Best approach to move data from Aeon to Scrivener 2?

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igregor
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Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:36 pm Post

Now that the export crash bug has been fixed I set about trying to gain insight into how well Aeon plays with Scrivener. Specifically, I'm trying to learn the simplest and most useful way to move data created in Aeon to Scrivener. Since there is limited documentation available on how to do this, I intuited a process (i.e. made some pretty basic simplifying assumptions) that left me more than a bit puzzled with the results. So, I'm seeking clarification.

I set up a very simple Aeon project with two events, two story arcs and four entities (two characters and two places). I added notes and dates as appropriate, and included a couple tags. I then exported the data (selecting every possible data element for export) in every way Aeon offers (BeeDocs, HTML, RTF, Scriv1, Scriv2, Image and Simile). All exports proceeded without a hitch except 'Image' which I could not get to export.

I then imported each of the exported files into a blank Scrivener project to see how they looked. Here are the results:
- BeeDocs (txt) import brought in the most basic information from Aeon that BeeDocs TimeLine 3D needs to compile a two event timeline (event titles, and start and end dates for each event).
- HTML came in with an easy to interpret array of all information from Aeon, but without a simple way to make use of that information once in Scrivener.
- RTF came in with what appears to be the clearest and simplest formatted compilation of the Aeon data, but still requires additional steps to make use of it in Scrivener.
- Scrivener1 formatted Aeon data came into Scrivener 2 in a way that is not at all easy to parse into useful chunks within Scrivener
- Scrivener 2 formatted Aeon data came into Scrivener 2 in a way that includes all types of extraneous material included within <> brackets and quotation marks that make it pretty much useless in Scrivener without a pretty hefty expenditure of effort. I must have done something wrong.
- I also imported Scrivener 2 as Multi-Markdown to see what happened. Came in cleaner than straight Scrivener2 import, but still would require a lot of work to make use of it.
- And Simile came in looking like HTML/XML syntax or some such. Not at all useful.

I'm suspicious that I'm doing something wrong. Please advise the steps to move data from Aeon to Scrivener 2 that minimize the work needed to make use off the data when imported into Scrivener.

Thanks.
-- iGregor

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matt
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Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:07 am Post

Hi,
Funnily enough I have just been sharing emails with Keith about how to get good integration.

I suspect the Scrivener 1 file will be the best way to do it for now, as Scrivener 2 was setup for an old beta. I have to upload a new release soon anyway with that bug fix. I will test that the Scriv 1 data gets into Scrivener 2 correctly, and then post instructions.

Let me ask you a question though:
How would you ideally like to see Aeon and Scrivener integrate together in an ideal world?
And would you want to be able to have the flow of information go 2 ways (I.e. Pulling stuff out of Scrivener to go into Aeon)?

ma
matt
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Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:01 am Post

Hi Greg,
I have checked and the OPML (Scrivener 1) option still works.

Export to an OPML file.

If you drag the file into the binder, or choose to import it, then it will break each Event into a separate Scrivener document. The text and synopsis will have the information about the event that you chose to export. You can then replace the text as you see fit, and begin to shift stuff around.

This is the intended behaviour, and it works on my machine.

The alternatives are to create an HTML table or an image and import those, if you want the information together.

As I said - let me know how you would like to see the integration between Scrivener and Aeon work. That is one of the things on my list to do before release, and things are still flexible at the moment if there are any really good suggestions (Keith and I have discussed a few ideas about what we could do, but I won't mention them now).

Matt

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igregor
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Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:22 am Post

matt wrote:How would you ideally like to see Aeon and Scrivener integrate together in an ideal world?
And would you want to be able to have the flow of information go 2 ways


I'd like each individual Aeon event and entity to retain its separate/individual identity as it moves from Aeon to Scrivener (as separate/individual documents/cards).

For Events: I'd set up scene (or part or act) folders in Scrivener's binder, and would like to import individual events into their respective scenes (or parts/acts). I envision event titles coming into Scrivener as separate document/card titles, and info in the Aeon note field coming in either as synopsis, document note or document text. Event labels, tags, story arc, entities and start/end dates would come in as meta data for each event.

For Entities: I'd set up character, place (and the like) folders in Scrivener's binder, and would like to import individual entities into their respective binder folder. Similar to events I envision entity titles coming into Scrivener as document/card titles, and entity notes coming in as synopsis, document notes or document text. Entity types, tags, birth dates etc would come into Scrivener as meta data for each entity.

Regarding your second question, at this point I think it's more important to be able to move data easily and simply from Aeon to Scrivener than vice versa. That doesn't mean I'd discount the vice versa completely, but I envision using Aeon more at the front end of a project (pre/early-Scrivener) than later -- though would not rule out later (perhaps in Aeon 2.0...).
-- iGregor

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igregor
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Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:33 am Post

matt wrote:I have checked and the OPML (Scrivener 1) option still works. Export to an OPML file.
If you drag the file into the binder, or choose to import it, then it will break each Event into a separate Scrivener document. The text and synopsis will have the information about the event that you chose to export.


That's odd. What you describe makes sense, but that's not at all what happens for me. I did exactly this earlier (exported to OPML), and just tried it again. Data comes into the Scrivener binder as a folder containing just one document. That single document contains the data for all events and entities scrambled among the document text and the synopsis field of the card.
-- iGregor

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matt
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Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:11 am Post

Hi,
Again - could you try it with a different file with a few events only?

Perhaps there is something in your OPML file that is breaking the import - perhaps some of the data isn't formatted correctly. Does it have a .opml extension?

If you can get it working with a simple case, I will look at the faulty file to see where it is breaking the XML structure, and fix that in my code (or less likely, report a bug to Keith if everything is fine).

Matt

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matt
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Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:17 am Post

igregor wrote:
matt wrote:How would you ideally like to see Aeon and Scrivener integrate together in an ideal world?
And would you want to be able to have the flow of information go 2 ways


I'd like each individual Aeon event and entity to retain its separate/individual identity as it moves from Aeon to Scrivener (as separate/individual documents/cards).

For Events: I'd set up scene (or part or act) folders in Scrivener's binder, and would like to import individual events into their respective scenes (or parts/acts). I envision event titles coming into Scrivener as separate document/card titles, and info in the Aeon note field coming in either as synopsis, document note or document text. Event labels, tags, story arc, entities and start/end dates would come in as meta data for each event.

For Entities: I'd set up character, place (and the like) folders in Scrivener's binder, and would like to import individual entities into their respective binder folder. Similar to events I envision entity titles coming into Scrivener as document/card titles, and entity notes coming in as synopsis, document notes or document text. Entity types, tags, birth dates etc would come into Scrivener as meta data for each entity.

Regarding your second question, at this point I think it's more important to be able to move data easily and simply from Aeon to Scrivener than vice versa. That doesn't mean I'd discount the vice versa completely, but I envision using Aeon more at the front end of a project (pre/early-Scrivener) than later -- though would not rule out later (perhaps in Aeon 2.0...).


What you describe is more or less what I am planning to do, but I will export direct to the Scriv project instead of having it as a two-step process.

-----

Regarding going the other way - I agree Aeon -> Scriv is more important, but I am looking into ways to add some synchronisation features. This would allow updates in Scriv to be pulled back into Aeon... I am sure that, as people write, they will modify their planning and timeline, and it would be great if they could update either application, and then keep everything in sync.

Also, I can see Aeon adding some benefit for projects that have already started, if there is some key events in your text you need to straighten out during editing, or you want to check continuity.

In these cases, having some information pulled from Scrivener into Aeon would make the starting point easier to work with.

But agreed - I will make sure I get Aeon -> Scriv working correctly first before I worry about anything else.

Matt

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igregor
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Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:32 pm Post

matt wrote:could you try it with a different file with a few events only?
Matt


I originally began with a fresh test project file with only two events, two story arcs and four entities (two characters and two places) in order to make tracking the data simple. I exported in each of the export file options (txt, html, rtf, opml, xml etc.) and then imported into a new blank Scrivener project. The OPML import came in as described above. Upon reading your post about using Scrivener 1 export (OPML) I re-exported from Aeon to OPML and re-imported into Scrivener. Same result.

I would be glad to send you the Aeon & Scrivener project files and the OPML export file if that might be of use.
-- iGregor

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matt
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Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:23 pm Post

Hi,
Yes, please do send those files through to me. I will see if I get the same behaviour here, and see if I can work out which part of the process is failing - Aeon export or Scrivener import.

Matt

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igregor
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Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:15 pm Post

matt wrote:Yes, please do send those files through to me


Matt,

L&L board won't allow aeon file extension in posts (can this be changed?). So, will send files by email.

Greg
-- iGregor

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janra
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Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:33 pm Post

matt wrote:Regarding going the other way - I agree Aeon -> Scriv is more important, but I am looking into ways to add some synchronisation features. This would allow updates in Scriv to be pulled back into Aeon... I am sure that, as people write, they will modify their planning and timeline, and it would be great if they could update either application, and then keep everything in sync.


I would be interested in that feature, too. Right now I have my novel open in both Scrivener and Aeon, and I'm quite sure they're out of sync. They're close enough for Aeon to still be useful, though.

matt wrote:Also, I can see Aeon adding some benefit for projects that have already started, if there is some key events in your text you need to straighten out during editing, or you want to check continuity.

In these cases, having some information pulled from Scrivener into Aeon would make the starting point easier to work with.


I do pull info from Scrivener to Aeon. However for my case, I don't know that it could really be automated. My first drafts are written all in a rush, and I rarely set up meta data. I rarely have a firm idea as to what the timeline is. (And I rarely know where I'm going, at least at first.) The timeline usually goes up only once I start to edit, and that takes thinking about how the scenes relate to each other and their timing. It's so manual that having to create and name the timeline items is a pretty minor part of it. Have to look for keyboard shortcuts/navigation though, that'll make it go easier.

As I said above though, once I have a timeline set up, sync would be a nice to have. If sync is there, I'd use the automated pull from scriv to get it started and connected properly.

 

 

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