Updated: March 31, 2020
The TL;DR: (Too Long, Didn't Read -- for long-winded details, see "Detailed Status," below):
CURRENT STATUS: We are (still) rapidly connecting up menus and features! Screenwriter has almost 500 different commands/functions! The new Retina resolution looks great! Documents can now be opened, edited, and saved in our current development version.
We are quite happy as the program is approaching an alpha-test state where it can be used by the majority of our clients. We finished our Cut/Copy/Paste and drag-and-drop features, and now we have one major feature to reconnect before an alpha version can be made available to all users: basic printing. Printing is a big deal in Screenwriter, but the good news is that printing should be almost the same exact code as before!
Printing could take a few days -- or a couple of weeks. It's unknown until we start reconnecting our existing code.
We know we've said this before, but we are still pushing for an early alpha version in a small number of weeks (sorry -- not allowed to be specific!) Once we get that alpha version into the hands of testers, we will set a public beta date.
If you are a writer who doesn't share your scripts with Windows users, and you wish to be part of the very earliest Alpha / Beta releases, please consider converting your important scripts to use .mmx file format. .mmx is our modern Mac-only XML file format introduced in Screenwriter 6.5. This format will be supported in the very earliest release, although we hope the older .mmsw will become available late in the alpha cycle. Here's how to work with .mmx file format.
PLEASE DON'T OPEN A SUPPORT TICKET ASKING FOR ESTIMATED DATES. Just bookmark this FAQ, which will give progress and estimated availability for Screenwriter compatible for MacOS 10.15 Catalina. Click here for a general FAQ about MacOS 10.15 Catalina.
IF YOU HAVE ALREADY UPDATED TO CATALINA, please consider looking at this free, high-quality method to run Screenwriter (or Dramatica Story Expert) in a Mojave window right ON Catalina: https://techsupport.screenplay.com/hc/en-us/articles/360034975752
DETAILED ("long-winded") STATUS:
In order to port our software, which is rich with features and UI, we spent almost 20 months preparing various part of the port -- solving most of the hundreds of complex user interface issues ahead of time. Then, we tore the program apart feature by feature, carefully removing many of the old 32-bit implementations of our most complex features.
After 20 long months, we finally got Screenwriter to build and run as a Catalina-Compatible 10.15 program. Now, we are adding back the features we temporarily removed, insuring they work properly. This also involves connecting every button, checkbox, and text field in the software's hundreds of windows, dialogs, and alerts.
As soon as testers can functionally work with their scripts, we will make an Alpha test release available. We are very close to doing that. (as mentioned above, the two big features that MUST be connected for the Alpha test version to be useful are Copy/Cut & Paste, and basic printing).
Then, once we are sure users can get work done safely, we will produce a public BETA release. We expect that any existing Screenwriter 6.5 user will be able to download and run the Beta release. Note that the early beta versions will likely be missing some of the more obscure or lesser-used features. However, we plan to update the public beta release on a weekly basis, until it is back to its full feature-rich self.
WHY HAS THIS UPDATE TAKEN SO LONG?
First -- just because we've chosen to give away the upcoming new versions (free upgrades) to existing users of Screenwriter 6.5 and Dramatica Story Expert 5.3 may make it seem like our work on Catalina-compatible versions is a simple update, or "patch", but NO-- we've had to COMPLETELY REWRITE ALL of Screenwriter's & Dramatica Story Expert's UI (User Interface) in order to make it 64-bit and fully Retina enabled.
This was no small task. We've been working on a combination of both programs for the past two years. It has been a long, painful process -- one that has involved Apple working closely with us to help overcome complex engineering issues.
Our work was not to just add full Retina compatibility -- it's been a complete modernization of our entire MacOS code base. And it's taken over 1.5 years because Screenwriter and Dramatica are MASSIVE applications with hundreds of features -- many more than other programs. We want to make sure we don't break all the reliable features screenwriters and novelists have relied on for decades.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN 10.16 IS RELEASE IN SEPTEMBER? WILL THERE BE LONG DELAYS AGAIN?
Absolutely NOT. Our conversion is to Apple's modern 64-bit Cocoa frameworks. While there may be tiny adjustments required for September's 10.16 (whatever it will be called), ALL OF OUR WORK will run and be compatible with 10.16.
Please know this update has been our 100% priority.
Write Brothers, Inc.