Scrivener iOS syncing via Dropbox continues to crash the app

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Thomas Rabenstein
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Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:13 am Post

kewms wrote:I'd recommend installing iOS 13.1, released this morning, before proceeding with further troubleshooting.
Katherine


Since the App continues to crash on sync, I was newly setting up the entire iOs sync part this morning, means: I did reset Scrivener first, deleted the app then, deleted dropbox completely from the iPad, to reinstall Dropbox first, then Scrivener. The Dropbox cash was empty, the sync path "fresh". However, it still crashes . The only difference is that I do not have any project files on my iPad anymore. (It doesn't matter, I keep on working on the Mac for now).
Writer/Author/Selfpublisher in fulltime
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AmberV
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Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:07 am Post

Graham, thanks for doing all of that testing. The scale of how much is syncing could make sense, and it does seem to correlate with what you’ve found. Out of curiosity, how big are your projects? When the sync progress thing comes up, how many files are you seeing being synced for each project, and at what point does it seem to get unstable?

I’ve done some testing based on that theory, and so far I am not running into any issues. Here are the numbers:

  • 13 copies of the tutorial (57 files each): 741 files
  • 1 copy of the Scapple manual: 988 files

So at the moment I have a total of 1,729 files. I only have an iPad Pro (the old original one) available for testing, so maybe this is related to memory? Is it more easily happening on your phone than your iPad, and for those seeing it with an iPad, how old/powerful is it?
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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GrahamGrün
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Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:30 am Post

I think the largest project is about 50 mb. When I had only one or two big projects in the folder Scrivener was syncing about 5000 files and it worked. I don’t know the number of files when it crashed, because you don’t get that far (it shows „Downloading file lists“, then crashes).

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AmberV
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Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:33 am Post

Got it, that at least gives me a sense of the scale I should be testing with. I could have been duplicating tutorials for another two hours before hitting those kinds of numbers. ;)
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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JustAnotherWriter
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Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:19 pm Post

Here’s what I have found:

• Files previously syncing in iPhone iOS 12 are no longer able to sync in iOS 13.1 with Dropbox (If it’s file related).
• These same files are syncing without issue right now on iPad Pro with iOS 12 with Dropbox.
• I’ve unlinked and relinked Dropbox to scrivener iOS without success.
• Notebooks, Outliner and other apps I use for writing are syncing with Dropbox without issues that I’ve found so far.

- I haven’t uninstalled and reinstalled Scrivener because I have writing from iOS 12 that’s stuck on my phone atm. I was hoping this would be a last resort...

Has anyone had any success trying to sync with a different method, like iCloud?

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AmberV
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Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:42 pm Post

Thanks, and how many files exist in your sync folder? A good way of checking on the Mac is with the following shell command:

Code: Select all

find ~/Dropbox/Apps/Scrivener | wc -l


(Assuming, of course, a standard Dropbox folder location in your home folder, and the sync folder set to defaults.)

This will find all files and folders indiscriminately, list them, and then count the lines in the list and print the result.

Another question I’d have for everyone: does it take a while before it crashes? Does it seem like it’s getting to a point in a process when downloading the file list, or does it give up immediately?

I’ve been duplicating test projects all afternoon, hoping to hit the limit. I’m up to 15,000 internal files and folders being synced, for a total of 1.3gb, all from the same session, no crashes.

Notebooks, Outliner and other apps I use for writing are syncing with Dropbox without issues that I’ve found so far.


It’s doubtful these programs had to have a custom built Dropbox client written from the ground up, using its lower level core syntax. Most programs can get away with using the very basic API, where it’s more like asking Dropbox to do this one task, and then that one, and then that one. Completely unsuitable when you may have a list of things 150,000 in length to process. There probably aren’t many things to compare it to, really—alternative Dropbox clients, maybe, and then only if they allow you to sync twenty thousand files at once or whatever, as opposed to opening one and a time.

Has anyone had any success trying to sync with a different method, like iCloud?


I posted references to difference ways of using Scrivener in this post. As far as I understand it (don’t have an account myself, so I can’t verify), iCloud and Files work fine together, which means Scrivener and iCloud work fine together. And that uses Files should in theory work fine with everything else.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

gc
gcg
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Wed Sep 25, 2019 6:27 pm Post

Hello,
I've recorded a video of the crash. But I can't attach the file to this post since files with the extension .mp4 are not authorised (do you know a workaround for it ?)
However, it does take a little while and, in fact, Scrivener exits the main screen but remain active in the background.
Kind regards

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AmberV
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Wed Sep 25, 2019 6:51 pm Post

It’s usually easiest to upload the video to a file sharing utility and just link to it. Attachments are limited to small files here, as we have to end up hosting them indefinitely.

That’s a potentially good clue with how it takes a while to crash though. The theory that makes the most sense to me at this point is that it’s running out of memory. That’s the kind of thing that will cause the OS to forcibly shut a program down for, and it would also mean that the “trigger point” will be different depending on the device and how much else you have going on. It could explain why I’m not running into problems yet with this iPad Pro, but others have nothing but problems with an iPhone.

The oddest thing about it though is that there is no crash report. It makes me wonder if it is a even a technical crash at all, especially since you describe it “remaining active” (not sure what that means).
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

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GrahamGrün
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Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:09 pm Post

Using your terminal command I see 9705 files.
The crash happens when the notification "downloading files list" is up for a while. It's the same point which took so long a while ago, when me and some others were complaining about the duration of the syncing process (which, as far as I remember, also had to do with the amount of files). It doesn't crash immediately, but after loading lists for at least ten seconds.
It's an iPhone XS Max, so it should have loads of memory. And Thomas above has the same problem on an iPad pro.

gc
gcg
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Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:06 pm Post

Here's is the link to the video showing how Scrivener exits the main screen during Dropbox syncing but remains active in the background (or at last automatically starts up again and is therefore immediately active) :

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qkmsakvsjhrqc ... 2.MP4?dl=0

For full resolution do not use the preview inside the web interface of Dropbox, but download the file.

By the way, my device is an iPad Pro 2018.

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Gattopardi
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Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:34 pm Post

I have 39420 files in my Scrivener/Dropbox sync representing 27.81 go. My iPhone XS Max have a capacity of 256 go. I've never met issue with IOS 12. Like Grahamgrün, I have tested with some new sync folder.
The first attempt, I selected one project first and sync is OK ; I add a little group of project and sync is OK ; I add another group of projects and sync is OK, and so on until a weight of 12.56 go before crash.
The second attempt with a new sync folder, I sync only one project at a time and Scrivener crash only after 8.32 go.
Time before crash is a little bit longer with this new sync folders.
In the meantime I use iMazing for sync with USB. It's works, but it is clearly not convenient for my needs.
Last edited by Gattopardi on Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:48 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Astaff
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Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:38 pm Post

AmberV wrote: That’s the kind of thing that will cause the OS to forcibly shut a program down for, and it would also mean that the “trigger point” will be different depending on the device and how much else you have going on. It could explain why I’m not running into problems yet with this iPad Pro, but others have nothing but problems with an iPhone.

The oddest thing about it though is that there is no crash report. It makes me wonder if it is a even a technical crash at all, especially since you describe it “remaining active” (not sure what that means).


The app is definitely remaining active. It’s there amongst the open apps and a tap brings it back up. iPad Pro 12.9 13.1 yet works fine on X with 13.1

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JustAnotherWriter
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Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:45 pm Post

Hey AmberV,

Scrivener app definitely takes awhile before it crashes. A couple of minutes, in my case.
I have two projects in scrivener that are updating: one uploading and one downloading.

Using your shell command, I have 14427 files to sync in my Dropbox/Scrivener folder at 257.2 mb, so you’re way past that in your tests.

I’m not using the default location, I’m in ~/Dropbox/Scrivener - having the folder with projects pre-iPhone app days. Wonder if that could be an issue.

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genebreshears
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Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:00 pm Post

I'm also having this problem with ipadOS 13.1 on an iPad Pro 2018.

The find command mentioned above say I have 19581 files in the dropbox/apps/scrivener folder. My largest project is about 12 MB.

I see the Downloading File List message for about 30-45 seconds, then Scrivener just vanishes from the screen. It does not appear to still be active.

I have attempted to sync only one project instead of all of them, but the same crash happens.

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popcornflix
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Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:11 pm Post

JustAnotherWriter wrote: Has anyone had any success trying to sync with a different method, like iCloud?


It doesn't work the same way as Dropbox, but I've had success using Resilio Sync. It creates synced folders on multiple Macs, iphones and ipads and keeps them sync'ed without a central server using P2P technology. It works with any app, not just Scrivener.

You can use the basic version for free, or go pro for $60 and get all kinds of useful features.
.:popcornFlix:.