Working off of network drives (MobileMe, thumb drives...)

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AmberV
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Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:00 pm Post

Crash, that is precisely the issue. The recommendation as posted in the first page is a general advisory to reduce possibility of error. For those not aware of how these systems work, and time delays between servers, or those (like myself) that just forget that stuff needs to be uplinked before shutting down for the night, it's best to maintain a cautious approach and use Dropbox as a storage server for serial backups. If you have no problem adhering to the "checklist" and making sure everything is synced before sleeping the computer, and on the other end, synced before opening the project---there is little risk, especially if you turn up the auto-save interval by a few seconds to reduce network traffic and the rare potential for collisions. The main file that can cause problems here is the ui.plist file, which updates whenever you click anywhere in the interface. That's what keeps Scrivener persistent, so when you open the project later on everything is right where you left it. What risks do exist are made even less so with 2.0, which maintains internal backups of the most important control file.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

Cr
Crash
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Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:35 pm Post

Thank you AmberV. That helps to clarify it for me. I'm one of those odd people that always looks at the little spinning icon (dropbox icon) in the menu bar and never sleeps my computer until it's done. I also never open a project until that little sucker is done spinning ;-)

It probably helps that I work in a team environment and we are all use to sharing files/folders/projects via Dropbox and use to waiting for the spinning to stop before proceeding.

It should also comfort others to know that for years using both Scrivener and Dropbox together neither myself or anyone on my team has ever lost not even a single letter of a single word. I thought they were a marriage made in heaven :-)

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tbarbe
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Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:54 am Post

ahh

Ive been trying to set up a multi person workflow ( both using Scrivener ) that uses DropBox.... but it sounds like there are some lingering issues that make that bad?

I understand the SYNC FOLDER feature is designed for this kind of collaborative set up... but the thing about that is that it exports all the content to RTF and this is ok if you are only concerned about textual contents... what I like about Scrivener is the meta-data and ability to organize things with photos etc. So what I really wanted was synched Scrivener .scriv files... meaning a scrivener project that can be worked on by two people at once.

Anyone have any ideas for doing this? ( I have another post on this but this thread seems similar in the use-case )

Happy New Years everyone!

Tj

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Louwrites
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Sun Jan 02, 2011 3:11 pm Post

A very helpful post, but at this point my head's spinning like Apple's beach ball. I'm a writer who has used Macs since they were invented, and Scrivener nearly since it came out, and try to keep up with technology but it's hard. Right now I'm exploring two uses: (1) I'd like to sync notes I take on my iPad to my MacBook - and (2) I'm ready to pay for either MobileMe or Dropbox for backup, storage, and I had hoped - syncing.

If I give up the idea of syncing my Scrivener-created novel, are either/both of these sources better for Scrivener backups? And, (this probably needs to go elsewhere,) will I be able to take notes on my iPad and easily incorporate them into Scrivener (have 2.0 and Pages)?

Thanks for helping an old newbie.

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Hugh
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Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:29 pm Post

No one's replied to your post Lou, so I'm going to have a go.

I use DropBox for back-ups. With Scrivener 2.x it's very easy. In the Preferences > Back-Up pane, you simply set your back-ups to save to your DropBox folder. Not only do the back-ups go to my (free) space on the Dropbox servers, they are also promulgated to my Windows computers. I have never used MobileMe; I was put off by early adverse publicity.

You can also use this system to have your projects on more than one Mac computer. This is of course not actually synching between the computers themselves and you should follow the guidance in this thread in relation to closing Scrivener on one computer before opening on another, allowing time for the cloud synch to take place before switching off etc etc.

You can indeed take notes on your iPad and incorporate them into Scrivener. Dropbox is involved in some methods of doing this. This is true synching and is well covered in the Scrivener Manual and in the videos at the foot of this page on this site.

H
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igregor
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Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:40 am Post

Louwrites wrote:... are either/both of these sources better for Scrivener backups?


I've used both MobileMe iDisk and DropBox to store zipped Scrivener backups. Both work fine. As is repeated throughout this and other posts, with Scrivener the important thing to remember is to NOT work directly with networked files -- rather to use network disks to store zipped backups that are moved to desktop and unzipped EVERY time before use/opening.
-- iGregor

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Louwrites
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Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:11 am Post

Thanks to you both for the info. I'll get one or the other soon for backup and get busy reading the Scrivener manual. Also working on increasing my wireless speed. Then, I MUST stop trying to keep up with technology and get back to writing!

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johnz
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Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:06 pm Post

***UPDATE****

Sorry, I don't know how I couldn't see it, but the tip it's OK - alias created, Scriv bkups folder backed up on Dropbox, ok, that's fine; now, only my second question is pending:

And is it possible to create a similar link from a folder (for example, Folder1 - no Scriv projects there, only doc, rtf, pdf and so on) located in my Documents folder, to Dropbox folder, instead of moving Folder1 inside Dropbox?

thanks again
g

*****************************************

Hi Ioa,

just started using Dropbox, not for syncing, just another backup - beside TimeMachine external disk - for stuff I'm working on right now, and I've found this tip from this thread:

AmberV wrote:Sebastion, I do something quite similar, except a bit more geeky. Rather than use scripts to copy files around, I just created a symbolic link between my Scrivener backups folder and my general backup archive in Dropbox. The way to do this, paste the following into Terminal.app, assuming all programs are using default settings:

Code: Select all

ln -s ~/Library/Application\ Support/Scrivener/Backups/ ~/Dropbox/ScrivenerBackups


This will create what looks like an alias, called "ScrivenerBackups" in your Dropbox folder. You should immediately see Dropbox status indicate upload activity.


I've pasted it in Terminal, but nothing happened (I've already moved Scrivener backup folder in Application support/Scrivener - it was in Documents folder - and Dropbox folder's path is Users/giovanni/Dropbox (maybe - forgive me, I'm not very skillful with Terminal commands - the problem is there's another line when I open the Terminal and paste your line - then tried pwd to know where i was, probably not useful

You have mail.
host82-50-dynamic:~ giovanni$ ***(already in terminal, pressed Enter)
host82-50-dynamic:~ giovanni$ ln -s ~/Library/Application\ Support/Scrivener/Backups/ ~/Dropbox/ScrivenerBackups ***nothing happens in Dropbxox, no alias creation
host82-50-dynamic:~ giovanni$ pwd
/Users/giovanni
host82-50-dynamic:~ giovanni$


Could you please give me a little help?

And is it possible to create a similar link from a folder (for example, Folder1 - no Scriv projects there, only doc, rtf, pdf and so on) located in my Documents folder, to Dropbox folder, instead of moving Folder1 inside Dropbox?

thank you very much for your help

giovanni

MacBook Pro 13" 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Mac Os X 10.6.6, Scrivener 2.0.2

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AmberV
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Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:30 pm Post

And is it possible to create a similar link from a folder (for example, Folder1 - no Scriv projects there, only doc, rtf, pdf and so on) located in my Documents folder, to Dropbox folder, instead of moving Folder1 inside Dropbox?


Yes, that’s all the command you pasted in does, it makes a link from a folder to another place on your disk (which just so happens to be inside the Dropbox folder and so thus it syncs).

To use this command for other folders, you’ll want to note where to put things in the command:

Code: Select all

ln -s ORIGINAL NEW_LINK


With that structure in mind, take a look at the original link code and try to see how it all fits together.

The “-s” part should always be left on, as this is what tells the “ln” command to use symbolic links. You don’t want to use hard links here.

The easiest way to enter path names is to make use of the Tab key. Start typing in “~/Doc” and then hit tab and then continue typing in the next folder name and so on. The NEW_LINK part is what you want to call the link and where. To keep things simple, I’d just leave the last part off. When you specify and existing folder as the last argument, the “ln” command will use the name of the ORIGINAL path automatically. So:

Code: Select all

ln -s ~/Documents/Folder1 ~/Dropbox/


Will create a symbolic link, “Folder1” in the Dropbox folder.

Another way of entering path names for stuff that already exists is to drop a file into the Terminal window. It will paste in the full UNIX path right where the cursor is (so make sure you’ve already added the space).
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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johnz
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Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:08 pm Post

Thank you Ioa,

much appreciated, simple and effective way for putting things on Dropbox...

Here in Italy we'd call you "un pozzo di scienza" (literally, a well of science - meaning a person with a great, impressive knowledge about... all?) :shock:

best wishes
Giovanni

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AmberV
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Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:38 pm Post

You are welcome! And thank you. :)
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Ioa Petra'ka
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Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:24 pm Post

So, just to go through the recommended technique, say I were writing a book on two computers in two locations, and wanted to always be working on the most current version using Dropbox, at the end of each writing session, I'd:

1. Save the project as a Scrivener file as usual in its customary place on Computer A.
2. When it's finished saving, Backup File to - and insert a .zip version into my Dropbox.
3. Wait a few seconds to allow it to finish saving
4. Close Computer A, put it away
5. Later, at my other writing location, I would open computer B, open the Dropbox folder
6. Drag the most recent zipped backup file onto my desktop
7. Unzip that file to extract my most current Scrivener file
8. Open it in Scrivener, and start the cycle over again.

That it? Sorry to be such a relentless doofus, but I don't want to screw this up!

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MimeticMouton
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Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:41 pm Post

Yep, that works! If you're using 2.0, you can set the project to automatically backup when you close, and point that backup to your Dropbox folder. Scrivener also autosaves (periodically while you're working--every 2 seconds of inactivity, by default--and when you close), so thus your first two steps can just be automatic, making this easier. To adjust your backup preferences, go to Scrivener>Preferences:Backup. Just make sure that on each computer your backup location is set to the same location in your Dropbox folder so that when you move the project back and forth it will continue with the same set of backups.

Edited the completely loony thing I said earlier about the backup location. My brain was off in "sync with external folder" mode. Not what we're talking about here, though if you're going to be using that with a project you'll be running on multiple computers, you'll need to ensure the file path to the external folder is the same on each machine.
Last edited by MimeticMouton on Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Cjmiltko
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Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:44 am Post

I can't help but think this is clunky.

How can 99 cent iOS programs sync with a live program on the mac? There has to be a library kit out there that could be put into Scrivener that does what those programs do. The mac and the iOS programs all find each other on bonjour, and sync up the data automagically.

Couldn't Scrivener do that? Open Scrivener on the macbook, open it on the mac, click sync on one of them, and they find each other on bonjour. Then, they compare notes for the project being synced.

Conflicts (where a scrivening was changed on both machines) could be resolved with snapshots and the fancy new redline in 2.0, no?

It'd be a slick solution apropos of Scrivener and the mac!

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AmberV
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Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:52 am Post

Well, if that is all you want, you can already do that. Mercurial and Git are probably the two best ways to take two divergent Scrivener projects and merge their deltas. This isn't a trivial thing to design (and only barely easier to implement the abstract concepts in your own program---at least you don't have to design the equations and wrestle with the logic, but you do need to at least understand what they are going on about, if you intend to use them correctly), however.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles