Scrivener iOS syncing via Dropbox continues to crash the app

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Thomas Rabenstein
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Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:12 am Post

I have tried different things today like syncing smaller projects only, setting up the sync chain new, etc. It crashes each time.
Actually it doesn't crash, to describe it correctly. The app is being moved off screen into the background, but without syncing and it is still active.
See screenshot.

I do not think it makes sense to play around further. I wonder if L&L has any news about it. Are they looking after it? Can they reproduce the issue? I have a bunch of writers in my forum who have exactly the same issue, so it's not a single or isolated issue but a systematic problem.
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AmberV
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Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:04 pm Post

gcg wrote: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)…


Thanks for posting that. It almost looks like it may just be halting rather than crashing, which would be just as odd, but it clearly isn’t still running in the background since when you come back, the sync process needs to be restarted.

But this is one area where I’m not terribly familiar with the intricacies of how iOS works. I’ve always considered that “multitasking” screen to be more of a “Recent Apps” screen. On my phone I see stuff in there that is months old, and if I tap on the tile, the thing I activated obviously isn’t running and is booting a fresh session. Does stuff disappear from that view when it crashes, ordinarily?

JustAnotherWriter wrote:I’ve been troubleshooting this for hours today and I’m not sure what happened or how to fix it. It’s terrifying to have years of work on the line or even just lose access to it, so hopefully I can try and find a work-around fix for those of us who are still affected - but so far it’s looking grim.


That will never be the case. Please refer to this earlier post in this thread. Dropbox is just another method of moving data around.

@GrahamGrün: As if they had to clean their cache in the meantime. Maybe something within iOS 13 eats away memory?


That’s still something I wonder about, even though it seems to not be a major factor, one thing that is much more difficult to find patterns with is what the environment looks like, and how that impacts other heavy-duty processes like this. Thanks to the data you’ve all been contributing to this thread, it seems unlikely to be something solely on the Scrivener side of things. With full reinstalls having been done, full sync resets, there is little chance for odd variables like non-default settings, custom fonts, or other things that might be a trigger. It could still be content related, but it seems unlikely given that the trigger, for those that see it, seems more related to quantity than precisely which projects are involved.

Something like device model being newer is a factor of environment, so that is an interesting observation.

Some more tests I can think of:

  • To better rule out content-related issue: try using the Mac tutorial as test content. Duplicate it a dozen or so times and populate your sync folder with only that. Then proceed to test as you would with your own projects.
  • How loaded is the device; is there plenty of free space indicated in Settings: General: iDevice Storage?
  • And within that same panel, is Offload Unused Apps enabled, and if not, does enabling it change anything?

Obviously we’re still stumbling around a bit in the dark here. One last thing before finishing this post: if anyone has a reproducing case with a sync folder they would be willing to share with tech support in its entirety, something we could do is have you share that whole folder with us, so that it is linked at the account level, and then I could set up my device to sync to it from scratch and see if it crashes. Obviously that’s a leap of trust for anyone to take, and you’d definitely want to back that folder up since testing can be brutal to data.

ThomasRabenstein wrote:I do not think it makes sense to play around further. I wonder if L&L has any news about it. Are they looking after it? Can they reproduce the issue?


None of us has seen this actually happen. If we could see it, it would probably already be fixed since such things are very easy to track down once they happen on a developer’s machine, with all of the debugging available.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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GrahamGrün
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Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:49 pm Post

I had only about 4gb of free memory on my phone, but I deleted a bunch of podcasts and now have 10 gb free. It still crashes.
I don’t think seeing it in the multitasking panel means it hasn’t crashed. When I „reopen“ from there I get a short startscreen with the Scrivener logo before the app starts again.

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Gattopardi
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Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:35 pm Post

I found something that might be interesting. In the iPhone's analysis reports. I have a lot of "JetsameEvent". I have verified and they are created after Scrivener crash. The name of our app appears in the report . Perhaps the others can control whether such reports appear in their own device. If you think this useful, I can send a report for developers.

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GrahamGrün
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Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:05 pm Post

Yes, I also finally have a log file. Someone over at Facebook told me to look for a jetsam log file and there it is, Scrivener crashes and we get a jetsam log. I sent it to your support mail address. Hope this will help fixing the problem. I have other entries for other apps too, so the memory really seems to have a general problem.

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gcg
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Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:20 pm Post

I don't know if it will work for everyone but I found a workaround that worked for me.

I created a new folder inside Dropbox
then I moved all my Scrivener projects from /Dropbox/Apps/Scrivener/ to this new folder
I opened Scrivener iOS and it didn't crash.
Then I closed it.
I moved one project back in /Dropbox/Apps/Scrivener/
I started Scrivener iOS again and it synced this one Scrivener project without problems.
Then I moved back the other projects one by one and synced every time.

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Thomas Rabenstein
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Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:24 pm Post

AmberV wrote:None of us has seen this actually happen. If we could see it, it would probably already be fixed since such things are very easy to track down once they happen on a developer’s machine, with all of the debugging available.


Amber, some of our Scrivener FB forum users have tried out to trace the crashes and Robert found a Jetsam-Entry in the log area of his iPhone/iPad, which always appeared after the crash. He saved it to provide it to your support team. Hope this helps.

Greetings,
Thomas
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AmberV
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Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:36 pm Post

Sounds hopeful! I had seen one of these reports earlier, but it looked a bit like a generic system rundown rather than something specific to Scrivener, so had put it aside. Having a few additional samples of this kind of report may be helpful, please do send them in.

If it is memory related, something to try is to fully restart the device by holding down the power key for a few seconds, then swiping off on the screen. Reboot the device, and go straight to Scrivener and try syncing.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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Thomas Rabenstein
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Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:25 pm Post

AmberV wrote:Sounds hopeful! I had seen one of these reports earlier, but it looked a bit like a generic system rundown rather than something specific to Scrivener,


Yes, he did send it already ...
Meanwhile, I switched back to the good old times and copied the project file I am working on via iCloud and the iOs filemanager into the Scrivener directory. It works fine and the project file can be opened. (I disconnected dropbox before this exercise.). I know, it's a manual task and I have to copy it back when I'm done and this is not very comfortable, but at least a workaround.
Maybe it's time to implement an iCloud sync for the next release?
It seems to work better than in the past.

Greetings,
Thomas
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GrahamGrün
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Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:31 pm Post

Still crashes after restart …

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throthberghofer
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Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:33 pm Post

I tried gcg's method, and it worked for almost all of my Scrivener projects. Looking at my projects Scrivener crashes on those two projects with more than 100k words and more than a thousand files to sync (according to info I got from "show packet contents" on my Mac). So, maybe it's the number of files to sync that causes the crash? Just my two cents.

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sidderke
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Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:03 pm Post

Have it as well here.

iPad Pro 2018, iOS 13.1.

EDIT: Just did the update to 13.1.1, but still crashes.
Last edited by sidderke on Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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GrahamGrün
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Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:33 pm Post

I have good news and bad news.
The bad news: There was an update to 13.1.1 today, but it didn't solve the problem.
The good news: I dared to upgrade to iOS13 on my iPad pro and Scrivener doesn't crash here!
But of course, this is once more mysterious, since I have the exact same projects that crash on the phone but work on the iPad.

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Astaff
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Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:35 am Post

13.1.1 has not helped here.

The synch still fails and Scrivener drops to background app on iPad Pro 12.9 2018.

Strangely upgrading my iPhone X to 13.1.1 synched fine then a follow up synch failed per the iPad, then another synch worked.

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Vinyassa
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Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:27 pm Post

My iPad Mini5 2019, iPadOS 13.1.1 crashes
My iPhone SE 2017, iOS 13.1.1 doesn’t crash