Why Scrivener Doesn't Support Versions on Lion

pe
pete340
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Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:49 pm Post

bodsham wrote:And with Scrivener snapshots it's easily to compare versions to see what's changed. Not so with Lion Versions. All you get is a stack of backups of the same book length file which for a manuscript of any size I find unusable.


Mmm, good point. I think of Lion Versions as a revision control system, and revision control systems have handled arbitrary comparisons for a long time. But that doesn't mean that Lion does it.
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msadesign
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Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:39 pm Post

On the issue of non-support for versions: May it always be so!

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philstokes
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Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:46 pm Post

I'd like to add my voice to the 'please don't ever even try to implement Versions in Scrivener' (and if you feel compelled, please do like Graphic Converter and offer the option to turn it off).

Even if there were a way round the technical problems, I found autosave and versions a nightmare on Lion. Scrivener already implements its own autosave feature which works far better, and if you use 'snapshots' and the auto-backups features already in Scrivener there's no need for the useless Versions feature.

I disliked both so much I reverted my OS back to Snow Leopard after sticking with Lion through the first two-point upgrades. This was mainly because Pages and Preview were un-usable. However, I know I'll have to go back to Lion eventually — I just hope that Scrivener remains as good as it is now and doesn't suffer the problems Apple's native apps have since 10.7.

By the way, a technical question: in Scrivener > Prefs | General | Saving: what would be the correct entry if you wanted to turn of Scrivener's autosave completely?

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KB
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Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:05 pm Post

I'm not a fan of Versions, either - it drives me nuts when I make a change in TextEdit and go to Save As, only to realise that the original has been autosaved and now I have to duplicate and revert a version. It's just not what I expect of a simple document-based application.

As for autosave in Scrivener, there's no way to turn it off, really. Even if you change the save period to something very large, Scrivener will still autosave on close.

All the best,
Keith
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subgeniuszero
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Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:50 pm Post

Just read this article, and it's a fascinating read. I had no idea that Versions worked that way. On the one hand, I can see why Apple did it this way -- it makes sense for most Document-based applications. But they didn't think about apps which both work on and manage multiple documents or pieces of documents (mainly I guess because they weren't counting on there being too many of those!) So despite my bitching (in another thread) about Scrivener not supporting Lion's nifty new features, I suppose there's a darned good reason after all that it doesn't! In fact, now I'm actually glad that it doesn't! The current system that Scrivener uses is just fine, really, when I sit and think about it . . . I would much rather have a fast-loading, fast-acting Scrivener that can handle oodles of data, rather than a hobbled Scrivener chained to Lion's autosave and Versioning features, regardless of how cool I think they are in other programs.

This article is indicative of the fact that the developer truly does care about his users (unlike a lot of others, sadly), and the support ticket with Apple shows that he truly does care about making the best product out there. I hope Apple responds in a timely fashion, and I do hope the issue can be resolved; but if it can't, like I said, I'll take Scrivener doing things the "old fashioned way" to a Scrivener that does things the "new-fangled" way but gets hobbled in the process. Thus, I hereby recant my feature request! :-D
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Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:41 pm Post

The whole autosave revisions thing is a nightmare. I'm currently working on quite a sizable project in Final Cut Pro X (no save available at all). FCPX is the buggiest software I've seen come out of Apple in years. SImply dragging an image file in from the desktop can bring it down (on a 12gb latest iMac). Since there's no save function there's no way I can save before doing this even though I know it might bring down the system.
Absolutely ridiculous. I also get the impression that it's crashing precisely when autosave was happening too. Hate it.... Pointless frippery. Storymill tried to implement it too and the first attempt there crashed under certain circumstances too.

https://marinersoftware.com/discussions ... 4-and-Lion

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KB
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Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:00 pm Post

Thanks subgeniuszero! Apple did reply, although they haven't replied again since so I'm not sure if they've forgotten about me (we pay for these tech support tickets and they are left open until resolved one way or another, so I'll have to give them a prod soon). The Apple tech guy did tell me that Versions and autosave is still in its infancy, really, with it being such a new technology, and that there may still be some way to go before it can be used for all applications (he encouraged me to submit enhancement requests where necessary). So it may be that it's not until the next major OS X update that Versions is suitable for something like Scrivener. It's one feature I'll proceed cautiously with - as David (bodsham) points out, it can cause more problems than it's worth.

All the best,
Keith
"You can't waltz in here, use my toaster, and start spouting universal truths without qualification."