Daedalus for ipad

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cor_stellae
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Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:57 pm Post

Thank you, Ioa. I've been testing Daedalus all week, but I have syncing issues. I already reinstalled the app, but it doesn't trully behave. Can anyone share your syncing settins on Daedalus, so I can check what am I doing wrong?

Meanwhile, I'm going back to Notebooks for syncing.

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AmberV
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Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:15 am Post

There wasn't anything fancy that I had to do. Basically I just gave it my login and password, then I tapped the Import icon in the toolbar (second from right), and selected "Import from Dropbox". This gave me a folder navigation tool, which I used to drill down to the sync folder. I select the "Draft" folder for the project I wish to edit, and it downloads all of the text files in that folder to a Stack. At that point I can just edit freely. The Sync icon on the left side of the toolbar will acquire a dot. That means I've got unsynced changes. So when I'm done editing I can just tap that and any files I've touched will be updated on the server.

You can monitor the sync "health" of Stacks on their main overview. At the bottom it will state that it is a Dropbox stack, and there will be a checkbox beside it if the iPad and server are in agreement over the latest version of the files.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:46 pm Post

Thank you, Amber. I was wondering if my problem is with the deletion and ordering settings.

I succesfully synced a folder with Daedalus, and Scrivener of course, but the problem is that there were four documents that were sort of “unerasable”. I erased them from the app and reappeared on Scrivener, after they had been erased from Scrivener, erased from the folder and from the app. Besides, when a document has been deleted from Dropbox (by Scrivener or manually), but has not been deleted from the app, it keeps uploading it, creating duplicates, and so on. The documents I was trying to erase were precisely these duplicates. But there is more: one of them was a scene that I was trying to update, but couldn't, because instead of inserting new text on the right document, it created a new one. When synced into Scrivener, the document that should have been synced was intact, but there was a new document in the binder, with a new name…

In the end, I just gave up. I guess I should start a clean sync, from scratch, in order to find out what's happening.

Since you've been having a good experience, one question: what happens when you reorder the project from the app? Will it rename the files? Will Scrivener recognize that reordering? Just wondering…

Besides, I also have the problem of the bizarre code that appears randomly in some documents… It's the same thing already reported {%----------

Well… it must be something I've done… I'll try again later.

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AmberV
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Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:10 pm Post

Oh okay, re-ordering isn't going to do anything as the folder sync is just a content syncing tool, not an organisation tool, since it has to convert a hierarchy to a flat list. There wouldn't be a logical way to convert flat list drags back into hierarchy. So even if Daedalus did magically change the file number for you, that wouldn't accomplish anything. These numbers are not used, they are only there to keep things in order if you prefer.

With the weird character glitch, try uninstalling Daedalus and then downloading it again. Someone else solved the problem that way. It seems the updater doesn't work flawlessly in some cases. I didn't have this problem for whatever reason. Perhaps it is a localisation thing.

I hadn't even tried the deleting thing yet. There might very well be issues there. That sounds like something they need to figure out, but its a tough one to solve. Consider it this way, if you delete a file from that folder and then sync with Scrivener, the same thing would happen. It is very difficult to logically determine the difference between a deleted file, and a new file. They both look the same from the host program's point of view---some file in its system that isn't on Dropbox for whatever reason.

The solution is just to not try and manage so much from the iPad. It's the content editor, but little else. If you make structural changes to what is or isn't included, then do so from Scrivener and then delete and redownload a fresh stack in Daedalus. I think anything else would be too confusing since it maintains its own internal storage system rather than just loading files directly off of the Dropbox server for editing. That method of course has its advantages as you always have access.
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Ioa Petra'ka
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Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:00 am Post

Thanks for the answer. I already deinstalled and reinstalled. As for the syncing issues, Notebooks works smoothly. I was just hoping Daedalus worked as well. So, for now, I'll trust only on Notebooks for syncing.

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Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:35 am Post

Yeah it seems to be a little spotty unfortunately, for some. At least one of those is a bug; hopefully someone has reported that to their forum. The deletion thing will be more difficult to solve. How does Notebooks handle that---or does it just not store stuff locally?
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Ioa Petra'ka
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Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:50 am Post

I started using notebooks after someone recommended here, on Scrivener forums. It stores files locally, on the iPad, then compares the files with the Dropbox folder synced with Scrivener. I can change any document on notebooks and, after syncing, see the changes on Scrivener. On the other hand, when I create a new document from the iPad, it uploads to Scrivener at once. When Scrivener receives the new file, I can see it and reorder it into the project wherever I want. When I sync back from Scrivener to Dropbox, it of course renumbers that new file, and every other file in the project that is after that one. When I go back to the iPad, I just sync Notebooks. It automatically compares all files, recognizes the fact that the file has changed its name, rearranges everything according the new files order, and that's pretty much it. I can go back to work on any file, absolutely certain that all the changes I'll make will be uploaded the next time I sync, straight into Dropbox-Scrivener, without altering any text format previously set from Scrivener.

Also, if I erase a file from the binder, it will be deleted from the iPad the next time I sync. It will also happen like that if I erase the file from Notebooks. With Daedalus it looks that it only works when the file is erased from Daedalus, and, perhaps, manually erased from Dropbox.

Overall, Daedalus has a nicer interface, but there are quite a few crucial usability differences. For example, on Notebooks I can recognize files that are not real files but folders. A folder looks like a non-editable file, and that is the sign that it is a folder that contains all the files that are below it. It's not pretty, but it allows me to have certain idea of the hierarchy of my project. In Daedalus, all files (folder and files) look the same. I can't say which are folders and which are not.

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Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:48 pm Post

Well that's not impossible to do, just less simple, they might be flagging documents created in Notebooks as *New* until it is uploaded once, and then once it is uploaded that internal flag is removed. That way, if a situation arises where a file exists in Notebooks but not on the Dropbox server it can ask whether or not it has the flag. If it does, it can assume the user created the file since the last sync and it needs to be uploaded. If it does not have the flag then it can assume that the file once existed on Dropbox (otherwise it would have a new flag) and has since been removed, and so should be deleted. It sounds like Daedalus is always presuming the latter.

There are two things I like about Daedalus' interface above others: the nice auxiliary keyboard and the search feature. The look and feel is nice as well, but I don't need that. There are a few things I don't like about it too. I think it's a little too heavy on the graphical interface and a little too light on what is practical. Hopefully they continue to improve it. If Ulysses is any indication, they will.
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Ioa Petra'ka
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Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:01 am Post

Well… all I know is that it works. :D There are other things that work smoothly on Notebooks that not all apps do: I can change the background and font color. I have simulated “night mode” by choosing my own set of colors; I can also change the default family and size font, and there's a wide list to choose from. And I also love zoom. Daedalus looks great, but only has predefined styles, sizes, and fonts. For example, even the “big” font size is still too small for my taste (and visual needs).

I guess I'm not saying this as pure criticism, but to share my user experience, so this can also be considered for a future iScrivener. For me, choosing the font family, size and color at will (instead of three predefined options) makes all the difference. The fact that I can't change font and background color in iWriter is one of the reasons why I seldom use that app. And the fact that Daedalus “big font” is still small is another reason (especially if I'm writing at midnight, or after a long writing session).

And yet… Daedalus still looks and feels great… I kind of need a “frankenstein-app”… :mrgreen:

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Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:05 pm Post

cor_stellae wrote:Well… all I know is that it works. :D There are other things that work smoothly on Notebooks that not all apps do: I can change the background and font color. I have simulated “night mode” by choosing my own set of colors; I can also change the default family and size font, and there's a wide list to choose from. And I also love zoom. Daedalus looks great, but only has predefined styles, sizes, and fonts. For example, even the “big” font size is still too small for my taste (and visual needs).

I guess I'm not saying this as pure criticism, but to share my user experience, so this can also be considered for a future iScrivener. For me, choosing the font family, size and color at will (instead of three predefined options) makes all the difference. The fact that I can't change font and background color in iWriter is one of the reasons why I seldom use that app. And the fact that Daedalus “big font” is still small is another reason (especially if I'm writing at midnight, or after a long writing session).

And yet… Daedalus still looks and feels great… I kind of need a “frankenstein-app”… :mrgreen:


I have looked at quite a few iPad apps for writing and note taking, and at the end of the day, Daedalus Touch delivers the most aesthetically pleasing experience. It doesn't have the most features, and it is certainly not as customizable as other writing apps. But overall, it's just a pleasure to use.

I have Notebooks as well, and while I think it is a quality app, I am not overly fond of the interface. Too much clutter, and I'm not too crazy with the way the text sits on the screen (for readability and editing). Daedalus errs on the other side, perhaps by being a bit too spartan; and sometimes I wish it would let me see more of the text on the screen (all the white space, while visually pleasing, can be annoying when I need to see more of my draft). But at the end of the day, Daedalus has more charm and elegance. Hey, but what do I know!

You might also want to try out Elements (which I find very good) and Write2 HD (which has really cool customizable backgrounds).

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Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:07 pm Post

The Credulous Mark wrote: But at the end of the day, Daedalus has more charm and elegance.


I agree with you, actually, I thought I was clear on the fact that I like Daedalus more, as a writing tool, not as syncing tool. But I need that charm and elegance to be as efficent as Notebooks, because I need a nice, clean workflow with Scrivener.

Thank you for your recomendations. The screenshots don't look great at all; so I don't know if I'm going to invest on them. Are they as efficent as Notebooks when syncing? Or do they behave like Daedalus, or iA Writer (after the last update, with Dropbox files editing but no real syncing)?

As for Notebooks interface, what I've done (and that's the best I've managed to make it look more comfortable for writing) is put away all the distractions: the side bar, the keyboard bar…, and set font and background colors to emulate “night view”. It kind of works; not as Daedalus, but it's not completely hideous either. I also write a lot on Daedalus, or iA Writer, and then copy and paste into Notebooks. That also works sometimes.

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Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:46 pm Post

cor_stellae wrote:I agree with you, actually, I thought I was clear on the fact that I like Daedalus more, as a writing tool, not as syncing tool. But I need that charm and elegance to be as efficent as Notebooks, because I need a nice, clean workflow with Scrivener.

Thank you for your recomendations. The screenshots don't look great at all; so I don't know if I'm going to invest on them. Are they as efficent as Notebooks when syncing? Or do they behave like Daedalus, or iA Writer (after the last update, with Dropbox files editing but no real syncing)?

As for Notebooks interface, what I've done (and that's the best I've managed to make it look more comfortable for writing) is put away all the distractions: the side bar, the keyboard bar…, and set font and background colors to emulate “night view”. It kind of works; not as Daedalus, but it's not completely hideous either. I also write a lot on Daedalus, or iA Writer, and then copy and paste into Notebooks. That also works sometimes.


You were clear enough. I wasn't so much disagreeing/agreeing as I was simply stating my own opinion on the Daedalus vs Notebooks question.

I have no problems with Daedalus in my workflow with Scrivener. It works great for me. It seems your workflow is a bit different. I hesitate to actually recommend anything else to you, however, since I think Notebooks and Daedalus are both really very good. But if I were to recommend just one other writing app, it would be Elements. It's got a clean interface, although not as customizable as Notebooks. You can adjust the margins (three selections), which is an interesting touch. It has a "scratchpad" for taking quick notes on the side. There are some font selections, though not as many as Notebooks. And it has been great at syncing with dropbox. Is it better than Notebooks or Daedalus? Meh. I don't know. As good? Maybe so. Is it worth buying? Hard to say. My unsolicited opinion: just keep using your current workflow, and wait for a sale to buy anything else. There is an app called "Appshopper" you should download (if you haven't already), which you can use to keep track of apps you want to buy. You put them on your wishlist, and it will notify you when they go on sale, or are updated.

By the way, how do you like IA Writer?

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Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:34 pm Post

Thanks for the advise! I'm a big Appshopper fan, and I've already placed Elements on my wishlist. Christmas is coming, that means, drop prices are coming! :D
Right now, I rather wait for iScrivener, although it will be a while, because I already have a workflow that sort of works, and a few apps to solve more or less every need, even if I need to write here and there.
I like iA Writer, but I'd like it better with nigh view mode, and real syncing. The last update brings Dropbox support, but working on line, on the fly, and being forced to manually save before everything is lost seems a little bit unsafe to me.
My problem with Daedalus is that it didn't really worked with Scrivener. It duplicated documents, never recognized erased documents (both on Scrivener or Daedalus), and even created bad versions of the documents with a weird code. Edited texts on Daedalus became new, sort of corrupted files in Scrivener, while the original file remained there, intact. If I'm going to keep copying and paste from one document to another in the binder, I'd rather do it with an app that works.
I deinstalled it and reinstalled from the iPad it and it didn't improve. I asked for help at their forums and, almost two weeks later… no response. So… the only thing I haven't tried is deleting the app from my computer and downloading it again, to reinstall it again… Perhaps that works.

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Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:33 am Post

After a few more tests, I see that Daedalus has a problem with documents that have a period in the name. Any period is automatically changed for a hyphen, and that's when syncing problems begin. I'll try to describe it:

1. I had a document on Scrivener with a hyphen on the name. I changed the hyphen with a period, on the name of the Scrivener document (not in the text area, only in the name area). The project had already been synced with Daedalus before, therefore, that document already existed on Daedalus.
2. I synced to Daedalus.
3. Daedalus recognizes the original document, automatically substitutes the period for a hyphen again, and syncs back.
4. Simultaneously, Daedalus creates a new text document, identical to the other, except for the fact that it has problems.
5. I sync back to Scrivener.
6. When opened in Scrivener, now I have the original document modified; and a new document that has these problems: a) the name of the document is also inside the text area, b) after the title of the document, there is that bizarre code we've seen before.

My guess is that Daedalus has issues with special characters on the names/titles of the documents. Since I write in Spanish, probably my previous projects had documents with accented letters, and question marks. All these could be potential sources of error.

I haven't noticed that problem on Notebooks.

By the way, Credulous, I found another great app: Writings (it's on sale right now). It syncs smoothly, has night mode, word/character count, zoom, and something new: the margins of the page are customizable. Not Daedalus, but better than Notebooks. It's worth a try.