Any plans to move to iCloud sync?

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UnleashedAgain
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Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:38 pm Post

Dropbox seems so precarious, and nowhere near as seamless as iCloud.

Does anyone know if it will eventually move to iCloud? And why it doesn’t have an iCloud sync option already?

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lunk
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Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:42 pm Post

If you search the forum you will find several explanations why iCloud Drive can’t be used at present, and there is also info in the knowledge base if you search there. Apple has so far not provided an API that can ha dle the complex file structure of Scrivener projects. So for the near future, the answer is no.
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running the latest MacOS
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 8, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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UnleashedAgain
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Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:54 pm Post

lunk wrote:If you search the forum you will find several explanations why iCloud Drive can’t be used at present, and there is also info in the knowledge base if you search there. Apple has so far not provided an API that can ha dle the complex file structure of Scrivener projects. So for the near future, the answer is no.


Surely it is possible? I have both Scrivener and Ulysses on my iPad. Ulysses is very similar to Scrivener, and syncs like a dream on iCloud.

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scshrugged
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Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:46 am Post

UnleashedAgain wrote:
Surely it is possible? I have both Scrivener and Ulysses on my iPad. Ulysses is very similar to Scrivener, and syncs like a dream on iCloud.

They're similar but quite different. See sections #13-15 in the following kb article:
https://scrivener.tenderapp.com/help/kb ... g-with-ios

Also see the developer's (KB) recent forum post here:
viewtopic.php?p=244405#p244405
Scrivener user not affiliated with L&L.

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UnleashedAgain
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Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:42 am Post

Thanks for the links. It’s still a bit confusing, though.

Scrivener agains falls between these, though. A project is a single thing, and a project cannot work reliably if not all of its data is synced. For instance, suppose you make changes to text A on computer one, then move to computer two. But the internet is down and you don't notice that your changes haven't synced. So you make changes to text A there, too. At this point, because iCloud (unlike Dropbox) doesn't make conflicted copies, all the changes you make to text A on computer one are lost forever. And that's a minor example. You could end up losing entire outlining structures.


On Ulysses, the sync does bring up conflicted copies in the rare event that there are conflicts.

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lunk
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Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:51 pm Post

The major argument is usually that a Scrivener project is not a single file but a folder containing both subfolders and a more or less infinite number of files in these. The cloud service must make sure that an exact copy of all of it is present on both the computer, the dropbox server and the iDevice. With iCloud Drive there is an option not to download everything from the server but only the files the system think you need, and this is the default setting. For a Scrivener project this could create disaster.
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running the latest MacOS
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 8, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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Hugh
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Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:02 pm Post

Worth noting what the developer wrote in one of those threads listed above:

" I do have plans to make it so that our iOS version can open and desktop sync projects using iCloud Drive too, and I think I have a solution for this. However, it will take some care on the part of the user, and there is a lot of work involved on my end to get this working (I've been going back and forth with Apple over a solution for this for months, picking apart the technical details--the Apple engineer also points out how iCloud and the general frameworks aren't designed around the sort of thing Scrivener does). So, this won't see the light of day until sometime later on in 2018. It's being investigated, though."

Also - although I guess there's always a first time and I risk tempting the Fates - I've used Mac/iPad syncing via Dropbox for months and never had a single issue.
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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lunk
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Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:27 pm Post

Hugh wrote:Also - although I guess there's always a first time and I risk tempting the Fates - I've used Mac/iPad syncing via Dropbox for months and never had a single issue.


I’ve used since iOS Scrivener was released and have never had any problems or issues. And I have used Dropbox for years before that, without a single problem.
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running the latest MacOS
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 8, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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UnleashedAgain
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Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:28 pm Post

lunk wrote:The major argument is usually that a Scrivener project is not a single file but a folder containing both subfolders and a more or less infinite number of files in these. The cloud service must make sure that an exact copy of all of it is present on both the computer, the dropbox server and the iDevice. With iCloud Drive there is an option not to download everything from the server but only the files the system think you need, and this is the default setting. For a Scrivener project this could create disaster.


But Ulysses is exactly the same in this sense: groups, sub groups, files of infinite variety.

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lunk
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Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:51 pm Post

No, not from what I understand when I search their support. I am not talking about the structure you see in the Binder in Ulysses and Scrivener but the way all the text is saved, behind the scene. In Scrivener, every single document in the Binder within a project, and every entry in the Research area, is a single file, residing within a subfolder under the project main folder. The settings in Preferences, the settings you have in Compile, etc, it's all separate files in the Finder file system, which means that even if all hell break lose and the project is severely corrupted, the text you have written will most likely be possible to salvage as it is only a lot of .rtf files.
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running the latest MacOS
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 8, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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scshrugged
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Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:57 pm Post

UnleashedAgain wrote:Thanks for the links. It’s still a bit confusing, though.

Scrivener agains falls between these, though. A project is a single thing, and a project cannot work reliably if not all of its data is synced. For instance, suppose you make changes to text A on computer one, then move to computer two. But the internet is down and you don't notice that your changes haven't synced. So you make changes to text A there, too. At this point, because iCloud (unlike Dropbox) doesn't make conflicted copies, all the changes you make to text A on computer one are lost forever. And that's a minor example. You could end up losing entire outlining structures.


On Ulysses, the sync does bring up conflicted copies in the rare event that there are conflicts.

Isolated from the whole post, I can see how the clause "…At this point, because iCloud (unlike Dropbox) doesn't make conflicted copies…" and its paragraph can be a cause for confusion. I'm sure KB meant that to be read with the context of the entire post in mind. In other words, it's not that iCloud can't make conflicted copies (of this, we can trust that KB is intimately aware) but that the tools available to accomplish that are unreliable and/or unusable for Scrivener's coding/design. Again, although similar, Ulysses and Pages (in example) are quite different from Scrivener.

I'm not a coder, so it took several reads and bouts of research for me to somewhat understand the topic. Using an easier (for me) route, I'd already accepted L&L's explanation at face value before trying to understand the "why not" of iCloud. I asked myself this after doing research regarding KB and the L&L team, and subsequently using Scrivener–Does it make any sense that he/they would avoid using iCloud without good reason? That was an easy one for me to answer. The reputation for KB's and L&L's coding prowess, products, trustworthiness and support is easily found.



Side note: I don't use Dropbox and wouldn't use iCloud if it were available. I use iTunes to transfer between desktop and iOS devices. It works well.
Scrivener user not affiliated with L&L.

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kewms
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Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:40 pm Post

scshrugged wrote:I'm not a coder, so it took several reads and bouts of research for me to somewhat understand the topic. Using an easier (for me) route, I'd already accepted L&L's explanation at face value before trying to understand the "why not" of iCloud. I asked myself this after doing research regarding KB and the L&L team, and subsequently using Scrivener–Does it make any sense that he/they would avoid using iCloud without good reason? That was an easy one for me to answer. The reputation for KB's and L&L's coding prowess, products, trustworthiness and support is easily found.


One does suspect that someone who has been deeply immersed in the Mac OS development environment for more than 10 years at this point might have a pretty good idea what it can and can't do.

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derick
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Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:04 pm Post

Maybe this issue could be addressed in a pinned FAQ - it seems like every week or two there’s a forum post from someone who hasn’t done their homework complaining that they can’t use iCloud/Google Drive/Box.net/One Drive/private WebDAV server/sftp etc. etc.

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istara
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Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:09 pm Post

lunk wrote:it's all separate files in the Finder file system, which means that even if all hell break lose and the project is severely corrupted, the text you have written will most likely be possible to salvage as it is only a lot of .rtf files.


This actually saved my bacon once, the one time I had the weirdest error on mobile. I had written about 500 more words on a scene that already had about 500 words written earlier.

Suddenly it all disappeared - all ~1000 words, the old and the new. The scene was blank. I searched for that text everywhere. Trash, other locations, you name it. It was 100% gone. I was using the Apple iPad keyboard and the only combination I could think to do this kind of a wipe would be Select All then hit the Spacebar (which I absolutely didn't do). The whole scene was gone.

So I quit Scrivener iOS without syncing, and managed to navigate to the rtf on Dropbox, and was at least able to retrieve my first 500 words (which had been synced and saved).

Very weird loss, it hasn't thankfully happened before or since, but at least I only lost 50% of my scene.

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Framboise
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Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:33 am Post

Can't find a way to post a new topic. :oops: Question: I've followed instructions for syncing, and am wondering is "sync" just storing main files on dropbox? I mostly want to sync between laptop and desktop. But don’t' like leaving files on DB.

Thank you.