iCloud Sync

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OwenKelly
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Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:01 pm Post

YouAlreadyForgot wrote:Dropbox keeps getting worse. More memory usage in the desktop app. Higher prices for less storage. Scrivener is still the sole reason I’m tied to Dropbox. It’s a bummer.


In my experience Dropbox does not ”keep getting worse”. In nobody’s experience is Dropbox offering ”higher prices for less storage”.

I have Dropbox Plus. My subscription renewed 10 days ago. Dropbox emailed me to say that when I renewed in June 2020 it would cost me $20 more. They also told me that from right now my storage has increased from 1 to 2 Tb. I also have Rewind and some other bonus features.

Since I had filled 80+% of my space this struck me as an improvement. I completely accept that if you have more than 2Gb in your Scrivener folder and this is the only reason that you use Dropbox you might lose out, but that strikes me as unlikely. Not impossible but unlikely.

I have two folders: Scrivener and Scrivener-archived. I move projects between the two according to which I need available on my iPad at the moment. At no point does it make sense for the Scrivener folder to be bigger than 64Mg because otherwise the iPad will choke on it.

For me at least Scrivener and Dropbox are both fine products that work together very well.

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brookter
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Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:57 pm Post

OwenKelly wrote:I completely accept that if you have more than 2Gb in your Scrivener folder and this is the only reason that you use Dropbox you might lose out, but that strikes me as unlikely. Not impossible but unlikely.


More likely than you imagine, I suspect— if there are more people like me who had more than three devices and so were caught by the recent introduction of the 3 device limit. I have five... and decided that as I'd had the free service for a couple of million years it wouldn't hurt me to pay it back by buying an annual licence and I didn't fancy the faff of juggling 3 devices for Scrivener files.

Since then I'd added more to Dropbox because it's there, but I'm still currently using only ~1% of my storage — of that 24GB, I *need* Dropbox for 10MB (the Scrivener files I currently work on).... every other file would sit quite happily in iCloud Drive (where I have a 200GB account). I don't have to do anything about it till next April, but a cost of £80 for 10MB and a bit of convenience isn't the best of bargains, really. I'd be surprised if I was the only one who moved up from a free account recently and and is now in a similar position

But an extra few quid on an annual licence isn't really the problem, it's also the direction the company seems to be going in: it seems to want to become a huge enterprise all in one solution rather than a single synch solution — I don't even understand what half the new features are... Wonderful for people who need that sort of thing (though plenty of experienced professional users don't seem convinced), but it's not for me. If they offered a lower tier service for a more reasonable cost, fine, but at the moment I think I'll drop it at the end of the current subscription.

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KB
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Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:06 pm Post

I do understand users' frustration with Dropbox and the reduction in the number of computers you are allowed. Unfortunately, we have two big issues with iCloud:

1. It's no good for our Windows version.

2. I would have to rewrite Scrivener from the ground up to support it. iCloud *does* support file packages - although I'm not sure how it would handle those of Scrivener's complexity and potential size - but not the way Scrivener does them. And almost everything in Scrivener is built on its file handling. So it's not something that can ever just be patched in - I'd need to take the very core of Scrivener apart and start again.

I'm not saying (2) is never going to happen - but it's not something that could be done in a few months.

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

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brookter
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Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:10 pm Post

You could take it as a vote of confidence that I forked out the £80 for this year's Dropbox just for the Scrivener integration.... :D

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Brammy
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Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:32 pm Post

One the one hand, yes, I would love it if Scrivener used iCloud for sync, but Keith's explanation makes sense. I'd also like it if it supported OneDrive, which would solve the Windows users issue. It would also be a redundant solution in case Dropbox goes under.

I don't mind the increase in Dropbox prices since it includes Smart Sync, which is very handy. Even if Scrivener is the only app I use with Dropbox, the cost per-month is about what I spend on lunch for a day/

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JoRo
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Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:46 pm Post

KB wrote:Unfortunately, we have two big issues with iCloud:

1. It's no good for our Windows version.


The new iCloud for Windows app doesn’t help, does it?

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/iclou ... verviewtab

Slàinte mhòr.

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YouAlreadyForgot
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Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:18 pm Post

devinganger wrote:It doesn't change the fact that it's the only widely-used sync engine that doesn't corrupt Scrivener documents unless the user somehow uses it incorrectly.


Dropbox may not "corrupt" Scrivener documents in the sense of making them useless, but somehow I seem to constantly have sync conflicts when opening Scrivener projects stored in Dropbox on my two Macs. Yes, even when I quit Scrivener between work sessions on both machines and wait for Dropbox sync to complete. That's the experience of using Scrivener's sole supported sync solution? As aforementioned, a bummer.

Personally, I wouldn't want my product's experience to be wedded to a third-party I have no control over and who seems hellbent on making user-hostile decisions.

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lunk
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Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:30 pm Post

YouAlreadyForgot wrote:Dropbox may not "corrupt" Scrivener documents in the sense of making them useless, but somehow I seem to constantly have sync conflicts when opening Scrivener projects stored in Dropbox on my two Macs.

Strange... I have been running Scrivener on two Macs and two iOS devices for several years now and have never had a single sync conflict. During that time I have created lots of projects and published four books, only by using Scrivener. So the core auestion is: what is it you are doing that causes the conflicts? Are you having linked images or something lime thatcausing the problems?
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running the latest MacOS
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 8, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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sidderke
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Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:57 am Post

My problems with the Dropbox sync started with the moment that Scrivener 3 came out, and my sync time went from 20 seconds to (in the case of my older iPad Air - where it also used to be 20 seconds!) 15 minutes. Yes, I have a couple of large multiple GB projects. Before you say it will choke up the iPad: those same projects worked fine, and *still* work fine on the iPad. It's only the 'Downloading File List' step that takes ages.

After talking to L&L on the forum, the reason they say it happened was that Scrivener 3 doubled the amount of files in a project *and* (this is crucial, because my sync times didn't double - it went from 20 seconds 'downloading file list' to 5-15 minutes, depending on the device) that the API that Dropbox uses on iOS to check the files inside a folder, is abnormally slow. If you did the same through Terminal, you immediately had a result. L&L said they told Dropbox about the issue, but it hasn't been solved yet. This is now 1.5 years ago and the problem has not been solved yet. (Honestly, I haven't had a lot of sync-issues, very rare, although it happened)

I love Scrivener. I bought full price for the upgrade because I want to support this company. I love its file format. I love how Keith communicates to us about the why some things don't work. But it's hard sometimes these days, with Dropbox limiting free accounts to 3 devices (a limit that will soon hit me if I update one of my devices), having a lousy API that makes for much longer sync times on iOS then before, some privacy issues, and now a new app that is very bad received because of the vision and the resources it takes. And I don't mind paying for software, but I really don't like subscriptions. I could buy a subscription for Dropbox, but only for my Scrivener projects, which would (in a way) make it subscription software, just to have a sync with the iOS version.

It's a difficult issue with no simple solution. I'm also torn because I would like to get away from Dropbox and like to have an 'easy sync' with iCloud, but I also agree with Keith that you can't just like that rewrite the basics of Scrivener which makes it great in the first place. It's the file format that takes care of all these specific advantages that it has, that no other software has.

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lunk
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Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:13 am Post

sidderke wrote:It's a difficult issue with no simple solution

Well, the ”simple” solution is to adapt to the way the software works, instead of requesting or hoping for the software to change.
That’s the way I handle all software
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running the latest MacOS
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 8, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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kewms
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Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:05 pm Post

Since the original reports of slow syncing with Scrivener 3 and Dropbox, they do appear to have improved their API. Are you still seeing the same performance issues as before?

There's also some evidence that the non-linear growth in sync times with project size has to do with the iPad's handling of things that are bigger than its available RAM.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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sidderke
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Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:38 pm Post

kewms wrote:Since the original reports of slow syncing with Scrivener 3 and Dropbox, they do appear to have improved their API. Are you still seeing the same performance issues as before?

There's also some evidence that the non-linear growth in sync times with project size has to do with the iPad's handling of things that are bigger than its available RAM.

Katherine


Thanks, the iPad is an iPad air from 2013 so it is on it's last legs, but this downloading file list just took seconds before the Scrivener 3 update on that same hardware. Now it still takes about 10-15 minutes. On the iPhone it takes about 3-5 minutes to download the file list. It took about 20 seconds pre-scrivener 3. These times are excluding the time to sync itself, which always goes fast on either hardware.
Maybe on the iPad the RAM issue is worsened by the ios updates getting heavier and the system taking more ram.
Last edited by sidderke on Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sidderke
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Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:43 pm Post

lunk wrote:
sidderke wrote:It's a difficult issue with no simple solution

Well, the ”simple” solution is to adapt to the way the software works, instead of requesting or hoping for the software to change.
That’s the way I handle all software


I get your point. I do want to add:
The problem is: it worked. I had Scrivener 2, big projects in Dropbox, and it all took seconds to download the file list and Sync to all my devices. And after the upgrade to scrivener 3 and all my projects, I saw super slow sync on ios (not the sync itself but the 'downloading file list' part). So I had something that worked, based my workflow on it and after an update it didn't anymore. I didn't ask for Scrivener to work in a way it never did before... I just wished it worked as fast as it did before, on the same hardware, with the same projects...

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lunk
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Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:47 pm Post

I understood that part, but the decision to upgrade was voluntary. It all has to do with how one handles change.

All those that helped pinpointing the cause of the slow sync did a great job. But now that the cause is found it’s a question of adjusting or accepting.
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running the latest MacOS
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 8, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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Rayz
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Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:00 am Post

sidderke wrote:And I don't mind paying for software, but I really don't like subscriptions. I could buy a subscription for Dropbox, but only for my Scrivener projects, which would (in a way) make it subscription software, just to have a sync with the iOS version.


Mmmm. Not sure. That’s a bit like saying my car’s a rental because I have to buy petrol every two weeks.

Scrivener can be used without Dropbox (and you can’t use most cars without petrol), so I’m not sure your analogy works.

I do understand your other points though, and it’s a tough one to wrestle with. Dropbox seems to turning itself into a Slack competitor, and though many seem to regard Scrivener’s inability to work with iCloud (or vice versa) as a problem with iCloud, I suspect Apple sees it as a design decision rather than a deficiency on their part After all, there are hundreds of apps on the App Store that sync perfectly well with Apple’s setup, and not all of them (such as Aeon Timeline) rely on storing all your data in a large monolithic bit dump (Ulysses).
So I don’t believe Apple is going to change its mind any time soon.

As I said, it’s a tough one to wrestle with.
As if I didn't talk enough: Dom on Writing