On Line Version??


I won’t lay claim to any numbers expertise, per se, because ultimately there is only one number that matters to me: one. Meaning, me.

My next laptop will be a Chromebook. I’ve played around on them, love 'em, and intend to have it replace my 4-year-old Asus Windows 7 laptop when I make the switch. (And please, don’t bore me with ‘yeah, but, it’s not a real computer’ arguments… I know the abilities and limitations and know what I want and what I’ll be buying, thanks.)

That said, I am a working novelist. And I do plan on getting a Chromebook soon. And yes, it would be ideal to be able to use Scrivener on Chrome OS. Sure, I can accomplish that via Chrome Remote Desktop (my desktop is Windows and that won’t be changing anytime soon). But it’d be far better to be able to run my favorite writing software.

Whether that’s accomplished via an online version, or a native ChromeOS app, I don’t really care. I just know that a Chromebook fits what I want to do with my next laptop. I’d rather not waste space on my Chromebook installing a dual-boot system to run Linux, either, personally.

That being the case, if L&L choose not to make an online or Chrome OS version of Scrivener, it’s sad but no great loss: I can still write drafts in Google Drive/Docs, and transfer the progress into Scrivener on my desktop when needed. It’s not that hard; barely even a hassle.

But would it be nice to run Scrivener native on Chrome or as a Web-based app? Yes. Yes, it would. :slight_smile:

Finally, in relation to the section quoted, you’re guilty of exaggeration; the list of developers for Chromebooks is expanding, not shrinking. As for manufacturers “abandoning the platform,” that’s also just plain incorrect on the whole.

Yes, Samsung ceased production to the UK… but only to the UK. Their Chromebook 2 is doing quite well in the US and Asian markets and there’s already talk of a Chromebook 3 being developed for 2015.

In early 2014, only about 4-5 companies were even making Chromebooks; now there are about a dozen. Newcomers in 2014 include big names like Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba, and Asus, to name the bigger ones. And HP entered the market last winter, I believe. So it’s not just niche companies, either.

Study up.

Except your’re not being realistic, Amcmo. You are playing VERY fast-n-loose with the numbers yourself.

As a working novelist, I know lots of writers. I hang out with others of my ilk, both online and sometimes in person. I know/have contact with hundreds of writers each year, and into four-figures if you add up all the different writers I’ve met in, say, the list three-years-plus alone, since moving to Oregon. Not counting any I met/knew in Minnesota before coming here.

There’s a reason why I’ve met so many: I’m active on writer-oriented chat boards, writer-oriented activities such as NaNoWriMo and ROW80, and I also do book formatting (print and ebook) as a side-job to my own writing.

So, I can tell you that your snarky “10, 20, 100?” comment was pure SWAG on your part and no more accurate that “a surprising number of writers.”

I can also say that ChromeOS/Chromebook comes up a lot in writers’ circles; almost as often as Scrivener, though Scrivener is, of course, far more popular, as apps tend to be what writers care about more than OS-talk.

I can also confirm that a commonly-expressed thought on the subject is, “I’d get a Chromebook in a hot second, if I could use Scrivener on it.”

That said, S&S has no obligation to serve that wish unless they choose to. I, for one, hope they ultimately choose to, but frankly, my shorter-term wish is for Scrivener for Windows to update/advance to 2.0 in 2015, catching it up with the Mac side on features. (And hopefully giving Windows users a way to output Kindle ebooks without configuring a “helper app.”)

But your numbers are no more based in direct experience than the number of the fellow you’re responding to. If you aspire to be “realistic,” that is.

As for your claim that “most are doing browsing and a little low-end word processing,” you’re off-base on that, as well. MS Office is now available on ChromeOS, as is Adobe Photoshop. It’s clear that would be news to you, but it is true.

Your bias and misinformation are showing, Amcmo.

First of all, only a Mac elitist would say “sub-$1000” makes MacBook Air an acceptable alternative to sub-$400, sub-$300, and sometimes even sub-$200 Chromebooks.

As for the “full computing experience,” you’re outdated on your info on the capabilities of ChromeOS, which have grown by leaps and bounds even in the last year. Don’t insult the collective intelligence of members of this board. I know a lot about Chromebooks, and clearly know the market for them far better than you.

Now, I used to be a Mac-head. And a proud one. So proud I used to subscribe to Guy Kawasaki’s MacEvangelist email newsletter, back when that was a thing in the mid-90s.

And I clearly remember the days when the VERY SAME charges were made by Microsoft against MacOS.

“Oh, it’s a nice little boutique OS if you’re in publishing or education, but if you want a full computing experience, you really need to be on Windows.”

Are you old enough to remember those days?

So, I would expect a Mac fan not to engage in such disingenuous OS-bashing as you’re doing here with ChromeOS.

Guess what: Only ONE company makes MacOS hardware, and that hasn’t exactly hurt the MacOS or its mobile cousin, iOS.

Stop the demagoguery.

Same stuff here. This is a carbon copy of the sort of BS Bill Gates used to sling at MacOS… even while he was cribbing notes and recreating Windows 3.1 into Windows 95, which a sales rep for Microsoft once bragged to me, in a training session, was “exactly like a Mac. Except better, because it’s Windows.”

I mean, really: Microsoft used to discourage people away from Macs because “You can’t run Windows on one.”

Duh! That was the friggin point, and yet John Carmack nearly ruined Apple before Jobs came back, trying to prove Gates wrong, trying to force Macs to run “Windows emulation software.” (And ghosts of that mentality linger even today in MacOS.

Yes: you can’t run Windows software or Mac software on a Chromebook. You also can’t fire up a Boeing 747 with the keys to a Toyota Prius, but so what?

If you want to spend your time bashing anything that’s not Apple, you don’t appreciate Apple’s history, and you’re not doing a very good job of sounding informed in the process.

But, nice try.

At least we agree that whether L&L want to bring Scrivener to either an online version, or a ChromeOS version, is their decision.

I’ll be getting a Chromebook either way. I’d love a native version of Scrivener to run on it, but if one is never made available, it’s so easy to move stuff from Google Drive/Docs to Scrivener when I need to, that it’s hardly even worth talking about it like it’s an end-all/be-all thing.

It’d be nice. But it’s not critical either way and won’t change my decision to make my next laptop a Chromebook either way.

P.S., I noticed in the thread an honest question was asked about "how much would you be willing to pay for an online or ChromeOS version of Scrivener and, so far as I can see, no one’s given a straight-forward answer.

So I will:

If Scrivener for ChromeOS were made, and available in the Chrome store, I’d be willing to pay the same price for it as the Windows license I purchased when I got my Windows version.

At the time, retail of the Windows version was $40 USD and I was already considering it. Then, there was a one-week sale on Amazon and I was able to pick it up for half-off. So I was willing to pay $40, and ended up lucking out and paying only $20 USD. (And I expect to pay again when the Windows version jumps to 2.0.)

Just as I would expect to pay that if I had a MacOS device that I wanted to add Scrivener to. I own Windows, but if I bought a MacBook Air, I know I’d have to pay $45 or whatever it is priced at at that time, to get Scrivener on a new Mac device.

In that same way, I would expect to pay $40-$45 for a ChromeOS version, unless I lucked into a temporary sale and got a significant discount on it. (Such as the NaNoWriMo winner discount.)

So, I’m just me, but I’d be prepared to pay the standard price for a ChromeOS license, just as I did for my Windows version.

The charge that “all Chromebook owners are only interested only in free or almost-free software” is spurious and misleading.

the larger problem with any of the linux variants in the “poor man” class is the same as the windows tablet problem: there are too many cpu variants to be “practically supportable”. This argument can be made toward Linux in general, but most “desktops” are running a 100% standardized CPU core (x86 based).

For the currently unsupported linux scriv to be supported on all possible hw combinations for chrome (which is just linux) would require a huge financial investment for hw, builds, technical support, and code remediation.

Not a realistic option.

On the other hand, a used intel based laptop, a 4gb USB stick (for the linux installer) and you have all the power of chrome (if you want to limit yourself) on a full linux platform that can run scriv. I can do that here for $us50 from a hw recycler.

The $$ argument is a red-herring. No more valid to folks like me than you think the “user base” argument is.

Actually, most PCs currently are x64-based, not x86.

The change to 64-bit computing earmarked that market shift.

My Win7 machines have two “program folders.” The regular one (for x64-based apps) and the x86 programs folder, for older 32-bit Windows apps.

As for “dealing with all the hardware variants,” most Windows programmers have common libraries to handle such subroutines and customization; and it’s not even uncommon in Mac development as there are the older Motorola-PowerPC-based Macs and the newer Intel-based Macs.

I’m sure there would be similar “standard libraries” around that deal with this, taking much of the work out of it.

Of course, we all know 90 percent of the work in programming is sweating the details of the last 5-percent of making a program work.

But programmers are used to that.

Again, that said, it’s a decision that rests with L&L alone, and no amount of cheering or booing from either side ultimately matters.

They’ll make Scrivener available on the platforms they choose, when they choose. :slight_smile:

This will be my standard response whenever a programmer tells me something is difficult from now on. “Just use the Standard Libraries,” and “you programmers are used to that.”

Yeah. My dev staff must all be idiots.

Thank you for making my point. There is no standard in this world if you are dealing with multiple manufacturers.

If you look at the low end hardware you will see that it is NOT standardized (in my stable we have, ARM7, M3, x86, and amd64). For a 2 man linux shop, it is not realistic to build, then package for each core and os variant. And distributing source code is not an economically smart decision in this case either. Supporting more than the major desktop variants just doesn’t make sense.

But as you say, this is an L&L decision.


But the debate on whether one should promptly zap their new Chromebook with Linux, turning it into a $300 computer, is one I’ll gladly make popcorn for. :smiley:

It “sounds” good except for the arch problem (which I know you know so I’m talking to the ethers here). How many people other than garpu really want to build everything from source at every turn? That’s the entire reason I moved to OSX in the first place. No more building of thing (except of the avr junk I keep getting myself into).

Pop me s bowl too.

Make that most new PCs. Maybe. But there’s a whole lot of low-end and legacy hardware out there. Much of it in use as “second” computers or hand-me-downs that people use just for, say, writing.


Removed by moderator. Let’s maintain a decent level of civility, please.

Yup! :slight_smile:

Don’t pretend like that.

Microsoft, for example, helps game developers out by offering “standard code libraries” such as OpenGL, Silverlight, .NET Framework, and whatever else they offer.

Sony does the same thing for PlayStation development. A common item available was the code to generate an explosion effect in a game. There were lots of other such code libraries out there for all sorts of other effects. They developed it not to limit developers, but to save them time. Some developers would still go ahead and create their own explosion-effect-code anyway, just to stand out… but the standard code library was there if they wanted or needed it.

Lots of other examples of this sort of thing.

I’m not suggesting it makes coding trouble-free or fast, per se. But can the disingenuous garbage. I don’t know if Google has a subset of code that can be used in development to deal with that specific item per se, but I do know they have excellent support for developers and an item like that might be available to make such work less labor-intensive since the base code is there, even though it needs to be integrated in and customized to a degree. The “last five percent” of code-development that takes up 95 percent of development time.


But if you prefer to troll and belittle, that’s your choice.

My intention is neither to troll or belittle. It was to mock slightly, but that’s because that’s my sense of humour and it seemed from your previous posts that you had a sense of humour and could take it in good spirit. Think of it as good natured banter. Like this:

I wonder if Keith and Lee know that Sony have made some explosion effect code readily available?


I feel the same way about authors of books. They’re all complaining that it’s soooo difficult, but there’s this whole dictionary of words readily created for them to use, handily cross referenced in pre-packaged thesauri and backed up with a standard library of clichés and idioms to deploy.

But underneath that mild mocking was a very serious point (one that I suspect will be appreciated by the programmers out there).

Really? I’m not sure that’s what you meant.

If a developer told me that he was 90% done and the program still wasn’t working, I’d tell him to scrap it and start again because the design is wrong.

Another problem with the “standard library” approach is that we have assumed that standard libs aren’t in use. We do know the the win/lin version is using a cross platform set of libs. Are the “more standard” libs that allow the win team to make a lin version that is MORE portable than already exists and is more cross architecturally supportable.

You know, java doesn’t do this all that well for complex apps so I’m pretty sure that a compiled executable will be even harder to support. And to clarify “complex”: we are talking internal/io management, not “lots of CPU”. Most games are not complex in the same way scriv is complex. as odd as that sounds think about these points.

  1. games have simple “file structures” in user space
  2. content in games is known and managed/optimized in advance of lading
  3. UI elements are not “variable” or “user defined” at nearly the same scope (color vs number of editor panels).
  4. the user interaction with games is tightly controlled. Scriv is free form.

I think if, as KB and such have hinted a number of times, there was a large team of developers, not just 3 (4 if you count iOS), and that we were already at parity between the OXS/Win(lin) versions, AND iOS was done done, then maybe there would be consideration of more support.

It is very easy to miss “huge picture” issues from our (customer) side of things. Right now the effort of supporting more than desktop OS is just out of the L&L plan (KB stated that earlier). I’m sure they have it on the “someday” list somewhere though.

It is a well-known management fallacy that managers will assume that anything they don’t personally know how to do must be easy.

I would invite anyone who thinks putting together an online version of Scrivener would be easy to try it. All you have to do is throw together some components from standard libraries, right? And there’s even a long weekend coming up! What’s holding you back?


First off, I have not read all of this thread. So I apologize for that. I will probably make some points that others have made, points that have no doubt been argued to death and already defeated.

That being said, I shall insert my two cents.

There are already on-line apps for writing. I just spent a few minutes searching and have found two potentials already. One of them is very appealing, and it has tiered pricing. Basically, you have to pay for private projects as opposed to public projects, which are free.

There are different ways to go about pricing. But, subscriptions for on-line services are becoming the norm. Heck, Spotify subscriptions are $10 a month! People are paying it.

Okay, but will writers (may of them of the starving variety) subscribe to a pay service to write? Well, I am considering it, yeah. I’m not starving, but I’m not rich. I have some extra funds to put to a good use.

My favorite, and most useful app, is Todoist. It is a task manager app that is available on just about every platform, including on-line. Data is synced across the apps flawlessly (so far). And yes, I pay for this service. I have an annual subscription.

I personally believe an on-line version is something to consider. Now I haven’t done the math and I am not going to state outright that the investment is completely worth it. Only Keith can make that determination.

I can only speak for myself. And as far as that goes, I have been leaning towards getting a Chromebook for a while now. Whenever I think about it though, I remember Scrivener. “Oh yeah, I can’t.”

But the fact that there are already writing apps springing up on the web means that I won’t be held back for long!

The thing is, this goes beyond Chromebooks. Cloud-based in-browser apps are becoming more and more acceptable. Local apps are not on their way out yet, by any means. But the trend is there, no doubt about that.

Perhaps one way to start is to modify Scrivener to provide for cloud storage of files. Sure, this can be done by the app user with Dropbox (as I do). But Dropbox, Box, Google and Microsoft have APIs to allow developers to store and retrieve files from these services (AFAIK).

The next step would be to rewrite/convert/whatever the app itself to a browser-based version. There might be an investment in hardware here, or an upgrade to a web hosting service. But the storage of user files doesn’t necessarily have to part of the deal.

Anyway, that’s it. My two cents.

You forgot to mention iCloud, which is actually an excellent demonstration of why this is not as easy as it sounds.

iCloud works great for individual files. Many Mac applications use it to get synchronization between devices “for free,” right out of the box.

But it doesn’t work for Scrivener, and in fact is pretty much guaranteed to corrupt Scrivener projects because it doesn’t understand that the component parts of a project are related to each other. Oops.

Dealing with this sort of thing has been a major part of the delay in development of the iOS version of Scrivener: we’ve had to write our own synchronization tools on top of the standard APIs. (Full details in Keith’s blog post, here: literatureandlatte.com/blog/?p=405)


An online/ChromeOS version is probably a pipedream.

But as I believe I said, it doesn’t matter much.

After all, there are good writing apps in Chromebook, be it Google Docs or MS Word Online or even the website-based solution, Scriptito.

All of them are useful for writing in ChromeOS/Chromebook, and it’s a simple matter to pull that content out and import it into Scrivener once one is on their desktop PC.

I’ve been very fortunate that, thus far, I’ve never had Scrivener corrupt a file on me.

I save locally, but also synch to Google Drive and save backups to Dropbox. I like to use as many forms of file-loss protection as possible. :slight_smile:


I’ve been away, so only now getting to respond to your detailed post in response to mine.

Like you, I’m a ‘working novelist’, and CEO of a software company, and a motorcycle accessory distribution company (oh, and trying to be semi-retired, and half way through my third Masters).

Samsung, Yes killed the Chromebook in the UK, and by all accounts considering it’s future elsewhere.

. According to Samsung’s latest financials, they are taking a bath in chrome books and notebooks. (They still don’t come out and divulge actual sales, or lack thereof.)

I always chuckle when anyone says chrome books are ‘doing well’. All the ‘talking up’ seems to be based on IDC’s figures. IDC, who are paid by Intel, MS and Google, amongst others (not Apple) (and where people like Computerworld get their headlines from) always play up ‘sales increases’, yet reality is NONE of the Chromebook mfrs release sales figures, so where do IDC get their figures from (thin air?).

In every quarter I have checked IDC revise the previous quarter’s figures down to ‘prove’ an increase in the current quarter. Remember these are ‘ESTIMATES’ of sales. As in their ESTIMATES of PC sales, when they claimed Apple was losing ground earlier this year, the result was a polar opposite to IDC’s claims. The reality of actual Chromebook sales seems to be well south of the IDC estimates.

Like you, as a ‘working novelist’ I hang about on line and in person with a good number of writers, (not to mention students and academics) and the uptake or stated intent to go Chromebook has been almost zero (we’re in Australia and we typically have a higher uptake in tech than any country, despite the ‘Australia Tax’ people like Adobe slam us with) I know a couple of students are interested in the new HP Windows notebook that is priced on par with Chromebooks and comes with 12 months online storage. Personally, I’ll keep investing in a MacBook.

There was nothing SNARKY about my comment. It’s a valid question.

Hey, thanks for the compliment. Yes I have a MacBook, purchased based on a thorough eval of hardware and software. It’s my second, after twenty odd years with Windows notebooks.

In my 30 plus years at senior management level in multinationals and my own companies, I’ve had a wide and varied exposure to all types of computers and O/S’s. We evaluated Chromebooks in depth earlier this year as an easy to roll out thin client style option for some staff, and decided they weren’t a valid option for us. I’d say my, and my IT team’s knowledge of chromebooks is pretty up there. When we were investigating, the only stats our IT dept came across showed the predominant use for chrome books was browsing, and some basic wp work. That was pretty much in line with our assessment of their worth to us as a company.

Yes, I’m old enough to remember the early Mac vs windows days. I wrote an accounting package on the very first Mac’s. I also wrote functionally equivalent packages on both CP/M and DOS machines. I can tell you which was the easiest to use, pre-Windows.There’s no disingenuous O/S bashing involved, just a considered opinion. My history with Apple, Linux and Windows (My software company is an MS partner) is extensive.

My statement about not rushing out to develop for Chromebook, is based on my experience of financial reality in software development and sales. Doesn’t have to agree with yours, and doesn’t necessarily say I’m right, but I have the background.

If a Chromebook suits you, go for it.

To Da_buckster, there is ZERO evidence to suggest even the beginning of a trend which would result in locally based apps being on the way out. The uptake on cloud based apps has been minuscule to date. (Creative Cloud doesn’t count, it’s just a subscription version of a locally installed app).

Like many people, I like to be able to pull out the iPad, MacBook, (substitute whatever brand you prefer) and work even when beside a remote beach with zero mobile connection. Cloud based will never enable that.

I used to push for an online version of Scriv when Chromebooks first came out. I still use one for surfing and note-taking, but finally I decided to go for a low-cost Windows laptop and install the basic software I need: Chrome, Scrivener, 1Pass, Dropbox, Skype etc. Chrome also provides access to online versions of the iCloud apps like iWorks, Calendar, and Contacts.

It was easy to set up and cost only $350 for a 15-inch screen. The Woot site sells “refurbished” (surplus) HP machines at low prices. I’m now tempted to replace our aging iMacs with 23-inch large-screen HPs for only $650, or half the Apple prices. That’s with i7 processors onboard.

Given the constant stream of troubles posted here by Wintel users, I was uneasy about shifting to the platform, but so far it’s gone well and my Scriv files work on either Mac or PC. Out of caution, I’m keeping the files simple, but it’s nice to have this low-cost option.