Ulysses 1.5 released

Haven’t seen this posted anywhere so I thought I’d alert you. The new version is officially out. I have to say it’s definitely improved. There are still some interface quirks I don’t like. But it’s a better product than it was.

One thing it has that I do like is a feeling of rock-solidity. Maybe it’s the German engineering.

Thanks, I’m downloading it now. I did like the direction it was going in during beta. It will be interesting to see how it ended up.

I just d/l’ed and played with it. And while I prefer the general writing environment of Scriv – the note-taking, the corkboard and its movable cards, and the nested folders – I would like to draw attention to two nice features:

  1. the use of “marker styles” that can be definable upon export. this is almost exactly the type of user-definable, graphical tagging (escaping) that I was arguing for in my post about semantic sytles. The only slight modification to how they set it up currently, is that – upon export – you can have the text that is highlighted by the “marker style” be enclosed by a single character, before it and after it. My modification would be to have user-definable starting tags and ending tags (i.e. you define what goes before, and what goes after, in the exporter), just as they currently allow for inline markup. So, just in case my earlier post sounded way too abstract, we basically have a real example of how it could be, in Ulysses.

  2. an alternative way of writing footnotes and exporting them, somewhat akin to what was being suggested here, and moreso in popcornflix’s suggestions in this post. Basically, it seems that the note pane allows for multiple notes, and then any of the notes can then be turned around and assigned as footnotes. Very cool and efficient, if I read that right. In Scrivener, this type of functionality could be assigned to a dedicated “footnotes” pane, in the same area that the current notes/keywords/references pane in the Inspector.

I’d love to hear what others think about those features in particular.

Please note that I am not interested in ripping off Ulysses (even if it provided some inspiration in the early stages of Scrivener’s development). Ulysses and Scrivener, although they serve a similar user-base, are very different programs in philosophy and implementation, and will fit different working styles. Ulysses is a fantastic app, and I bear no one any ill will if they decide to use Ulysses instead of Scrivener because they prefer its different way of doing things. It seems they have produced another nice update, and as always I wish the Blue-Tec team the best of luck, as they are very cool guys in my experience.

Note that just because X app has Y feature, it doesn’t mean Scrivener has to have it. Also note that Ulysses has been around a lot longer and is maturer than Scrivener, and this 1.5 update is a major update (and it says a lot for the developers that it is still a free update, when they could easily have called it 2.0 and charged an upgrade fee). No doubt Scrivener will undergo overhauls in the future, but two months after 1.0 was released is not that time.

All the best,

EDIT: Talalazem, I apologise if the above came off as a little harsh in tone - I feel I have been banging my head against a wall trying to answer some suggestions recently, and I think I let this spill into my reply to you, which was not intended. So: sorry. :blush:

Keith (et al),

I don’t think you have anything to apologize for. You’ve produced a terrific app that has changed the way a lot of people approach their writing work. Sure, there are other apps out there, each of which has its strengths and challenges. You made it very clear, from the outset, that you were essentially writing Scriv to fill a gap for yourself and that if others wanted to come along for the ride, they were welcome, but that you explicitly were not promising a development path for the program. In my view that was both candid and fair.

Having said that, over the several months I’ve been visiting the forum on a daily basis, I’ve grown increasingly worried that you are being plagued with a torrent of well-intentioned, but ultimately distracting and frustrating suggestions for improvements. Many of the suggestions have been first class, and yes, they would make a difference for many users. But they also have the effect (I worry) of transforming this work of love into a millstone for you. I for one would hate to see you become so frustrated that you stopped supporting the program or making the incremental improvements that make sense for you.

So, my questions are (and these are to all of us, not only to you Keith): “In what ways might the positive productive energy of this forum continue without overwhelming a one-man software company?” and “In what ways might Keith develop the resources to be able to respond to requests for new features or development directions so that his own strategic priorities can be met, while at the same time capitalizing on the creative energy of the forum?”

Please don’t think I’m putting on my shrink hat here. But I am genuinely concerned that if these related issues aren’t addressed, the promise of Scriv and of this forum may be compromised.

All the best to all of you,


I think that in many ways Tim is right, and might if I might quote “The Clash”

I’m all lost in the supermarket
I can no longer shop happily
I came in here for that special offer
A guaranteed personality

The program never guaranteed anything, and sometimes I think like may other people I get lost in the one more feature would make it perfect world of software. If I sit back and think about it paper and pen work well, not as fast but well, so adding extra helpings of features might not be what is needed. Just my thought for what it is worth.

Keith: while nice of you, there was no need to apologize. I for one do appreciate your empathy and patience with our suggestions; when people invest their “way of working” into your software, something they may use day-in and day-out for their bread-and-butter, or for their life’s passion, they’ll have an emotional and practical investment in your product. But like Tim said, don’t let people like me wear you down! :wink:

I’m still waiting though…for you to head up to Oxford for our cups of latte. :slight_smile:

Msy I suggest renaming the Wishlist forum to Wishlist For Scrivener 2009?


2009??? You mean this decade? :slight_smile:

I’ve had a grumpy day today, it seems but I know 1.02 will make up for it… :smiley:

The evolution I have seen: Keith began with a program for writing stories and novels, then it morphed into screenplays, then into nonfiction, and now we have scholars who want footnotes, bibliography, thesaurus, dictionary, database, and typesetting. Scrivener should not become MS Word on the Thames. It’s a great little app for brainstorming, drafting, and then exporting to the usual bloatware for finish work.

Awright! Awright!

Scrivener 1/1/2010 00:00:01



I agree. In the beginning, still Scrivener Gold, I only thought of fiction writing in Scrivener, but after a while I started writing academic articles, notes, and lectures, even transformed my next book into Scrivener. Adjusting the flexible tools (note pane, classified annotations, searchable highlights, additional binder folders for graphs etc., and Scrivener links) to the needs of an academic text was a pleasure.

I would appreciate if Scrivener stays as simple as that.

Recently, I agreed in integration of BibTex or MMD code for merging bibliographies with Scrivener. But I will withdraw from that for some years (yes, years). Concentrating on bug fixes now is a good policy. And perhaps, thinking about how to simplify the UI will be a creative pleasure for someone like the Scrivener developer. Adding new features is easier than simplifying existing features in a way that they can serve elegantly several purposes. But, this is for later.

I did not take part a lot in the discussions on this forum during the last weeks mostly because Scrivener works perfectly well the way it is.

All the best,

Okay, who is this impostor posing as “Maria”? :slight_smile:

What the h*** happened here? I got an email with a notice and saw somebody using my name too write incredibly stupid rubbish! I want normal returns in index card in corkboard view!


To be honest, I am glad that you, the one called Keith, encouraged us and me frequently to send our wishes during the beta phase, and I almost forgot that you called me a nagger at the same time :wink: . Scrivener is very closed to what I need and wish closer, than any other software. I really appreciate your sense of simple elegance and would encourage you to go on that way even to a radical degree!

Maria, the original one

Scrivener is a writing tool. This is the homepage screen, this is what I saw when I was thinking of purchasing:

So, I assue it’s ok for people with particular academic writing in mind to use Scrivener, since they are included in “writers of all kinds”. I assume their suggestions are ok, too, and by doing so they’re not subverting the original purpose of the program. Not everything they suggest needs to be implemented, but – with decorum and respect – they should be able to make “wishes” in the wish list as well. I personally don’t see these suggestions as bloat; bloat is when an app has things that are not central to its ethos, to its purpose of being.

For argument’s sake, let’s assume Keith hadn’t included searchable highlights, and someone suggested them. Would that then be bloat, just because it wasn’t already there?

The suggestions I have made are geared towards academic and technical writing of a particular sort, yes. But they are suggestions that basically build upon what is already there – such as the excellent MMD integration in regards to my Styles suggestion; or (not mine, but…) the footnoting suggestions. They are not the equivalent of saying “Why doesn’t it work like MS Word”? Is the fact that Scrivener can already export through MMD to LaTeX, or do footnotes as they stand now, bloat? To you, maybe. To me, and to some friends that I’ve sent to check out Scrivener: this was what made us purchase.

I think its a bit impolite to think that just because you don’t use something one way, that others shouldn’t either. Suggestions are just that…suggestions. And in my case, from having used Scrivener intensively for the past few weeks for a particular type of writing, and finding it excellent, but with room for possible small tweaks or improvements for greater functionality. For a niche of users? Maybe, but the decision to cater modifications to that niche is Keith’s call, not ours.

Nothing personal, Howarth or anyone else. Of course, I agree with Maria’s saying to keep things simple and elegant; but things can be simple and elegant while still being powerful under the hood (as it already is now).

Up to a point.

They say that most users use only about 10% of the features in MS Word. The problem is that everyone uses a different 10%. One man’s bloat is another man’s critical feature.

MS Word became the bloated monstrosity that it is because every single feature was a critical selling point for someone.

The screenwriters want page break indicators and hard margins for Action. The academic writers want multiple notestreams and Bibtex integration (and Endnote, and…). Make everyone happy, and pretty soon you end up with a mess that no one can use, plus Keith never gets time to work on his own writing.


Oh, boy. Now I’m getting lessons in manners. As it happens, I am a scholar with a long list of publications. You are free to use Scriv any way you want. And make any sort of suggestions that you wish. It’s up to others to hear you.

Oh, and the obligatory exit line…nothing personal, Talazem.

OK, now, folks!

Late Saturday night an’ all.

Let’s hew to the course and make sure that Keith has fun making Scrivener and we have fun using it.

Do that . . . and somfin (more) elegant and happy will appear in good time.


I’m sorry if I came across as being impolite, talazem. That was not my intention at all. And yes, of course, you are right that a suggestion is nothing more than a suggestion. This is sometimes an awkward medium for communication. What I was beginning to read, from Keith (and I could very well be wrong), is that the plethora of suggestions we were generating was starting to become a burden, that this baby he had created was turning into something that was demanding more of him than he had anticipated. I projected myself into his position and all I heard was incessant clamoring for more more more, when he had clearly stated this was never his intention. Because I love Scriv so much, I was worried that he might throw his hands up in frustration and say, “This just isn’t worth it any more. This isn’t what I bargained for.” I would hate that to happen. So I suggested that perhaps we find better ways of tapping the energy and vitality of this little network so that we might still capture its ideas, but not drive Keith’s one-man shop to distraction in the process. I apologize if anything I said or instigated has offended you. I still believe that the original questions I posed would be worth answering, both for Keith and for the people who value this forum. I am convinced we can find a way to meet both Keith’s need for sanity and our interest in contributing to the best Scrivener possible — if we operate as a community of shared interest.

All the best to all of us,


Hahaha! You two really cracked me up!!! (of course I was kind of cracked to begin with… :slight_smile: ).