Sync questions

au
auxbuss
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Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:20 am Post

lunc,

I believe you are missing a third item to your list: expectation based on experience. (Some of which you covered by macOS and Windows differences.)

For example, there are many Apple apps that sync via iCloud — both behind the scenes (e.g. Contacts, Notes, Reminders, iBooks, etc.) and via iCloud Drive (e.g. Numbers, Pages, Keynote, etc.). These apps don’t require manually sync’ing, as I’m sure you know.

Many non-Apple apps also sync via these mechanisms, including, ime, Ulysses, AirMail, Tweetbot, MindNode, Enpass.

In neither of these cases do users need to understand the technicalities of “cloud” storage. So, I think it’s reasonable for folk to have an expectation that Scrivener sync’ing “just works”, and I understand the confusion.

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lunk
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Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:48 am Post

auxbuss wrote:lunc,

I believe you are missing a third item to your list: expectation based on experience. (Some of which you covered by macOS and Windows differences.)


Yes, you’re absolutely right, and at the core of this is the confusion caused by Scrivener projects being folders and not files. Apps using iCloud syncing of files, like Pages and Numbers, will establish in a microsecond that a file has changed and won’t allow it to be opened until it has been synced. Doing the same with Scrivener projects is a lot more difficult. (but maybe Scrivener should have a similar mechanism, preventing projects from being editable at all until it has checked that everything is synced? but would people accept that when they have projects with thousands of files and several hundred Mb of data?)

Still, the tutorials and manuals in Scrivener explain how to handle syncing in Scrivener and describe the necessary steps and so forth, just because it does not work like syncing of simple files in e.g. iCloud. Does that make the tutorials ”muddy” and hard to understand? Well, if peoples experiences make them assume that syncing should ”just work” and therefore they do not really pay attention to the content in the tutorial, that may explain some of the confusion and problems. But that doesn’t make the tutorial ”muddy”, does it?

At the same time there have been posts in here that have explained the steps and safe routines in much fewer words, to help users that ended up having trouble with the syncing process.

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mikehalloran
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Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:28 am Post

I figured it out in spite of the tutorial, not because of it. If it had included a few basic descriptors, I would not be posting here. Once I figured out that it’s similar to NFS but sync has to be run, it became crystal clear.

I’m certainly not interested in rewriting the documentation. I already have a job in the Silicon Valley and am not looking for side work.

I find it interesting that you make wild assumptions about people you don’t know and their experience. I don’t expect strangers on a user support board to be as fluent as I am in TCP/IP, the Mac OS and iOS. Neither should you assume that I’m not.
Musician, Author, Editor

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lunk
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Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:30 am Post

mikehalloran wrote:I find it interesting that you make wild assumptions about people you don’t know and their experience.


If you re-read what I’ve written you will hopefully see that I am discussing the content and phrasing of the tutorial in general terms. Most users did understand it when iOS Scrivener was first released, and still do on first contact. Some don’t.

Maybe you have another explanation to why you and others fail to understand the tutorial?

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kewms
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Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:48 am Post

As noted, most applications -- both iOS and Mac-based -- do not deal with multi-document formats the way Scrivener does.

DevonThink does, though, and its implementation of synchronization might serve as a cautionary tale. It's designed to be almost completely invisible to the user. On both the Mac (DevonThink Pro) and the iOS device (DevonThink To Go), it decides when to synchronize and does so more or less invisibly on a schedule that it thinks is appropriate. (You can force a manual sync, but the progress indicators are not particularly visible.)

And it is *extremely* common for me to discover that no, the specific files I need *haven't* synchronized to my iPad, because they hadn't yet been uploaded to Dropbox before I shut my iMac down. Just happened today, in fact.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team