Working off of network drives (MobileMe, thumb drives...)

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AmberV
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Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:29 am Post

This Dropbox report is in error. Scrivener uses no such hidden meta-data files, in fact it couldn't. The format is perfectly 1:1 compatible with the Windows version, which is completely oblivious to Mac meta-data.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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21firewire
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Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:41 am Post

Whew! That's a relief! :)
I'm glad we can use Dropbox with Scrivener.
Thanks again, Amber!

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xiamenese
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Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:02 am Post

Just read through the thread before you dive in too deep!

:-)

Mark
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Shell
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Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:32 am Post

Seems like everyone has DropBox working now, but thought I'd post my process:

MBP, where I do most of my writing:

1) Write
2) Backup to... <folder on my drop box>
3) Close file
3) Wait for sync

MacPro, where I do most of my editing:

1) Copy from DropBox to desktop
2) Rename file
3) Edit in Scriv
4) Backup to... <folder on my drop box>

...and so on. Hasn't failed me yet! (fingers crossed), and leaves me with a historical collection of backups, 2 per day, as I'm working.
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silvine
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Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:50 pm Post

Is this your workflow for Scrivener 2.0 or for the previous version?

I am using the beta and am not sure whether to save my scrivener file on my desktop or in my dropbox folder?

And when I want to open the dropbox file do I uncompress it in Dropbox or drag it to my desktop and uncompress?

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AmberV
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Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:25 pm Post

silvine wrote:And when I want to open the dropbox file do I uncompress it in Dropbox or drag it to my desktop and uncompress?


I'd drag it out first, just to be nice to the Dropbox servers. If you decompress a 1,000 file archive in a Dropbox folder and then move it out, you've just sent several thousand "put this here" "NO WAIT don't---erase it!" messages to the server.

Be kind to the networks. :)
.:.
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Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:59 pm Post

silvine wrote:Is this your workflow for Scrivener 2.0 or for the previous version?

I am using the beta and am not sure whether to save my scrivener file on my desktop or in my dropbox folder?

And when I want to open the dropbox file do I uncompress it in Dropbox or drag it to my desktop and uncompress?


If that question was for me, then I'm using Scrivener 2.0. I never open the files directly on my DropBox. I always copy them to my desktop first. I only ever BACKUP to DropBox. It seems to be the safest way.
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jtth
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Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:11 pm Post

You know, if this is indeed the case, you should put a big dialog box that pops up when I try to save to my iDisk (like I do for literally every other file type) that doesn't allow me to. I just lost 4 hours worth of essay work. This is, quite literally, the first time I have ever lost data in the last 6 years. It had nothing to do with my own ignorance. I am mad.

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xiamenese
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Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:59 pm Post

You should ask Apple to put up that notice! It is not Scrivener's fault that you were trying to save your working project to iDisk, a form of cloud storage that is known to be slow and not entirely reliable always. Yes, you're mad because you've lost 4 hours of work, but that is not down to the way a .scriv project is structured, the fact that it is a package, not a single file, and that every time you close one it is saved and but that you shutdown or disconnected your computer before that save was completed and so the work was lost.

How is Scrivener to know the performance of that medium and the speed of your network, the bandwidth usage at that particular moment, etc.? It's not like a web-browser warning you not to close it while you've got a download in progress. In that case, the browser knows it is working on doing something else. If Scrivener is going through its shut down operation, it can't know what you're doing about turning off your computer.

And you'd better consider yourself warned. Scrivener is not the only application that uses packages, though I guess that a Scrivener project package may be more complex than most; a very complex multi-canvas, multi-layer OmniGraffle Pro document may come close. So using iDisk as your working storage with other apps may similarly result in lost work.
The Scrivenato sometimes known as Mr X.
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AmberV
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Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:24 am Post

I bet VoodooPad is right up there with Scrivener in terms of how complex and active it is on the disk---maybe even more so. For a long time, Gus recommended not even using VoodooPad files on a flash drive. I think that concern has levelled off with the new advances in flash storage, but I bet putting a VoodooPad file on iDisk would be a huge risk.

Not only would it be difficult for us to warn you, from a technical standpoint, it's not as though iDisk is the only problem here. It's just a WebDAV technology the last time I checked---anyone using that sort of mechanism for mounting web directories onto their computer would need to be careful.

I'm afraid I do agree with Mark on this. The problem is Apple providing technology A and technology B, and not making them fully risk-free when used together. The package format is encouraged by Apple, and in fact they use it themselves extensively in some of their applications; and it really is the best tool for the job for a program like Scrivener. They are the ones promoting A & B as grand solutions, and failing to provide safety measures for mixing them together.

I'm sorry you lost data, I truly am, that really sucks and when that happens to me I just feel like quitting the whole project for a while; it's depressing. I'm just not sure what Scrivener can rightly and responsibly do about it; it very likely lacks the omniscience required here.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:22 am Post

This is a great forum, and has convinced me to get an Dropbox 50 GB account so I could sync Scrivener projects across two MacBook Pros (one at the office and home on weekends, the other one always at home).

It works well most of the time. I set the backup to save only on project close (com-shift-W). Then on the other computer I open the backup folder on Dropbox < /Users/myusername/Dropbox/Scrivener Backups > and unarchive the zip file. Then I move it to the Desktop to work from it. Rinse and repeat.

The trouble is that every few days, on both machines, when I project-close I get this error message from Scrivener: "The backup folder does not exist." So I go back into Preferences and choose the same Dropbox folder and everything's fine on project-close.

Any thoughts? Is this a Dropbox or a Scrivener issue? Should I rename the folder to one word?

~ Michael

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AmberV
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Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:11 pm Post

I've never come across that issue at all, though granted I haven't entirely relocated my backup folder to Dropbox, I just have it symlinked so every change made to it gets propagated outward. The only thing I can think of offhand is that you are also syncing your Scrivener *preference* file in Library/Preferences, and not all of your computers have the same identical short user name. Are you use ChronoSync or something similar to keep your computers up to date with one another?
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:20 pm Post

Amber, saw the beginning of this thread and for those of us new to Scrivener 2, but who use Dropbox, can you summarize what to do and what not to do? It would really help (and would make a great blog post). I'd also like a little more if you could re "symlinking to propagate out" edits effectively (I code, but not sysadmin).

Thanks in advance,
Bob

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AmberV
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Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:03 am Post

Bob, good idea. I've put it on my list to add an article to the wiki, and possible a blog article as well, on basic Dropbox usage for both active project storage and the method I use and have described above, of either linking or relocating the Scrivener backup folder to DB.
.:.
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Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:46 pm Post

In the meantime AmberV, with the latest version of Scrivener 2 and the latest version of Dropbox (they just released an update to 1.0.10) does Literature and Latte recommend that users do or do not use dropbox to store active projects. What is your recommendation?

I've been using Scrivener since just after the beta release and using dropbox (since they were available) for storing active projects on my Mac and to date I've never lost a single thing. But now I'm nervous after reading this thread. Is the issue just that some people sleep their computer before dropbox updates? That's something I've never done and so that would never affect me.