Project not in a recommended location

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rccisneros
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Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:43 pm Post

I’ve been using Scrivener since the 2.0 release and am now on the 2.0 release. I haven’t changed any of the default settings when it came to my backups and today I noticed it gave me the message of, “Project not in a recommended location.” I am curious to what this means, any help would be greatly appreciated.

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kewms
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Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:00 am Post

The error message is new in Scrivener 3.0.

It means exactly what it says: your automatic backups and live projects are in the same folder, which is not recommended.

You can change your automatic backup folder in the Scrivener -> Preferences -> Backups pane.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

Ch
ChrisW
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Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:37 pm Post

Today I installed the upgrade and am now also receiving the message of Project not in a recommended location. I opened, as you said, preferences and backup and only see one option to choose for where to back up. I have always backed up to Dropbox. Sorry but I don't understand live and automatic backups and how there is a way to pick two places. I also don't understand the message that tells me my project is saving within itself. I have gone on the manual and searched and still can't figure out what is happening.
Your help is appreciated, I am feeling quite dense about this new development since the update.Chris

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kewms
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Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:05 am Post

Your "live" project is the one that you add new work to. It's at the location you defined when you created it.

At intervals specified by the Preferences -> Backup pane, Scrivener creates copies of the live project. These automatic backups are saved to the location specified in the Preferences -> Backup pane. The 'Choose' button in that pane opens a standard Mac OS file chooser, which you can use to select any location you like. We recommend that you choose a location different from the one used for your live projects, hence the message you're seeing.

Note that saving your live projects and your automatic backups in the same folder has always been a bad idea. The only difference in Scrivener 3 is the message telling you so.

Katherine
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KB
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Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:39 pm Post

Just to explain why this is an issue: the default Backup settings only keep around most recent five backups of any project, to avoid wasting hard drive space. So, each time an automatic backup is mode, it deletes the oldest automatic backup for the project. If you work on a project inside the backups folder, if the project name clashes with the name of an automatic backup, it is possible that Scrivener will try to delete the live project, or that other conflicts could occur.

So, you should ever move the project you are working on *out* of the backups folder (by moving it in the Finder) or you should choose to set a different backups folder. Most likely the former.

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

go
godfree
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Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:33 am Post

In response to a question about the warning, "Project not in a recommended location", Keith responded, "If you work on a project inside the backups folder, if the project name clashes with the name of an automatic backup, it is possible that Scrivener will try to delete the live project, or that other conflicts could occur".

Can anyone explain Keith's answer more fully? I still don't understand what the problem is. Is there a better place to work on a project?

Where do most people work on their projects?

Is that working place different from the backup place?

Thanks

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lunk
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Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:49 am Post

When you start a new project you specify where to save it. You can save it where ever you want, except in the folder you specified for your backups. (... and not in Google docs, OneDrive, iCloud Drive)

In Preferences you specify in which folder you want Scrivener to save the automatic backups. You can specify almost any folder except the folder where you decided to save the project itself.

What is it you don’t understand?
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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lunk
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Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:00 am Post

I have all my Scrivener projects in a Dropbox folder called Scrivener Projects. In that folder there is a subfolder called Active Projects which is the one my iPad syncs with. When I want to have access to a project from my iPad I simply move it to the subfolder using Finder (drag and drop). When I no longer want to clutter up space on the iPad I simply drag it back to the parent folder in Finder.

My backups go to a folder called Scrivener Backups which is not in my Dropbox folder but in a Mega folder (which is another cloud service).
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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ChrisW
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Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:40 pm Post

Thank you for the responses. My apologies for the delay in thanking you. Based on my understanding from your instructions I have gone into my existing Scrivener projects and:
1) Clicked Scrivener Preferences / Backup/ Backup location /Choose -- I chose-- Documents Scrivener Projects
2) Clicked File / Backup / Backup To / I chose Dropbox

This hasn't worked - The project is getting saved to Dropbox but the active project is not getting saved to Documents Scrivener Projects. I've tried reversing Preference Save and File Backup but I am not given the option Back up to anywhere other than Dropbox or Documents. I can't figure out how to get it to a specific Document such as Scrivener Projects

Sorry to be problematic. There are two places to place backups - Scrivener Preferences and under the File heading. I'm not sure if my problem is trying to change existing projects. I really need step by step help.

Again thank you for your time .

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kewms
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Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:18 am Post

ChrisW wrote:Thank you for the responses. My apologies for the delay in thanking you. Based on my understanding from your instructions I have gone into my existing Scrivener projects and:
1) Clicked Scrivener Preferences / Backup/ Backup location /Choose -- I chose-- Documents Scrivener Projects


This setting defines the location of Scrivener's automatic backups.

2) Clicked File / Backup / Backup To / I chose Dropbox


This command creates a *single* manual backup to the specified location.

NEITHER of these commands affects the location of the live version of the project. That location was defined when you created the project, and can ONLY be changed by moving the project in Finder.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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KB
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Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:52 pm Post

godfree wrote:In response to a question about the warning, "Project not in a recommended location", Keith responded, "If you work on a project inside the backups folder, if the project name clashes with the name of an automatic backup, it is possible that Scrivener will try to delete the live project, or that other conflicts could occur".

Can anyone explain Keith's answer more fully? I still don't understand what the problem is. Is there a better place to work on a project?

Where do most people work on their projects?

Is that working place different from the backup place?

Thanks


Suppose you have your backups folder set to ~/documents/scriv_backups and automatic backups turned on:

  • Now, every time you work on any project and then close it, a copy will be made to ~/documents/scriv_backups. (A limited number of backups will be kept depending on the Preferences you have set.)
  • Now, suppose you have a project called MyProject.scriv stored in ~/documents/writing. You edit it, close it, and a backup is automatically made in ~/documents/scriv_backups.
  • Some time later, maybe because you have forgotten where the project was stored or because you've lost the original project somehow, you go to ~/documents/scriv_backups and open MyProject.scriv from *there*.
  • You do some work on it and then close it.
  • Now, at this point - depending on the settings - Scrivener might try to make a backup of "MyProject.scriv" in ~/documents/scriv_backups. To do this, it has to first delete any project of that name already there and then replace it with the current project. But the file of that name already there *is* the current project, so this will end up deleting the project you worked on!

This circumstance will only arise depending on certain settings in the Backup Preferences (e.g. if you turn off the option to zip up backups), but it is possible, and thus Scrivener forbids you from opening projects from within your backups folder entirely.

The solution is right there in Scrivener, though - the message actually says:

The project "ProjectName.scriv" is stored inside its own automatic backups folder. This could potentially result in data loss in the event of an automatic backup trying to overwrite the current project file. It is therefore strongly recommended that you close the project and move it to a different location.


There's then a button: "Show Project in Finder". All you need to do is click on that button to be shown where the project is in the Finder. You then close the project and move the project from where it was disclosed in the Finder to a different folder - somewhere outside of your automatic backups folder - and then open it again from the new location.

The *only* way you get this message is if you try to open projects from inside your automatic backups folder.

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

Ch
ChrisW
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Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:24 pm Post

Thank you Keith and Katherine for your hard work at trying to guide me on what to do. I have been a Scrivener user and lover of the app since it first came out, I think around 2005. This latest pop of of recommendations may be indicating that for all these years I have been doing the backups wrong but trying to do make changes has me so frustrated.

I tried your suggestions using a test new project and then I tried on one of my existing projects with utilizing click on find in finder, closing the project and then moving it to another location. I am attaching all the various pop up windows I am receiving when trying to reopen. Plus my other backup location of Dropbox now does not open the project, it flashes on for a moment and then duplicates itself. None of this is making any sense to me. So if there is any way of just continuing merrily along and trashing this warning recommendation pop up I would be happy. In thirteen plus years I have never lost or corrupted a project doing it the way I have been. -- saving to drop box.
Chris
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lunk
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Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:30 am Post

When I read your posts I somehow get a feeling that you are misunderstanding something fundamental about how Scrivener handles projects and backups and the difference between live projects and backups. I tried to make a drawing of it, to make it clearer.

IMG_0114.jpg
IMG_0114.jpg (330.68 KiB) Viewed 3534 times


When you create a new project you are asked to specify a name and where Scrivener is to save it. This is the live project and its folder.
When you work on the project and stop writing for a few seconds, Scrivener will automatically save any changes to the live project in the specified folder.
When you decide to stop for now, you close the project and Scrivener will now make a backup-copy of the project and save it in the folder you have specified in Scrivener->Preferences->Backup. If the tickbox for making a zip:ed backup is ticked, then the backup-copy will not be a normal Scrivener project package but a zip file. To open such a zip:ed backup-copy you need to first unpack it.

If you want to move a project or a backup-copy from one folder to another folder, you have to do it in Finder, using drag-and-drop. If you move a live project, make sure it isn't open in Scrivener. If you are unsure of this, close Scrivener completely before you do anything. And make sure you know in which folders you have your live projects and your backup-copies.

In most softwares files are handled differently and maybe this is what is confusing? In e.g Pages, Word, Numbers, Excel, when you start with a new "project", it has no name and no folder. You can write and calculate a lot of stuff and it still has no name and no folder. Then when you finish you choose File->Save as... and give it a name and specify a folder where to save it. Next time you open this file you might decide to once more use File->Save as... to save the file under a new name to keep the old file as a kind of "backup". You then have to files with more or less the same content, the old one and a slightly newer.

In Scrivener there is no need for any of this because Scrivener is 1) making sure you name the project and specify where to save it when you create it, 2) automatically make sure that any changes are saved continuously while you write, and 3) automatically create back-up copies of the project every time you close it.

Your dialogue boxes above show different things that really has nothing to do with this. The first two seem to show that you are trying to open a project created with an older version of Scrivener and it now has to be converted to the new format. The last one shows that you tried to open a zip:ed backup-copy without having unpacked it (un-zip:ed it).
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

Hu
Hugh
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Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:15 am Post

Hat-tip, lunk.
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

Ch
ChrisW
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Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:48 pm Post

Lunk -- your help was the break through I needed. You are amazing and saying thank you seems inadequate. I now understand and can see that I was complicating the process and tying myself in knots because of having projects open and not following the advice of closing and moving in finder. Your diagram and explanation untangled the mess I was making. I now understand and am up and running and appreciate everyone's patience in walking me through this. Have a wonderful weekend. Chris