On Line Version??

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: