Sync problems

rw
rwodaski
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Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:50 am Post

kewms wrote:If you are getting persistent sync conflicts in spite of following good synchronization hygiene, one possibility is that there is pre-existing corruption in the project. This is especially likely if the versions of the project on various devices appear different.

I would recommend manually reviewing the project for conflict files, then using the resulting "good" version to replace all other versions. This will be easier to do on the Mac because Finder makes it easier to look at the internal structure of the project.

If you still have the issue after working through the troubleshooting guides I posted earlier, let me know and I'll post a link to a cleanup procedure.

Katherine


Sigh. Any corruption would of course have occurred at either Scrivener's hand, or if I had some something bad unknowingly. (Finding out today that opening a file changes it is important, for example, and I will be a lot more careful now that I know I can't open something to check its state without...changing its state. But this is not, to my knowledge, the cause of any of my problems because I've stopped using the desktop app until I gain confidence in syncing, or knowledge of how to sync)

Cleaning would be hard. We are talking about multiple versions of works of fiction; I honestly can't tell which is the old and which is the new in all cases, even right after it happens because the old may be very old, and the new may be something I don't recall much about because that's how I am; I don't really think about my writing; I write gut-wise, and need to have 100% trust in the software to capture that stuff. Plus, looking at the stuff that winds up in the conflicts folder, I really can't make much sense of tens of thousands of words in large chapters. Hence why I stopped relying on sync, hence my problem now. Literally, I've just left those conflicts there with the idea that maybe someday I can make sense of them, but I don't really expect to. The IP is gone for me when it gets that far...it's a thing that I've dealt with my whole life, FWIW. So I have left the rubble where it is, and tried to find a way of working that avoids sync conflicts.

But I plan to write a very ambitious technical book with scrivener in the near future, so I'd like to get rock solid on sync before that starts.

But if there is some detection that can be done, or a built-in diff machine somewhere I don't know about, that has possibilities for the large documents. But I came up empty manually trying to figure out anything about a sync problem. There are just no sign-posts to guide me.

rw
rwodaski
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Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:18 am Post

After reading the links that kewms posted:

* All projects in question are created on the iPad. I do not currently create on the desktop at all. All writing, for now, is entirely on the iPad.
Nothing else on the Troubleshooting page raised a flag for me.

* I do not tap to sync when I work on a document on the iPad. I have been trusting automatic syncing to work in both directions. (This is not currently meaningful since I am currently working only on iPad and still see sync conflicts)

* I recently had to join a business Dropbox team, but this does not seem to have affected my use of Scrivener. The only sync error since having both business and personal Dropbox active was when I opened a document on the desktop when it had not yet been synced on the iPad earlier today. That was an expected sync failure. Scrivener seems to handle that case automatically in terms of cleaning it up.

* This is where the weird happens:
=====
Occasionally, Scrivener may alert you that it has detected sync conflicts. This will only ever happen if:

You have edited the project on more than one device or machine without syncing in-between. (For instance, say you edit on your Mac and then make edits on iOS but forgot to hit the iOS "sync" button).
=====

The above is definitely not true for me. I can get sync conflicts even when only editing on the iPad. Something that occurs to me: given that Dropbox requires a finite period of time to sync files, maybe I have been to fast for it? Or maybe I have had a partial sync, walked out the door, and dropbox wasn't finished and I'm editing/syncing again? If the dialog box that pops up during sync only disappears when sync to the dropbox servers is complete, however, then I am probably not running into anything like that. I am always very careful to let the sync continue until the dialog box reports it is done. Maybe there is a timing problem anyway???

* It's worth noting that I use the reverse orientation to what is covered in the documentation - I do my primary work on the iPad Pro, and I will occasionally do some work on the desktop. The reference copy is nearly always on the iPad.

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lunk
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Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:51 am Post

rwodaski wrote:
Simple fact: the app is always 'open' on my iPad in that I never close it. Or does 'open' in this case refer to 'actively in front of the user'?


Yes!
If you jump to another app, Scrivener stops doing whatever it did, including copy to/from the Dropbox server. 'Syncing' is simply 'copy', that is Scrivener compares the files on the iPad with the files on the Dropbox server, and copies the newest version either way. So if you click the home button on the iPad, or swipe right, and start another app, Scrivener's copying is interrupted.

Apps that are not in front of the user are actively removed from memory if the iPad thinks it needs the memory for something else. iOS doesn't work like OS X.

rw
rwodaski
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Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:06 am

Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:53 am Post

lunk wrote:Yes!
If you jump to another app, Scrivener stops doing whatever it did, including copy to/from the Dropbox server. 'Syncing' is simply 'copy', that is Scrivener compares the files on the iPad with the files on the Dropbox server, and copies the newest version either way. So if you click the home button on the iPad, or swipe right, and start another app, Scrivener's copying is interrupted.

Apps that are not in front of the user are actively removed from memory if the iPad thinks it needs the memory for something else. iOS doesn't work like OS X.


Well, I never do that. :D I always wait, and I guess that's good, but it does take away the easy explanation.

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lunk
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Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:21 am Post

Well, syncing seems to work for almost everyone else, so unless you have a corrupt app, really bad or unreliable internet connection or corrupt project, the only explanation for 'sync provlems' is that you are actually doing something that creates the problems.

rw
rwodaski
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Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:06 am

Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:47 am Post

lunk wrote:Well, syncing seems to work for almost everyone else, so unless you have a corrupt app, really bad or unreliable internet connection or corrupt project, the only explanation for 'sync provlems' is that you are actually doing something that creates the problems.


well, nothing's come up like that.

i do have an ios centric approach; i can get sync problems without ever touching documents from the desktop. i haven't had any issues since adding the business dropbox account, or since the update. we shall see how it goes.

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kewms
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Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:10 pm Post

rwodaski wrote:Cleaning would be hard. We are talking about multiple versions of works of fiction; I honestly can't tell which is the old and which is the new in all cases, even right after it happens because the old may be very old, and the new may be something I don't recall much about because that's how I am; I don't really think about my writing; I write gut-wise, and need to have 100% trust in the software to capture that stuff. Plus, looking at the stuff that winds up in the conflicts folder, I really can't make much sense of tens of thousands of words in large chapters. Hence why I stopped relying on sync, hence my problem now. Literally, I've just left those conflicts there with the idea that maybe someday I can make sense of them, but I don't really expect to. The IP is gone for me when it gets that far...it's a thing that I've dealt with my whole life, FWIW. So I have left the rubble where it is, and tried to find a way of working that avoids sync conflicts.


I would suggest breaking your manuscript into smaller chunks. Not because that will make sync conflicts easier to resolve -- although it will -- but because just about all of Scrivener's organizational and metadata features work better with chunks of hundreds or thousands, not tens of thousands of words.

What I was actually referring to, though, was the possibility of conflicted files inside the structure of the project, that Scrivener isn't able to get rid of or resolve. These probably wouldn't be visible in the Binder, which is why you would need to use Finder on the Mac to track them down. See this discussion: http://scrivener.tenderapp.com/help/kb/ ... c-services

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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kewms
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Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:15 pm Post

rwodaski wrote:The above is definitely not true for me. I can get sync conflicts even when only editing on the iPad. Something that occurs to me: given that Dropbox requires a finite period of time to sync files, maybe I have been to fast for it? Or maybe I have had a partial sync, walked out the door, and dropbox wasn't finished and I'm editing/syncing again? If the dialog box that pops up during sync only disappears when sync to the dropbox servers is complete, however, then I am probably not running into anything like that. I am always very careful to let the sync continue until the dialog box reports it is done. Maybe there is a timing problem anyway???


Failure to allow the sync to finish is the most common cause of errors, so there's a high chance that this is a contributing factor.

Having the business Dropbox use "fix" the problem is puzzling, as I assume the business use doesn't have anything to do with Scrivener's files. One possibility, though, would be that you are using Dropbox more often and more consistently, and therefore complete synchronization is occurring without any conscious action on your part.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

rw
rwodaski
Posts: 47
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:06 am

Sat Dec 24, 2016 2:50 am Post

kewms wrote:
rwodaski wrote:Having the business Dropbox use "fix" the problem is puzzling, as I assume the business use doesn't have anything to do with Scrivener's files. One possibility, though, would be that you are using Dropbox more often and more consistently, and therefore complete synchronization is occurring without any conscious action on your part.

Katherine


Could just bed a coincidence, or something has been changed in Scrivener.

Just to be clear: I joined a business Dropbox account, but I also have my personal account (it did not change, although the path to the files changed). All of my scrivener stuff still lives in the personal dropbox.

I rarely use the business stuff; by far the most common thing I do in dropbox remains the same: Scrivener on the iPad.

And let's keep in mind: for whatever reason (Dropbox changes; Scrivener update; good fortune) I haven't had one of these iPad-only sync problems for weeks now.

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lunk
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Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:58 am Post

rwodaski wrote:And let's keep in mind: for whatever reason (Dropbox changes; Scrivener update; good fortune) I haven't had one of these iPad-only sync problems for weeks now.

Or maybe it's a result of you being more careful now that we explained some details on how to behave? ;)

Merry Christmas. :D

rw
rwodaski
Posts: 47
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:06 am

Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:51 am Post

lunk wrote:
rwodaski wrote:And let's keep in mind: for whatever reason (Dropbox changes; Scrivener update; good fortune) I haven't had one of these iPad-only sync problems for weeks now.

Or maybe it's a result of you being more careful now that we explained some details on how to behave? ;)

Merry Christmas. :D


Ho ho ho. :D

no, i am not doing anything differently. it covers weeks before we got talking about this seriously.

but, yes, let's all have a merry Christmas.

rw
rwodaski
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Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:06 am

Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:25 am Post

So, an update.

I have continued to use syncing pretty much as I always have, and...I am not having any sync issues. I am using some of my oldest documents during the last few weeks, so...I guess it just works now.

rw
rwodaski
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Sat Apr 15, 2017 3:56 am Post

And I can add a long-term follow-up. Whatever it was that happened in that long ago of frustrating sync issues, I have now been using Scrivener on the iPad for an additional three months (with occasional use on my MacBook Pro) and I have not had a single instance of syncing problems. If it was me, I learned better; if it was Scrivener, it was fixed. Either way, I realized recently that I never think about sync issues any more.

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lunk
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Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:57 am Post

rwodaski wrote:If it was me, I learned better; if it was Scrivener, it was fixed. Either way, I realized recently that I never think about sync issues any more.


Glad to hear everything worked out just fine. :)

PS. Scrivener hasn't changed... ;)