Using Scrivener with Dropbox

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lunk
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Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:13 am Post

... and wait for the app to update the files on your Mac before you open the project?

If it still isn't working as expected, the only way we could guess what is happening would be if you describe in detail every step you take along the way. Exactly how are you proceeding when you go from iPad to Mac and then back to iPad, step by step?

Bh
Bhoritz
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Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:52 am Post

It happened just once. I did experimented now, if I sync my iPad after making changes in the project, Scrivener on the Mac asks me for sync after something like half a minute later.

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lunk
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Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:49 pm Post

Then everything seems to work just fine. You just have to remember to allow the files to be uploaded and downloaded to/from the dropbox server.

Sc
ScriverTid
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Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:24 pm Post

This is probably similar behaviour to FileMaker Pro, which is also an app which saves automatically during "idle time". You think it's sync'ing to Dropbox constantly therefore, but it isn't. A FMP "save" is actually a save to its own local cache. When you quit the particular database, it then flushes the cache to disk, and only then does it sync to Dropbox. It rather sounds as Scrivener is doing something similar, hence your not seeing changes until the project has been closed and therefore saved to Dropbox.

iOS probably behaves differently.

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devinganger
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Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:30 pm Post

ScriverTid wrote:This is probably similar behaviour to FileMaker Pro, which is also an app which saves automatically during "idle time". You think it's sync'ing to Dropbox constantly therefore, but it isn't. A FMP "save" is actually a save to its own local cache. When you quit the particular database, it then flushes the cache to disk, and only then does it sync to Dropbox. It rather sounds as Scrivener is doing something similar, hence your not seeing changes until the project has been closed and therefore saved to Dropbox.

iOS probably behaves differently.


Backwards, actually. Scrivener for Mac and Windows is performing background saves of the particular files in the project that have updates -- they are written to disk, there is no application-specific. They don't interface with DropBox directly -- if you have the DropBox client installed, and if the area that Scrivener is writing your project to is in DropBox's local folders, then *DropBox* will sync the updated files within the Scrivener project as they are written. You don't have to do anything special, but the saves will automatically propagate during your working session (as long as the DropBox client is on and syncing).

For iOS, the OS enforces barriers between each application -- Scrivener for iOS can't access data in the DropBox app's partition and vice versa. So there, Scrivener does write changes to its local file system *and* it implements DropBox-aware code (using the DropBox API) to sync those changes. IIRC, the changes that Scrivener for iOS makes to the project are not stored directly against the project files -- there is a separate set of files they are written to (still within the project). Once you manually to Scrivener for iOS to sync, those files are written up to DropBox, and synced out. Then, the PC versions of Scrivener see those updated files (assuming you're running the correct versions) and merge those changes into the main files. Changes to the main files sync back over DropBox, and the next time you tell Scrivener for iOS to sync, it will pull those changes down.
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kewms
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Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:55 am Post

Bhoritz wrote:It happened just once. I did experimented now, if I sync my iPad after making changes in the project, Scrivener on the Mac asks me for sync after something like half a minute later.


I would recommend shutting Mac Scrivener down if you're going to be away from it for any length of time. While it *can* incorporate Dropbox changes in real time, letting it just load a fully synchronized project from disk when it starts up is much safer.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

ki
kimballjohnson
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Wed May 24, 2017 9:25 am Post

Support people always want to answer your questions with a story. Usually its the story they told the last person who asked 'that question'.
So could we please just get to the facts?
1. What file format does the IOS version of Scrivener need to use to store its content?
2. Do we have to plan that a synced project folder (the thing that ends in .scriv) on dropbox has to be set to produce .txt files if we want to open the project folder (the thing that ends in .scriv) on IOS?
3. Why don't you guys start thinking like people who produce software for a living and stop trying to get people to use workflows that your application cannot manage and instead start partnering with providers that can provide a reliable technical solution for sharing files across device types?
4. If you just don't want to walk too far from the latte, then build a git interface into your app so it can manage versioning and synchronization for a file folder? That would fix the failed sync issue. Since your project package is a folder that looks like a file and you talk about it as if it were a file, and name it with an extension as though it were a file, even though it is only a folder and can only behave like a folder, you need to have a capability in your app to treat it like it wants to be treated: like a folder. Git does that, and its 'free'.
5. And this thing where, on a mac, you ask a user to create 'the thing that ends in .scriv' when their cursor is pointed inside a folder, and then your app creates a folder that ends in .scriv that you call a 'project'. But then in the 'external folder/sync' situation, when their cursor is pointed inside a folder, your app wants to use the folder they are 'in' and turn that into 'the thing that ends in .scriv' so that the folder they thought was going to be the folder inside which your app was going to create their project has become 'the thing that ends in .scriv' and now the folder where they expected to find 'myProject.scriv' is the folder holding the project sub-folders. BUT... your app cannot rename a folder that existed before it wanted to create a project, especially when your app is already inside that folder, so it sticks the project sub-folders into the enclosing folder which does not end in .scriv. So how come that is?
6. And the part where you can't really explain how it works... and so instead you explain how to be aware that it ain't gonna work so well... I just don't buy that as a responsible position for a company who's got the ability to both build and explain. So if you aren't proud of the explanation, just finish the application (if it don't work, it just ain't done yet) so we can enjoy the latte of your labors?
Thanks for the headaches,
Kimball Johnson

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lunk
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Wed May 24, 2017 2:29 pm Post

kimballjohnson wrote:So could we please just get to the facts?
1. What file format does the IOS version of Scrivener need to use to store its content?


The same file format that Mac and Windows Scrivener uses: .rtf

As for the rest, it'd be nice if questions be phrased like questions and not as statements or stories. :)

(... said by a simple Scrivener user who's never had any problems with syncing, lost files, or anything else)

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devinganger
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Wed May 24, 2017 5:05 pm Post

kimballjohnson wrote:So could we please just get to the facts?


The answers for most of your "questions" are amply answered (often multiple times) here in the forums. All it takes is a little research. Scrivener is as pro as software package gets -- there are lots of successful writers of all levels and genres and types using this software to get their writing work done. They have a vision and they stick to that vision, and that may not meet everyone's needs.

Speaking of stories, here's a great one (first entry of a classic Ann Landers column) that seems to fit:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1989 ... ders-hiney
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Plotter on the streets, pantser in the sheets

Ji
JimRac
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Wed May 24, 2017 5:39 pm Post

devinganger wrote:Speaking of stories, here's a great one (first entry of a classic Ann Landers column) that seems to fit:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1989 ... ders-hiney


Thank you for that one! :P

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kewms
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Wed May 24, 2017 5:53 pm Post

Note that this thread is several years old. When it first started, iOS Scrivener did not exist. I would recommend either starting a new thread or emailing our support address instead.

The project format used by iOS Scrivener, Mac Scrivener, and Win Scrivener is identical in all respects. This format is documented in detail in Appendix F of the Mac Scrivener manual.

The fundamental risk for any software that shares data across multiple devices is connectivity failure. If your internet connection drops while transferring data between Computer A and Computer B, no software on earth will put a complete and current copy of the project on Computer B. Not Git, not Google Docs, and not Scrivener.

The external folder feature is not needed when working between Scrivener installations, and is therefore completely irrelevant to synchronization between iOS Scrivener and Mac or Windows Scrivener. A thorough guide to iOS synchronization can be found here:
http://scrivener.tenderapp.com/help/kb/ ... g-with-ios

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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lunk
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Wed May 24, 2017 11:14 pm Post

Maybe it's time to unpin this thread? It risks fooling people to think there is something weird about using Scrivener with Dropbox.

Sc
ScriverTid
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Thu May 25, 2017 5:46 pm Post

lunk wrote:Maybe it's time to unpin this thread? It risks fooling people to think there is something weird about using Scrivener with Dropbox.

I had a very rare failing of Scriv on my Mac which 'lost' some extensive edits. I was able to retrieve them from Dropbox without difficulty, and no 'weirdness'.

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Cassady
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Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:33 am Post

Hello all,

I have been having issues with Dropbox lately, that is almost certainly related to my patchy internet connection (which will hopefully be rectified this week). Until such time, I have 2 options:

a.) Give writing solely on my 12.9" iPP a try (I have the LTE version); or
b.) Contiune SOLELY on my Mac, until the internet/Dropbox services gets restored.

As much as I am tempted by Option A, I'm inclined to go with the latter, since I'm under time constraints, and am more familiar with the immediate writing environment.

Therefore, and to get to my question:

Can I simply "quit" Dropbox on my Mac, and leave it off until all is up and running again?
Am I correct in presuming that whilst working in Scrivener on the Mac, given my auto-save and backup settings, that all the changes are made to the 'local' Dropbox folder, which is then uploaded to Dropbox when the sync can run?

If so - would working over 2/3 days inside a project be problematic when I eventually switch Dropbox back on?
In other words, are the files stored in such a manner that when the sync is restored, it will simply upload whatever is the "latest" version (e.g. afternoon of day 3), as opposed to all the prior versions that might be(??) created (e.g. day 1/day 2/morning of day 3 etc.) as well?

I guess what it boils down to, is my just checking if I can merrily write along in the ABSENCE of there being any Dropbox syncing at all, provided I only work on my Mac, without opening Scrivener on any of my iOS devices (with the latter only being done once Dropbox is reconnected on the Mac, and synced in full)?

Would appreciate confirmation before jumping in - failiing which, iPad Pro, here I come! :D

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Silverdragon
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Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:25 am Post

Yes, absolutely you can quit Dropbox on the Mac and it will behave the way you prefer when you turn it back on. Just to be sure, I ran a test, and it works fine. Be sure to go to Dropbox preferences and un-tick "Start Dropbox on system startup" before quitting Dropbox (and re-tick it after you start Dropbox again.)
So you know where I'm coming from:
• I'm a user, not an L&L employee.
• Mac Scrivener 2.9 & 3.0.0, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.12.6 (Sierra)
• iOS Scrivener 1.1.4, iPhone 6s, iPad Air 2, iOS 11.2