Online Sharing/Editing like Google Docs?

Da
Darkenmal
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Sun Mar 15, 2020 7:25 pm Post

This app is shaping up really nicely, and I've converted a few others to use this software too. We've been using it for a project, but what's really been slowing us down is this: is there a way to make it so 2+ people can edit a single Scrivener file like you can in Google docs? If this isn't the case, I would gladly pay an add-on fee or whatever in order to facilitate this feature, because it would be really useful for me and many others.

Cheers!

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lunk
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Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Sweden 64° N

Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:32 pm Post

A project can be edited from different computers, but not simultaneously.
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, running different OS.
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 11 Pro, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

Ji
JimRac
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Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:38 pm Post

Darkenmal wrote:We've been using it for a project, but what's really been slowing us down is this: is there a way to make it so 2+ people can edit a single Scrivener file like you can in Google docs?
If you mean "share a single project concurrently", then no, there isn't. Here is a post that discusses a few methods for how to safely share a project. It's from 2017, but still valid.
https://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=38183

Darkenmal wrote:If this isn't the case, I would gladly pay an add-on fee or whatever in order to facilitate this feature, because it would be really useful for me and many others.
This request comes up every now and then. Below are posts from 2017 and 2018, where L&L provided a consistent response: "There are no plans for a web-based version of Scrivener at this time."

https://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=39018

https://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=50929

I've heard nothing from L&L since then to make me believe they've changed their minds.

Best,
Jim
I’m just a customer.

Da
Darkenmal
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:37 pm
Platform: Windows

Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:11 pm Post

JimRac wrote:
Darkenmal wrote:We've been using it for a project, but what's really been slowing us down is this: is there a way to make it so 2+ people can edit a single Scrivener file like you can in Google docs?
If you mean "share a single project concurrently", then no, there isn't. Here is a post that discusses a few methods for how to safely share a project. It's from 2017, but still valid.
https://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=38183

Darkenmal wrote:If this isn't the case, I would gladly pay an add-on fee or whatever in order to facilitate this feature, because it would be really useful for me and many others.
This request comes up every now and then. Below are posts from 2017 and 2018, where L&L provided a consistent response: "There are no plans for a web-based version of Scrivener at this time."

https://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=39018

https://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=50929

I've heard nothing from L&L since then to make me believe they've changed their minds.

Best,
Jim


Exactly what I'm looking for, thanks. We know how to share projects, but it would be way quicker if we could all hop on a single instance of a project and work on it at once. Hopefully L&L change their minds eventually.

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kewms
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Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:16 pm Post

Scrivener 3's "Import and Merge" feature can facilitate collaborative work, allowing changes made by one user to be incorporated into a "master" version maintained by another user.

But no, there are no plans to support real-time collaboration.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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narrsd
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Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:53 am Post

Katherine, I wonder if you're thinking of Mac Scrivener, in mentioning 'Import and Merge', or imply ing Project Merge, which seems according to manuals one previous ability which may not make it into Windows Scrivener 3?

This may be a wise decision, if so, as such merging even from originally same projects will easily get quite complicated depending on how thorough it tries to be; or if not trying so hard, work actually as Import Project already does in Win Scriv 3 -- bringing in structure and documents independently.

That's if I've fully understood myself...

Given I di,d, it seems there are two most useful scenarios:

- split the original Project into separate sections, which are independent and independently worked on, then can be merged into a Master project that combines the sections, always independent of each other, any connections to be later edited in (and needing to be done on later merges). I think this is the scenario you're actually suggesting..

- or if there really needs to be more than one person actively working on given texts, do those in a fully collaborative system like Google Docs (or Word), and then import the results into Scrivener later. Real collaboration takes a very demanding software and networking arrangement, I think evidently best depended on via those large organizations which have the adequate resources and intentions.

A Sunday afternoon brief mode of thinking, anyway, on this...

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kewms
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Mon Mar 16, 2020 2:42 am Post

I'm thinking of Mac Scrivener 3's Import and Merge feature. See Section 5.3.2 of the Mac Scrivener manual for details on usage. It works best when used as an automated version of your first scenario -- each person working on a separate section of the master Binder -- but will make a best attempt at merging more widespread changes.

If it's not in the beta yet, it will be in Win Scrivener 3 at some point: the project format is the same on both platforms, so there's no reason why the feature couldn't work the same way.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

wo
wordjoy
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Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:43 pm Post

I was part of the Microsoft Word test team in 1999. That is when Microsoft first started working on this idea in earnest. It took a totally new file format etc.

In some ways it has taken them almost two decades to make it work as envisioned back then.

I suspect the first way to do this would to be implement file locks on scenes so only one person could write in a sub file at a time. I wouldn't expect to see working on the same page etc anytime soon. Its a night mare of timing etc.

But part of the problem is that it takes locking the app to ONE cloud provider. Google Docs does this on Google Drive. Word does this on OneDrive and SharePoint (now pretty much the same thing)

Which ever system they chose would upset a lot of people.

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kewms
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Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:22 pm Post

wordjoy wrote:But part of the problem is that it takes locking the app to ONE cloud provider. Google Docs does this on Google Drive. Word does this on OneDrive and SharePoint (now pretty much the same thing)


Or building out our own cloud: a very expensive task for which we have neither interest nor expertise.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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narrsd
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Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:47 pm Post

Just to support, yes, actual shared/collaborative editing would be, and as @wordjoy recalls, has been a mammoth technical and logistics challenge.

This is why I suggest using Google Docs etc. if you want to do it, for something that works. It isn't 'just' any matter of file locking or server farms, it's complex protocols with a great deal of challenge in getting them and their infrastructure to be always reliable. Who did what when, assuring it, visualizing it, being able to merge or back out, recover from any and all possible data holdups or losses-- it's very hard.

@katherine, it's great to hear Import-Merge will eventually make it into Windows Scrivener 3.

That's an approach which doesn't have the difficulties of interacting collaboration, because it essentially just helps you segment a larger project so that individuals can independently and privately work on their own sub-project.


Scrivener then has its tools for managing your own Snapshots, etc. for changes in the document as it evolves. I suspect for really complex and precise work, as something legal for example, using Docs or Word etc. to monitor word-by-word changes in successive compiles might still be helpful.

For our fiction and so forth, watching the end result come into view is the nice thing, and Scriveners tools give us what we need for keeping around alternatives small or larger.