I have now had 3 trips in the last year where a beta version has expired while I have been travelling.
I am not an “every day” writer - I do it in spare time and that often comes in the form of long flights (like San Francisco to Sydney long). Three times in the last year, I have opened up my laptop that I use for writing after boarding a plane, fire up Scrivener, and find out that the beta has expired and I have to download an update - impossible on flight mode.
Yes, this is a small thing, an irrelevant thing to many of your users. But to me - it’s been hard. One recent outing, I had just updated to the latest beta a week before thinking I was planning ahead, but didn’t notice that the beta was expiring on the very day I flew.
Why not make the beta period way longer than the month or so it seems to be right now, even if there is planned for a new beta version soon? Or, allow us to continue using a beta past your cutoff date. Doesn’t need to be forever, but NaNo is right around the corner, as are a couple more trips!
You can always go into your settings and change the date on your machine to be able to use an expired beta. The betas are a month long to test fixes and find new bugs, which is the primary purpose of a beta. I use the beta for my primary writing too, but it IS still beta software, so it’s main purpose is to find bugs.
Thanks everyone for the replies. Having developed software myself for quite a long time, this is actually not true. Allowing older betas to survive in the wild doesn’t slow down the process and it doesn’t make more work other than an occasional extra post of someone who is commenting about an older version. Even then, this can be beneficial as issues can be found in older versions that have not been addressed in newer versions.
Ultimately, it’s up to the devs. I was putting my request and my reason for why. I appreciate the beta being extended to December 2 although that’s super tight for NaNo and would have preferred it to go slightly longer for compiling of the NaNo output before a newer version is released and potentially impacts on people’s data.
For me, given this beta thing has gone for over a year, I’ll be reverting back to the older stable version of Scrivener for this year’s NaNo. New novel so won’t hurt to do it in the older software.
Fingers crossed the dev team can get 3.0 for Windows over the line soon! I’ve been using Scrivener for 7+ years now and swear by it.
I think the issue to consider here is the sheer scale of Scrivener use, over the world, and then the not-so-technical level of many writers using it, if we get a plethora of actual software persons here.
To invite non-updating-Beta users would be opening a floodgate, one would presume – as many would not then update, and thus bring those late complaints, which you are correct that sometimes can be used, but probably not so often on the kinds of things that still pop up where many corrections have been made. Multiple or high-resolution displays, to mention one…
I can well appreciate the problem when you end up out-of-date and out-of-touch. As you’re a software person, the offset the laptop’s date method would get you through.
Hang in there, and the actual quality of the releases has been simply excellent, given the scope of what Scrivener does, and the small but mighty crew who attend so carefully to making it all ‘right’ !
Thanks everyone for the replies. Having developed software myself for quite a long time, this is actually not true.
That depends on your process and toolchain to a certain degree. L&L have been very clear about their reasons for why they run their betas this way, and it’s a process they’ve been using for many years (when they run open betas and not closed betas).
As a workaround, have you considered putting in a calendar reminder of when the current beta expires? That way it’s something you can scan for on your calendar during your trip prep and see if you need to take a few minutes to check for updates before you get on a plane. It’s not perfect – but it could help keep you from being stranded next time.
I have to say that I agree with the OP, especially since the beta/RC period is taking as long at it is. At the very least, there should be an ‘override’ option that allows you to use an expired beta for another one or two weeks, giving you time to find a place that has a good (and fast!) internet connection…