congratulations to fletcher penney

Bowerbird at Bowerbird at
Mon Oct 24 20:06:17 EDT 2011

andy lee said:

> I love paying for something that's been thought out.

well, yes.

and no.

there are a lot of things to like in this first version...

but the most important attribute is missing in action.

the killer-feature -- on-the-fly display -- is dead on arrival.

indeed, the formatted display isn't even shown, by default!

you have to summon it, and it takes one of those clumsy
-- and always hard-to-remember -- three-key shortcuts,
two of which are the control-option-command-apple keys.

and, even worse, the "regular" key in the shortcut is the "p"
-- already terribly overloaded with "page-setup" and "print".

why would you stab your killer-feature in the back like that?

plus, even when you summon a preview, it doesn't update
on a save (which would seem to be the minimum possible),
let alone, you know, while you are actually _typing_ stuff...

it seems like you have to close the preview window, and
then reopen it. please tell me i'm misunderstanding this.

even worse, when you _do_ update, the display starts at
the top, which is bogus, as we discussed with emmanuel.

i suppose i should mention that the _table_of_contents_,
which is available in a drawer, _does_ update on-the-fly.

but, um, gee, i don't think that's really all that valuable...
your table of contents doesn't really _change_ that often.
(if it does, you should be doing an _outline_, not writing.)
heck, i'd put the table of contents in a pull-down menu,
because -- frankly -- it's usually just not that interesting.

and even this toc-updating is flawed. if you insert a level
above a current level, you must click a disclosure-triangle
on the new header in order to reveal the levels underneath.
they were there one minute, and then it swallowed 'em up.

so, you know, i'm just a little bit disappointed... so far...
i thought when i had to wait 3 months to get version 0.1,
it would be pretty solid. but it isn't. so... more waiting...

there _are_ some very nice touches, don't get me wrong.

i love how, when you enter a list, it automatically inserts
the asterisk in front of the next item when you end a line.

and doing tables is a breeze, which is a surprising delight.

but overall, as the best part is absent, i'm disappointed.


the app is still doing well. it's now at #74-paid in the store,
which is higher than both scrivener (#92) and ia-writer (#98).
(i don't even see by-word in the list; but perhaps i missed it.)

"composer" also has 18 reviews already, which is a good sign,
and all but 2 of them are for 5-stars. for sake of comparison,
ia-writer has just 26 reviews, and it's been out for a long time;
further, a full one-third of its ratings are for less than 5-stars.
(ok, now that i look closer, ia-writer has 180 reviews _total_.)
scrivener has 93 ratings (172 total), and all but 4 are 5-stars.

"composer" is also getting nice mentions in the twittersphere.

also of significance, brett terpstra has made it some templates:


perhaps fletcher is downplaying his killer-feature because
he doesn't want to appear to be taking a shot at "marked"...

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