Wish for Scrivener and Scapple for Android

The best way for a small company to fail is through lack of focus. Small companies don’t have the resources to pursue every opportunity, every idea that a potential customer might offer. If they try, they won’t be able to do anything well. Not only will they fail to attract new customers, they will lose the ones they already have.

Scrivener has succeeded to this point precisely because it does not try to be all things to all people. That niche is already filled by Word and its competitors.

And so some suggestions are simply outside of Scrivener’s scope. Others might be nice, given unlimited resources, but are a lower priority than existing commitments. And still others might in fact be impossible to achieve, or at least so difficult that the risk/reward tradeoff is unrealistic. Berating us because your pet feature falls into one of these categories won’t change the situation.


I made no such claim. Yours is quoted below. Called on it, you simply moved the goalposts. Better schoolyard taunts, please.

JJSlote are you a software engineer?

If you’d rather write in a wiki, feel free.

If you find Scrivener a more pleasant environment, you might pause to consider why that is so. Perhaps not being machine neutral allows Scrivener to take advantage of the capabilities of the operating system? Perhaps the browser environment is inherently limited?


As a reminder, our forum rule is to be polite and respectful. We don’t demand that threads stay entirely on topic, but when the conversation derails into personal attack, it’s time to refocus. Debating the technical aspects of an idea is fine; deriding the people sharing their ideas is not.

It’s also worth remembering that regardless of how simple or demanding an idea seems to be, regardless of how well market surveys assure it will make Scrivener appeal to more users, Scrivener is designed and developed according to Keith’s vision and priorities and the time and abilities of the L&L team. We appreciate it as an advantage of indie software. Rarely are we working on something we don’t care about (in the larger sense at least!), and we all love using the software we’re developing and supporting. We dogfood Scrivener of our own accord. :slight_smile:

But it means that no matter how many forum pages are spent discussing the merits of an idea, if it’s not something Keith’s keen on doing or not something we have the resources for (decided internally by the people responsible for the company), it’s not going to be done right now. That doesn’t mean don’t discuss it–sometimes there are great insights and ideas that do get new features or improvements rolling. But don’t vex yourself (or others!) over it.

One of the first sad lessons that every successful developer must learn is that, in the words of my computer science professors, “USERS LIE.”

We give incorrect and inaccurate input to programs after failing to read/research the documentation.
We fail to disclose relevant details when troubleshooting.
We swear up and down we did X when we were supposed to and didn’t do Y when we weren’t. Yet really we did Y and not X.
We promise to pay for things without having any understanding of what the costs and economies of scale will result in the price being.
We say we need feature X when really we need feature Y.

Almost none of this lying is deliberate. And EVERYONE is a “lying user” at some point in their life in some aspect of their life (because none of us are Buckaroo Banzai and are geniuses at literally everything we put our hands to). Deliberate or not, though, basing business plans and resource allocation on non-binding unofficial forum posts is a bad way of doing business.

There’s a reason there are companies out there that specialize in market research. Most people have no clue how to do it at all. Doing it well is expensive.

Thanks, Katherine. Merely placing Scrivener in its category of software is not an expression of dissatisfaction. Otherwise, I agree for the most part. For one’s main axe, there’s no substitute for the native environment. But “Scrivener Lite” will be a creature of utility from its first moments. The option of a common, multi-platform development model for it should not be so lightly dismissed, though of course it may not be best.

I used three browser-based packages as my personal knowledge managers while desiring or awaiting Scriv’s Windows release. These were TiddlyWiki, PiggyDB, and WordPress. Consider the latter, with its immense ecosystem of themes, widgets and plug-ins. A WordPress for Windows might be faster and slicker. But there really are some virtues to a model in which a carefully-constructed HTML string is your “screen” and the details of the display are mediated by the stylesheet. The idea that “Scrivener Lite” could be built on that model is not an affront to the intelligence. Its file output objectives would be unchanged, thus no need to make it collaborative until ready. And might there not be some more bang for the development pound with less fragmentation in the shop.

Over and out.


You might desire it but your wait will be long because Keith has voiced his opinion (as Scrivener’s lead developer and head of L&L) that there will be no Scrivener for Web. Probably ever but not for a long enough period that it is funcitonally the same.

Good heavens. Thought it was clear:

SFW = Scrivener for Windows.
“Scrivener Lite” <> Scrivener for Web.


Nope! You bandied the abbreviation around as if everyone understood it.

Maybe it’s a lack of imagination, but I’m having a hard time fitting Scrivener’s functionality into a browser-based paradigm. Browser-based editing of individual files, sure, but editing of individual files is perhaps the least unique aspect of Scrivener. The power of the program lies in its ability to manipulate groups of files, and its ability to assemble those files for output in a wide variety of formats. In my experience, no browser-based application even attempts those tasks.

(I’ve used both TiddlyWiki and WordPress. I’d describe them, respectively, as an amusing toy and a nightmare.)


Total confidence in whatever L&L produces for Android or next for Windows, and in for it on day one or thereabouts. Take care.


If you are running the Mac version, why not use the “Sync with external folder” option?

Couldn’t you just Compile the whole project, including everything, into epub format before you close it? And as you state above, almost any notetaking app can be used to capture thoughts on the move.

Is the problem that Syncing to Dropbox in .rtf format only works with the Mac? Everything you describe is already available for me (using Mac) with Drafts4, Textilus and IndexCard on my iPad or iPhone. Sudden ideas etc can be saved from Drafts4 to the Scratch Pad, and I can look at the project files using Textilus or IndexCard.