Will Scrivener (preferably) always be around?

Hello Keith (and everyone else),

I’m probably not the only one on this forum or on this planet who loves Scrivener and Scapple and has taken them to his heart. Both of your programs won me over a few years ago when I was looking for an alternative to regular word processors.

I tried both and was so thrilled that I bought both, and I’m all the happier to see that version 3 has finally found its way onto Windows.

But that’s not what this is about (I’m sure many feel the same way I do).

I would like to know what the “backup” for Scrivener (and Scapple) will be in the future. By that I mean, will Scrivener still be around in 10 or 15 years?

I for one would not want to do without this program when I write stories. I’m sure there are many (young) hobby writers who are looking for good software like yours and still want to enjoy it in a few years.

Are there people doing the development (besides you) or are there plans who will take over Scrivener in x years? Of course you should not reveal any internal data now, it would just be good to know that Scrivener, not like some other software, is dependent on a single developer and as soon as this developer no longer exists or no longer develops, the program dies out.

A decision criterion for me used to be “How long do you think the program will be around?”. In the example of Photoshop, there is a huge company behind it, which is why further development is theoretically guaranteed. Is it similar with Scrivener?

I would be happy if your program would still exist in 10 years, because it makes writing for me incredibly easier and even more fun.

Thank you for a possible answer and your attention.

(Of course everyone can express his opinion in this thread).

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I don’t know as Keith could answer that. I’m guessing he likely hopes (like all of us) that it (and he) will be, but 10 years is a hell of a long time in software (and life).

If you’d asked me a couple of months back if I would be around in 10 years I’d have said hell yes. Queue massive heart attack and an intervention team dragged from their beds while ambulance en route. It really came down to a 2-3 minute window.

Long story short, nothing in life or software can be guaranteed out that far. (or even 2-3 minutes)

That said, even if all of L&L disappeared from the face of the earth tomorrow, provided there were no OS changes that killed Scrivener you could likely still be using it in 10 years. Even then, if there were major OS compatibility issues, you might be able to run the old OS in a VM to keep the old software running.


Nothing lasts forever, and I can’t speak for Keith.

But Scrivener 1.0 for the Mac was released in 2007. So we’ve already outlasted most “flash in the pan” software. And development is still ongoing, with new ideas being taken under consideration. That is, Keith hasn’t “moved on” to other things.


Haha, what Keith needs is a protégé/protégée! Someone to bear the torch when Keith’s time is done for Scrivener. So Keith, train someone in the ways of the (software codes of) force. Find a young Paduan and keep him/her to surpass you in your greatness!

Another option if a protégé/protégée cannot be found is to make the app open source once Keith’s time is up, so that it stays in the memory of those who find it dear and want to improve it.

Jokes aside, Scrivener is the single reason why I switched from Windows to Mac (at that time, it was a mac-only software). So I’m very interested as to the future of the app.

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Please remember that users buying licenses from a developer only entitles us to use that version of the software. It does not tie the developer into a lifetime – or, in this case, beyond-the-grave – commitment. Developers are human, too.


Not sure, if you got the mood behind my point. Lemme rephrase. I totally get licenses and such. Of course, no developer can be tied for a lifetime, that’s just cruel. I get it. So in a sense, any closed-source app one pays for, is essentially temporary, on account that life itself is temporary.

I was merely trying to provide an option for a world-after-Keith. The reality is that Keith created an app that was revolutionary. I’m not so sure, if there is a protégé in line; and if there is one, how can one ensure that the same level of care and concern is placed in the app, and it’s code-architectural direction remains on track?

To satisfy everyone, I just think open-sourced is a way to go for an originally closed source app post its original developer’s lifetime. Licenses are only valid based on the life of the independent developer creating the license. Once the latter expires, unless something is planned before hand, so does the former.

Open-source at least allows some level of control for users. Nobody is making any money for anything, I know, and in this sense, perhaps development will stagnant. But if the developer is no longer on the planet, what gives?

Let’s not consign Keith to an early grave here. Talk of his impending demise is ‘greatly exagerated’

The reality is that it’s Keith’s call if he wants Scrivener to live on tomorrow, a year from now, ten years from now, if he wants to sell it to Google tomorrow, or whatever. It really is not our business.

The reality is also that no matter how much effort one puts into trying to ensure one’s code legacy stays “on track,” one can’t really do it. Real life computing is going to change and evolve past any plans or contingencies.

My advice is to evaluate Scrivener as it exists now and see if it meets your current and near-future needs. As it stands right now, you can get your data out of it if you need to.

If Keith wants to hand over control of Scrivener to some open source group at some future point, that is totally his call – not ours. I think it’s a bit ballsy to even suggest such a thing just because one is a superfan of the software. Really really liking a piece of software does not grant entitlements beyond the purchased license.

If the past couple of years have taught us nothing, it’s that none of us are guaranteed immortality. You and I both could get hit by a bus tomorrow, or be struck by freak meteorites, leaving Keith to have a moment of sadness for us, and then wouldn’t this whole discussion be silly?

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You are, of course, free to ask any questions you like. However, L&L is a company who are reticent to commit to relatively near-term events like delivery dates or what features will be included in their software releases. As such, I find it extremely unlikely they will be sharing plans for Scrivener’s–and L&L’s–relatively distant future.

(Cue Keith to post a detailed timeline for training and handoff of the Scrivener applications suite to his children.) :nerd_face:


Dude, chill. I’m not demanding anything. Nor do I profess some particular agenda. At this point, all I’m doing is suggesting a possible solution to the problem underscored by the individual who began this convo.

I honestly don’t care what Keith does, because in all honesty, I don’t need to use the app as much as I used to. All I did was offer the open-source route, for if I were in Keith’s shoes, this is what I would do.

I’ve lost several family members due to the pandemic, so I know full well the fragility of life. Ultimately, however, no matter how much money you make, you can’t take it with you when you die. And this is probably where the whole open-source thought process is coming from. But if Keith doesn’t chime with this, it’s aiight yo. To each his own.

As I said, development is ongoing and Keith remains very actively involved.

Beyond that, we do not comment on future plans.

All I’m saying is whether it is actually a problem is Keith’s decision, not ours.

Well, yeah. I’m speaking hypothetically of course.

Please can I ask the OP if they will be around in 10-15 year’s time? Seriously, what a bizarre question to ask.

I had software that I depended on killed more than once. The second time was especially bad.

The official position of Literature & Latte is that we do not comment on future plans. No one outside of Literature & Latte has any more information than the OP. So I’m closing this thread as pointless.

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