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Ulysses' Companions' Odyssey (provisional app review)

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Posted by Dormouse
Apr 20, 2022 at 02:48 AM


I’m afraid that my predominant impression is that this is an extremely bizarre thread, but it’s about writing programs, so here goes. And bear in mind that I too am on Windows and have no Mac.

First, to get an impression of Ulysses it’s possible to try the program Inspire Writer. Okay, it’s not Ulysses, but it seems to have been written as a partial clone, and should give an impression of how Ulysses works in practice.

Most of the points mentioned above simply don’t touch on the features that support Ulysses’ popularity. It’s much easier to use than Scrivener; it’s much easier to see the big picture rather than the fragments of David Hewson’s mosaic; and it’s nice to work with. Scrivener may be able to do many things, but it’s not as nice and full of complexity, visual and actual. They will attract different users.

Dabble Writer can be accessed by anoyone on any OS. I don’t know why he wrote about it, but presume it followed the lines of ‘I’m a writer’, ‘I need to feed my blog’ and ‘this is a coming area that I ought to look at’. I doubt he will write a book with it any time soon.

If Ulysses were on Windows, I would be very interested in examining it in detail. There are many arguments that can be presented as criticisms - its particularly idiosyncratic impression of markdown is one - but both Scrivener and Ulysses are fundamentally Mac programs anyway. And, for me, the look matters a lot; has a significant influence on my productivity - that’s a clear issue with Scrivener for me, and might be a plus for Ulysses if I had been able to try it. They hybrid design - database plus external files - has many advantages.

Also worth mentioning another of David Hewson’s points - Word is much, much better as a program to write in than it used to be - and, effectively, it’s a Windows only program given the limitations of the Mac version.