go through contortions to make it even remotely resemble a reasonable “application”. Scrivener would be stripped of everything that makes it Scrivener. All of that fluidity and raw power would be a dull spinning “Loading Content Wheel” every ten seconds; badly clumsy UI hacks; and so on.

These things just sound way better on paper than they actually ever play out being. Just look at the actual landscape rather than the buzz and the hype. The real stuff we have in this so called “cloud computing” era. There are two breeds of application:

  1. The deadly simple and effective
  2. The somewhat complex and generally horrible

Neither of these have evolved substantially in the past four or five years. There is a reason for that: the technology essentially has an upper level right now on what is even possible. It’s like the iPhone—there is only so much you can do with an application on the iPhone. Gmail is basically what it was when it debuted. It has more stuff now, but it is no more elegant an application than it was right from day one. It’s a category one application by the way; simple and effective. Todoist is another cat 1. Todoist is basically identical to debut as well. Yes there are new features available, but the basic limitations of the technology and UI components are identical.

Now look at category 2. Again, no substantial evolution since inception. What was clunky and bad back then is still clunky and bad. GoogleDocs, barely even usable when you get down to it. It glitches all over the place under the weight of its own complexity. Now really objectively look at what GoogleDocs does. If this was a desktop application, it would be literally laughed off. It’s not even TextEdit! It’s not even good at what it does as a basic idea of a what a text editor should be. It’s worse than the word processors we had twenty years ago even when it isn’t glitching!

There is no category 3: but if there was, it would be desktop quality applications running on the web in any way (good or bad). There is nothing out there at desktop quality. The stuff that does work as well as a desktop application is practically Dashboard App in terms of complexity (which is, if you know how those work, only obvious). There are no DEVONthink Pros on the “cloud”. There are no Photoshops. No Scriveners. No Xcodes. No even OmniFocuses (there are some close parallels, but I’ve tried them all and they are not the same). These things don’t exist because they aren’t possible!

This isn’t the same as saying “Nobody will ever need more than 640kb or RAM”. I’m not saying it will always be a bad idea. I’m not saying we will always have better stuff running on physical material sitting in front of us, rather than physical material 3,000 miles away on a fibre link (forget wireless until we break the quantum puzzle). I’m talking right now, because that’s all that matters for a small company.

It’s nice to dream and all, but it’s a kind of development drain to expect every desktop program you like to magically end up in this dream world that is the “cloud”. I mean that very nicely, by the way. :slight_smile: It’s one thing to dream and another to say it’s “gotta be on the cloud” because I don’t buy that argument. We’ve been doing just fine with a piece of metal/plastic/whatever on our laps and desks for decades. Nothing has changed except a bunch of media hype in the past three years. The same stuff we built everything digital we currently have is still there, ticking away, doing everything way better than the buzz can emulate.

All right I’m done ranting. :slight_smile:

Where’s the “Kudos” button? I agree. Still support a future thumbdrive version though :wink:

Until the web is drastically redefined (see: web 2.5, maybe even 3.0) we’re not going to see desktop apps running well over the internet. I’ve seen some interesting attempts taking the form of pseudo-remote dekstop situations, but even those are clunky and difficult.

I would agree absolutely that the WWW was not intended as a software platform, and the attendant general suckiness of cloud apps is why I haven’t tend to use them. Still … since there’s no harm in kicking pie-in-the-sky ideas around. Someday there might be a good way of delivering this kind of thing. :smiley: