@jac: Or even trying to change the indentation at all. Is this what you are referring to when you said that you “wouldn’t even bother with numbering types?” It seems I have wasted untold hours over the years trying to force Scrivener to do something it isn’t made to do.
You could say that the degree with which I do not format my text while writing, and rather state what I intend the text to function as, that it all can fall under the umbrella of that point you quoted. To clarify, here is what a few simple lists look like for me:
Now when I say my lists look like that, I mean that, literally. I type in "1. " and then the text, press return and type in "2. " and so on. It is impossible for my lists to break because they are as solid as the letters of the alphabet I’m using to write the words into them. It does not even matter if I number them correctly, because I am only saying a general thing with “3.”, it is not “third list item”, but “a list item”. I could number each line “1.” and not bother. There are only these two types of lists—and so I am not even saying “1.” as oppose to “a)”, I am saying something much more general than that.
Now if you open up the user manual and flip through pages of that, and look at the various lists, you’ll see what appears to be a lot more going on than what I just described. I am being very, extremely, picky about the design of a list. I have spent probably close to a cumulative week of time tweaking the spacing and indent settings, as well as bullet selections and other aspects of their design. There are so many different formatting variations and such going on, in fact, that were I do attempt to execute this directly, using Scrivener’s formatting tools in the editor, I would probably require close to a dozen different styles, just to handle the differences in line padding between different sequences of elements and within different contexts (such as whether a list is within an already flush left indented block like a hanging-paragraph). All of that detailed variation and design vanishes once you look at the source text—which again pretty much all looks like the above example.
But here’s the key thing: none of that work ever needs to be duplicated, because it is a stylesheet that takes my simplistic “1.” in the creative writing space, and turns it into a formatted list item in a PDF. If I ever change my mind about a particular aspect of the design, I need only change the stylesheet and every single list (of which there probably close to 500!) is updated flawlessly for the next revision.
I just did that in fact a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t happy with how much space was in between sequential paragraphs within one list item, and have adjusted the padding to better accentuate them. If I were using Scrivener like a word processor and messing with indents and spacing in the writing environment, then such a revision would have probably meant weeks of going through thousands of documents and applying formatting. And that’s of course pretending for a moment that rich text even really allows you to format multiple paragraphs into a single list item anyway, as they don’t really, whereas for me it is a matter of typing in the following:
1. First paragraph.
* And we can even go on to add a nested bullet list.
* By following the same rules at all indent levels.
Or conclude with another paragraph.
2. Next list item.
3. Third list item.
That is the essence of what I mean, when I say, I don’t even bother with any of this while writing. All I care about is: is this list better stated with a general marker for each line, or does it require enumeration as a sequence of thoughts or steps?
To return to what I said in that post though, I fully realise this approach is not for everyone—I am not saying, as a response to bugs in the Windows list tool, that everyone should switch to writing in Markdown. But I do think that Scrivener on the whole is meant to be used more like Markdown is, than it is meant to be used like Word or LibreOffice, where you must be meticulous about your formatting in the writing environment itself. If we are to put writing methods on a spectrum, where Markdown and other plain-text typing methods are on one side, and desktop publishing oriented stuff like LibreOffice is on another, then Scrivener would be a bit nebulous to place anywhere in particular, as there are multiple ways of using it (including Markdown, obviously), but its design intent is closer to the plain-text ideal than the DTP/WYSIWYG ideal. So given that, it makes sense to me to lean into that, rather than fight it, or try to make it act more like a DTP. It’s really not a good tool for that, being on both platforms a tool written using stock text editing components that are both notably fragile when pressed beyond basic usage.
@Julian_M1: I don’t care much to discuss numeric vs alphabetic, but when 99% of the page is alphabetic, numeric provides a greater visual contrast, and it’s a lot easier to read 184.108.40.206 that a. b. a. c would be.
Exactly, and to conclude all of the above, I would also note that I made that initial comment before realising this was a bug report about a pretty serious bug in the Windows version that effectively makes multi-level list editing extremely annoying.
None of the above was meant to be a comment on that, but rather my initial impression of there being too much complexity added to list formatting, and finding that complexity fragile at a later date—which sounds more like what you’re talking about as well—that spending an inordinate amount of time on list design can sometimes be wasted since it gets lost or changed through other actions, or the act of exporting. I would hope that it is understood that at this point we’re just talking about theories and not whether or not your bug report is valid or something!
I might not myself agree with you on whether using the bullet list builder is a suitable substitute for outlining directly in the binder—that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me personally, but I suppose I get where you are coming from. It is less mechanical, in that Outliner or Binder-based outlining requires more keystrokes to execute. That is something I have a number of ideas for improvement on, as I firmly believe it should be as seamless as typing in a bullet list, and feel that would go a long way toward resolving the friction some have toward using the outline design for all phases of a project, rather than purely the structural implementation (often as a matter of necessity). Incidentally we did in fact experiment with use Tab/Shift-Tab in these contexts for handling indent. It is nice—but it kind of fell flat when you consider the Outliner’s multi-column capabilities, where it can be used as much like a spreadsheet as an outliner, and tabbing is a very natural way of switching between editable cells. It lead the brain to competing expectations and confusion.