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

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Cjmiltko
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Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:04 am Post

AmberV wrote: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.


thanks, but that stuff looks like svg and stuff to me, and inherently looks like something that will mangle my data if I have to drive the car behind it. Maybe I'm too simple in my approach, but I see iPhone apps that sync to the desktop and maybe I don't understand enough to know why there's a problem in my expectation, but it seems to me like Scrivener should be able to manage this automatically within itself.

From a user perspective, that's what I'd like to see, a button that I click in the project menu and Scrivener looks on the local network and sees that another computer has Scrivener and the same project open and those two start talking amongst themselves and sync up. There's a program that does this for iPhoto libraries, there's a program that does it for iTunes, and heck, even iTunes itself will compare your library with a shared library.

Like I say, surely there's something tricky, but that's why you guys are the schizznick because 2.0 is slick. I think the slickness of 2.0 combined with my having seen far inferior programs demonstrate this automagical sync between devices makes me think there's a key you guys don't have that these other guys have found and implemented.

Repositories and large management programs, and frankly anything that requires me type "make install" in terminal inherently is too clumsy for something I'm looking to do after typing and drinking scotch. There's a recipe for disaster in it... but I can click a button and let the computator do its thing -- because I see other programs do that.

The document vault/repository thing just seems so unmac-like and unScrivener-like to me.

But, you're right, and I have no doubt that those things can do this stuff -- they just seem like driving a cargo barge when I know there's a ferrari and sharp curves available.

jg
jgould
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Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:02 am Post

I got turned off of Dropbox after it completely destroyed a .scriv bundle. I started looking for a solution that would keep them intact... I found Sugarsync (http://www.sugarsync.com) that has been working for me for some time working with live files, but after reading this thread, I'm more than likely certian if I'm going to get hit with a disaster, it's going to be after I've closed Scrivener and already made the backup .zip so I have those syncing upstream now as well.

I had something happen the other night that caused my to have to do a hard shutdown on my MacBook (primary writing machine for now, Planning on replacing it with an 11" Air... (Maybe the 13" as I like the resolution of the screen a little better... :D) and it complained about the file possibly being open on another machine, and I knew it wasn't. After reading this thread about the nice file renaming that DropBox does, I decided to peek into one of the bundle files, (It's currently open in Scrivener on my MacBook) This is what I see:
ImageClick for large view

Where is says "user (From Samantha).lock" and then under it "user.lock" I'm assuming that it's save to go in and delete the files that are (From XXX)? (Samantha is the current name of my MacBook)

I decided to open a diffrent project, and this is what greeted me in it:
ImageClick for large view

I assume the same is true with this file as well? (it appears that all of the (from...) files are older as well... (Kira II, and Kira-Mini are older names for the two computers (Kira-mini was the mac mini), so I'm assuming that I had named my MacBook Kira II at one point...)

Josh
Last edited by jgould on Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

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MimeticMouton
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Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:08 am Post

Yeah, the userlock files are created by Scrivener when you open a project and deleted when you close it. If the project doesn't close properly--as in the case of forcing off your computer--the file doesn't get deleted, so when you reopen the project Scrivener pops up the warning. You can just ignore it and carry on in this case, since you know the project isn't open elsewhere. Presumably Dropbox renamed your userlock file (and the others) and so they didn't get removed properly.
Last edited by MimeticMouton on Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
Jennifer Hughes
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jg
jgould
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Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:12 am Post

Ok, That's what I did. My Mini was sitting idle at the time so it had to have been the forced shut down. The only thing I'm wondering about now is the (From $NAME) files. I'm going to have to do that manually in each project, methinks...

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MimeticMouton
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Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:13 am Post

(Sorry, edited the above because I submitted too soon.) Yeah, maybe it's worth checking the project file in Dropbox occasionally and seeing what it's doing. I don't know if that's something that would happen all the time or if it's only occurring when there's a glitch in the sync process.
Jennifer Hughes
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jg
jgould
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Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:24 am Post

MimeticMouton wrote:(Sorry, edited the above because I submitted too soon.) Yeah, maybe it's worth checking the project file in Dropbox occasionally and seeing what it's doing. I don't know if that's something that would happen all the time or if it's only occurring when there's a glitch in the sync process.



I'm leaning toward a fluke in the sync process. One would think that this syncing thing would be more... seamless... it's worked out for the most part.

I know I came back to Scrivener after it crashed and I lost 10,000 words during NaNoWriMo in 2007 (This was somewhere along the x.7 release line, called Scrivener Gold). I decided that it wasn't worth two cents and went back to Nisus Writer. 2008 I tried 1.x and was impressed and bought it and now I'm on 2.0 and I've recommended it to people... What can I say, a great program, It tends to be open on my MacBook.

Josh

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MimeticMouton
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Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:40 am Post

Probably a fluke. Also I noticed that your second example was an older Scrivener project, so I don't know if there'd be any difference there--not in the process itself, since it's all still a bundle, but just as far as the binder files and so on, since they've changed for 2.0. I may test this out later when I'm procrastinating further on my writing.

Going back to an earlier point in this thread about Scrivener seeing the whole bundle as one file, someone in the giant thread on syncing suggested using a disk image to achieve this. You can store the disk image in Dropbox and open the project in one step with an alias on each of your computers (in the dock or on your desktop or wherever you like), then work, close the project, and eject the disk. Since you want to be closing your projects anyway when you leave on one computer (and it sounds like you're already in the habit of this), it's not much more work than just keeping the .scriv file on Dropbox, but it keeps Dropbox from viewing the project as a thousand little files.

Here's the post on it (there are a few following) so you can check it out: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5295&p=69773&hilit=image#p69752
Jennifer Hughes
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jg
jgould
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Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:48 am Post

MimeticMouton wrote:Probably a fluke. Also I noticed that your second example was an older Scrivener project, so I don't know if there'd be any difference there--not in the process itself, since it's all still a bundle, but just as far as the binder files and so on, since they've changed for 2.0. I may test this out later when I'm procrastinating further on my writing.


I still have a handful of projects that haven't been updated, that one just happens to be one of the ones that hasn't been...

[EDIT} The first file was one that has been converted, all of the old files (the (From...) are prior to the conversion.

it's not much more work than just keeping the .scriv file on Dropbox, but it keeps Dropbox from viewing the project as a thousand little files.


I mainly work off the MacBook and do some minor things on the Mini (it has a 19" monitor...) I'm actually more concerned about leaving a project open on the Mini and then trying to open it while I'm in the field...

Hmm... I wonder if I changed the names of the Machines and that is what has caused the (From...) files to appear. (or I deleted the computer from the sync group and that is what did it...)

ty
tyuk
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Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:18 am Post

What about Synk v. 7 http://decimus.net/synk ?

In other words, would you recommend using Synk in order to work on a Scrivener project opened on both my desktop and laptop computers (I would be the only person working on the project, which means the project will never be modified on both computer simultaneously) ?

Although Synk developers say there shouldn't be any problem, I'd like to check with Scrivener developers and with anybody would might have some experience with Synk's recent version (v. 7).

Note: I'm now using Dropbox only for Scrivener projects' backups since AmberV strongly advised against any other use of Dropbox with Scrivener. But this is a real pain since I go back and forth from one computer to another several times a day...

Thanks.

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KB
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Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:37 pm Post

I haven't tried Synk so I can't comment, sorry. If you try it, make sure the project is only open on one machine at a time (and heed the warning Scrivener gives you if it detects it isn't), and back up religiously. And don't shout at us if things go wrong. :) I'll try to take a look when I get chance, but that won't be for a little while, sorry.

As for Dropbox, as I've said elsewhere, I use Dropbox to share my .scriv files between machines and accounts. You are unlikely to lose work placing Scrivener files on Dropbox (but I make no guarantees), and I've never had a problem. The main things you need to bear in mind are:

1) Once again, make sure you don't open the same project on two machines at once (Scrivener will warn you if you try).

2) Make sure your automatic backups are set up to save a zipped-up backup to the local hard drive on project open or close (or both).

(1) should ensure you never run into problems with Dropbox trying to account for conflicts and messing up the internals of the .scriv file in the process (which is the worst I've ever seen happen to Dropbox syncs, and it is reversible) and (2) should cover your back in case you ever do run into problems.

So, essentially, provided you take the above precautions, Dropbox is generally safe. But it wouldn't be sensible for us to tell users that syncing is always safe, because no syncing solution is 100% safe, as is nothing that involves transferring data between devices.

All the best,
Keith
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reacher
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Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:27 pm Post

Keith, just to clarify, do you use the 'sync to external' dropbox folder method, or do you actually store your Scrivener project folder on dropbox and work off it from multiple machines?

KB wrote:As for Dropbox, as I've said elsewhere, I use Dropbox to share my .scriv files between machines and accounts. You are unlikely to lose work placing Scrivener files on Dropbox (but I make no guarantees), and I've never had a problem.

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KB
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Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:39 pm Post

Hi reacher

(No need to PM me as well - best to ask in one place and in public if it's a tech question.)

I store my Scrivener project on Dropbox - you should never try to sync projects on different machines to the same external folder.

All the best,
Keith
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reacher
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Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:46 pm Post

Ok, so you're saying that you store your project on dropbox for safety purposes, but not in order to work off of it from multiple machines?

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KB
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Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:58 pm Post

No, I work from it.
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reacher
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Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:03 pm Post

Ok, thanks. Sorry for all the questions, I'm just trying to sort through the ambiguity between the official supported recommendation about dropbox and Scrivener and the way people are actually using it. Like most people, I write on multiple computers (workstation at home, laptop when traveling, etc), so storing the Scrivener project on dropbox is the ideal (really, the only) way to work. Sounds like as long as I insure everything is synced and closed on one machine before opening the project on another I'll be ok -- unofficially of course. :wink: