Syncing between Mac and Scrivener for iOS BEFORE having Scrivener for iOS

User avatar
xiamenese
Posts: 3934
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:32 am
Platform: Mac
Location: London or Exeter, UK.

Sun Jul 17, 2016 5:28 pm Post

1) I have never tried to access the files on Dropbox through the web interface, so I have no idea what would happen. I have no interest in doing it. I simply want to have access on my iPad using Scrivener for iOS to Scrivener projects which I share with my collaborators in China and which therefore have to be stored in Cubbies. Nor am I interested in accessing any of those projects with any app other than Scrivener.

2) There is one project called "2015-16 Teaching.scriv", which I have been editing on my iPad, on my MacBook Air and on my MacBook Pro. I am not sure, but I think that, at least on my MBP, I opened that project from the Cubby, not from the symlink in Dropbox.

3) To date I have had no problems with conflicts, merely being very careful to check that any device is fully sync'ed before opening the project or closing the device down ... the same precautions that I have been adhering to for the past few years. Also, I have never had Scrivener running on my Macs while I've been editing on the iPad, and I swipe-close Scrivener on the iPad before opening any of the projects on one of my Macs.

4) My collaborator on that project tells me she has opened it to have a look—she uses Scrivener for Windows—and said she found all the work I had done since she had last looked at it … roughly 15 short paragraphs of translation to which I added extensive notes and a revised translation with further notes.

I think, following your comments that it might be wisest to always open those projects on the Macs through the symlink rather than directly in their respective Cubbies. Also, I am waiting for my collaborator to have time to add comments or notes or make changes to the project to see what happens when I access it with Scrivener for iOS. I had hoped she would be able to do so during the Beta-testing period, but that wasn't to be.

As I said, I don't know what goes on under the hood, but it has been working for me up to now and allows me to leave my MBA at home and take my (non-WiFi) iPad to a coffee-shop and do some work.

@especiale, I don't know the difference between an 'alias' and a 'symlink', someone more geeky will have to explain, but you create a symlink by opening Terminal and typing

Code: Select all

ln -s ~/path to Scrivener project/project.scriv ~/Dropbox/linked folder on iOS/

so it might be something like

Code: Select all

ln -s ~/My Cubby/project-x.scriv ~/Dropbox/Apps/Scrivener/

but it's easiest to type the 'ln -s ' and enter the paths by simply finding the project and dragging and dropping it after the space, typing another space and dragging your designated Dropbox folder onto the line, then hitting 'Return'.

Mark
The Scrivenato sometimes known as Mr X.
rMBP 13" (early 2015) 10.14.5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSID
MBP17" (late 2011) 10.13.6, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSID
2017 iPad, iOS 12.3.1, 128GB, Apple Pencil
Scrivener, Scapple, Nisus Writer Pro, Bookends …

User avatar
xiamenese
Posts: 3934
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:32 am
Platform: Mac
Location: London or Exeter, UK.

Sun Jul 17, 2016 10:20 pm Post

Just to clarify, given your comments, Derrick, this evening, I did some more work on the "2015–16 Teaching.scriv" project on my MBP, accessing it through Dropbox. On the MBP, the full project is in the Dropbox folder as well as in the Cubby; on the MBA there's only the symlink.

So I did some more work, adding another four long comments on the paragraph I'm currently working on. I then closed the project on the MBP, quit Scrivener and allowed everything to sync.

I then woke up my iPad, fired up Scrivener and it said to sync Dropbox, which it did. I then opened the project, it opened to exactly where I'd left it on the MBP, with all the new edits in place. So I closed it on the iPad, then swipe-closed Scrivener and put the iPad to sleep.

Next stage, I woke up my MBA, allowed Dropbox and Cubby to sync, then opened Scrivener and opened the project from the recent projects menu. Again, it opened to where I had left on the MBP, with all the edits in place. So I closed down for the night.

I'll finish the last of the notes on that paragraph, then ask Shirley to have a look on her PC, but I'll wait until I've got her updated to the new version of Scrivener for Windows when it is out.

So, as I say, using the symlink seems to be working for me.

Mark
The Scrivenato sometimes known as Mr X.
rMBP 13" (early 2015) 10.14.5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSID
MBP17" (late 2011) 10.13.6, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSID
2017 iPad, iOS 12.3.1, 128GB, Apple Pencil
Scrivener, Scapple, Nisus Writer Pro, Bookends …

de
derick
Posts: 401
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:58 pm

Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:06 am Post

It seems quite mysterious to me that this would work, at least if understand the setup correctly.

User avatar
xiamenese
Posts: 3934
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:32 am
Platform: Mac
Location: London or Exeter, UK.

Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:38 pm Post

derick wrote:It seems quite mysterious to me that this would work, at least if understand the setup correctly.

As I said, I don't claim to know how it works under the hood, just that, for me it has so far worked without issues.

Mark

FURTHER EDIT: Derick, re-reading your post when you did your trial, if I'm reading it right, you were trying it with a .jpg and presumably an image editor, whereas I'm using .scriv projects and Scrivener. My thought is that your image editor(s) are not using the Dropbox API that Keith has used in Scrivener.

Using symlinks is not my idea; someone else commented on trying them early on in the Beta-testing and I realised that that was perhaps the answer for me for how to access the projects I share with my Chinese collaborators on my iPad, when Dropbox is unavailable to them. I can't remember who it was who first mentioned them, but Ioa pointed me in the direction of how to create a symlink.
The Scrivenato sometimes known as Mr X.
rMBP 13" (early 2015) 10.14.5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSID
MBP17" (late 2011) 10.13.6, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSID
2017 iPad, iOS 12.3.1, 128GB, Apple Pencil
Scrivener, Scapple, Nisus Writer Pro, Bookends …

User avatar
rdale
Posts: 1548
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:07 pm
Platform: Mac, Win + iOS
Location: St. Louis, MO
Contact:

Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:37 pm Post

In case it wasn't clarified earlier, Mac Aliases are NOT the same as Symbolic Links. Symbolic links were a feature carried over when they built Mac OS X on top of the Unix-like BSD operating system.

I'm going out on a limb here and guessing that the Dropbox software doesn't know what a Unix-style symbolic link is, and so sees it as a folder (in the case of a Scrivener project, that's what the link is pointing to... the .scriv folder). So it treats that link as if it were a folder within the Dropbox folder hierarchy, and copies that stuff up to its servers.

Do note that if you have a second Mac with Dropbox installed and running, the Dropbox/ folder will (probably) contain the project, and not a link.

I hadn't realized that things worked this way, but now that I know it's been working reliably, I'll probably switch up how I've organized my projects.
FKA: robertdguthrie
AKA: R Dale Guthrie, Robert, Mr. Obscure, and "Oh, it's you again".

User avatar
xiamenese
Posts: 3934
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:32 am
Platform: Mac
Location: London or Exeter, UK.

Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:53 pm Post

rdale wrote:In case it wasn't clarified earlier, Mac Aliases are NOT the same as Symbolic Links. Symbolic links were a feature carried over when they built Mac OS X on top of the Unix-like BSD operating system.

I saw in another thread you used aliases. I have always assumed they're not the same thing, but I'm ignorant of the differences. I knew about aliases, as there's a menu entry to create them; I only learnt that there were things called 'symbolic links' through these forums.

rdale wrote:I'm going out on a limb here and guessing that the Dropbox software doesn't know what a Unix-style symbolic link is, and so sees it as a folder (in the case of a Scrivener project, that's what the link is pointing to... the .scriv folder). So it treats that link as if it were a folder within the Dropbox folder hierarchy, and copies that stuff up to its servers.

Do note that if you have a second Mac with Dropbox installed and running, the Dropbox/ folder will (probably) contain the project, and not a link.

Yep, that's right. On my MBP the Dropbox folder contains the project, not a link.

rdale wrote:I hadn't realized that things worked this way, but now that I know it's been working reliably, I'll probably switch up how I've organized my projects.

It works for me. But, as I said, I'm still waiting to see what happens when Shirley edits one of the projects.

Mark
The Scrivenato sometimes known as Mr X.
rMBP 13" (early 2015) 10.14.5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSID
MBP17" (late 2011) 10.13.6, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSID
2017 iPad, iOS 12.3.1, 128GB, Apple Pencil
Scrivener, Scapple, Nisus Writer Pro, Bookends …

User avatar
rdale
Posts: 1548
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:07 pm
Platform: Mac, Win + iOS
Location: St. Louis, MO
Contact:

Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:05 pm Post

Thanks for confirming my speculation. And thanks for posting this solution; I had been too lazy to test the idea, and didn't want to risk making a mess of my projects while testing the iOS app, but now I'm confident that your solution is a viable one.

BTW, I'm also confident, given your experience and my limited understanding of modern OS file systems, that when Shirley edits the Cubby copy of your project, the changes will show up in Dropbox. Keep me posted!
FKA: robertdguthrie
AKA: R Dale Guthrie, Robert, Mr. Obscure, and "Oh, it's you again".