Just some reassurance and a couple of reminders from another Linux user and long-time Scrivener user who uses it on Mac, Windows, and on Linux (both natively and in Wine). I’m not in any way trying to tell you what to do; just answering some implied questions and giving you a bit of info that–should you want to continue using Scrivener–will hopefully set your minds at ease and give you a bit of confidence that there will be a Linux release, and that you have other options to access your Scrivener projects should you choose that route. Also, there’s a bit of history that may give you a better perspective.
This is all according to my understanding of the state of things, and I’m sure someone will correct me if I am in error on any point.
* First, if all of the below were to fail, you can always compile and export your projects either as parts or as a whole, and if a beta or trial runs out before you get a chance to do so, you can turn back your system clock temporarily to do so. Even failing that, Scrivener projects are stored as rtf files in subdirectories of your project directory, and are thus accessible outside of Scrivener. One may also choose to use an external editor from within Scrivener.
- If memory serves, Lee has stated that a Linux release is planned–it just will not be officially supported. (See below for more on that count.) I’ve been using Scrivener for a number of years now, and although there’ve been unavoidable delays in some areas, I’ve never seen anyone at Lit&Lat fail to follow through on something they’ve said.
* Although the Linux release won't be [i]officially[/i] supported, [i]official[/i] Scrivener developers work on the Linux version (which is based on the Windows code). Considering that they've released several Linux betas, and that these are smart people whose time is valuable, it would make [i]very[/i] little sense for them to allow that work to go to waste. Also, in addition to users helping users, Lit&Lat staff have so far been helpful in providing "best effort" support for Linux users.
* It is my understanding that the biggest reasons that the Linux version is not officially supported, and that its release will trail the Windows release are that a) there are so many Linux distros to take into account, and b) the Linux version is based on the Windows code, so it makes more sense to get the Windows version right first; that'll make it easier to track and squash bugs in the Linux version. The sheer number of distros is also much of why the Linux betas (and presumably the final Linux release) are released as generic tarballs (which, by the way, are perfectly usable in every distro of which I am aware that they've been tried) instead of as packages.
* As long as tarballs released and there are users who want debs or rpms or whatever, those will happen. Randy usually takes the lead on that, but I put together the most recent deb, and although I'm not in any way a part of Lit&Lat staff I'll commit right now to building a deb of the final Linux release if no one else steps up to the plate.
- Since Scrivener releases come with an automatic trial period, there’s always time to make sure the native Linux version works on your system before paying for it. And since the Windows version runs quite well under Wine, you also have that option, should you choose to avail yourself of it. As I understand things, a Windows license covers the Linux version.
*Lastly, a little history: The reason Scrivener was Mac-only for so long was that it was originally "scratch-your-own-itch-ware" written by one person, and was written in Cocoa because that was the language with which he was most familiar. To release it for Windows (something for which there'd been demand for years), therefore, required a trusted developer who would be willing to pretty much write new code from the ground up while trying to keep things compatible with the Mac version, and to keep the user experience as similar as possible across platforms. In this case, it was done in such a way as to make it easily reworked for Linux, which is why we have a Linux version, and why the Linux version is based on the Windows code.
Hope some of this helps set your mind at ease.