Aeon Timeline + Scrivener Synchronization

ma
matt
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Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:02 am Post

With the update to Aeon Timeline 0.9 and Scrivener 2.2, synchronisation between the two applications has improved dramatically.

For those who are interested in what can now be done with integration between the two applications, I have written a post on the development blog that covers the changes:

http://wp.me/pkr2v-58

As a quick teaser, here is a screenshot of Aeon Timeline information within Scrivener:

Scrivener.png
Scrivener.png (47.5 KiB) Viewed 6397 times


Regards,
Matt

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Siren
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Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:30 am Post

This is very useful, Matt. I have been trying out the Scrivener synchronisation feature this morning, and it looks excellent. I particularly like the clarity of representation for the synch options, allowing a choice of updating the Aeon event or Scrivener document and making the direction of the current selection perfectly obvious.

One question, though. I have tried specifying an Aeon date and end date for a Scrivener document which has no corresponding Aeon timeline event, and then synching with "New event". I expected Aeon to create a new event with the dates specified in Scrivener. However, I am getting odd results. Sometimes the dates in the Scrivener meta-data are replaced with the start date of the timeline -- not just in the Aeon event, but also in the Scrivener document. Likewise, if I synch an existing event for which I have changed Scrivener metadata, and I use "Update event" in the hope of transferring the Scrivener fields into Aeon, the dates remain unchanged.

I *think* this may happen when I don't use the same date format in the two applications, but I have been fiddling with it for so long now that my eyes have gone squinty and I can't see the wood for the trees :D As far as I can tell, if I correctly enter the full long date then the event/document synch is performed as expected. But that involves asking Wolfram Alpha to tell me what day of the week a particular date fell on so that I can put the long date into the Scrivener meta-data, so it's not very convenient.

Do we have to use the exact date format, or can Aeon accept short dates from Scrivener meta-data even if a long date is the Aeon default? And would it be possible to display a warning message if the date formats don't correspond (or if there are other validation mismatches of any sort), to give the user a chance to sort it out and prevent accidental overwriting of meta-data?
Literature & Latte support team

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matt
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Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:01 pm Post

Siren wrote:This is very useful, Matt. I have been trying out the Scrivener synchronisation feature this morning, and it looks excellent. I particularly like the clarity of representation for the synch options, allowing a choice of updating the Aeon event or Scrivener document and making the direction of the current selection perfectly obvious.

One question, though. I have tried specifying an Aeon date and end date for a Scrivener document which has no corresponding Aeon timeline event, and then synching with "New event". I expected Aeon to create a new event with the dates specified in Scrivener. However, I am getting odd results. Sometimes the dates in the Scrivener meta-data are replaced with the start date of the timeline -- not just in the Aeon event, but also in the Scrivener document. Likewise, if I synch an existing event for which I have changed Scrivener metadata, and I use "Update event" in the hope of transferring the Scrivener fields into Aeon, the dates remain unchanged.

I *think* this may happen when I don't use the same date format in the two applications, but I have been fiddling with it for so long now that my eyes have gone squinty and I can't see the wood for the trees :D As far as I can tell, if I correctly enter the full long date then the event/document synch is performed as expected. But that involves asking Wolfram Alpha to tell me what day of the week a particular date fell on so that I can put the long date into the Scrivener meta-data, so it's not very convenient.

Do we have to use the exact date format, or can Aeon accept short dates from Scrivener meta-data even if a long date is the Aeon default? And would it be possible to display a warning message if the date formats don't correspond (or if there are other validation mismatches of any sort), to give the user a chance to sort it out and prevent accidental overwriting of meta-data?


Hi, your summation is correct, that Aeon is relying on the correct date format for reading in dates. When you sync with Scrivener, you specify the date format that Aeon will look for. And any dates that deviate from this are seen to be invalid, and therefore replaced with valid Aeon dates when synchronised.

If you are using a date format with the name of a day, it will expect the day name to be there - but it will actually just skip past it and not use it for determining the date. So you could write AAA 25/12/2011 just as easily as Sun 25/12/2011 and it would still interpret the date correctly (and in fact replace it with the proper date for you).

I agree with you that it would be more user friendly to allow some tolerance with this, so in a future update, I will at least allow the omission of the name of the day, for instance, and perhaps if time is missing, defaulting to an "all day" event starting at midnight, and other minor changes.

Obviously the order of Day/Month etc. would need to be preserved.

Regards,
Matt

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matt
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Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:21 am Post

Siren wrote:I *think* this may happen when I don't use the same date format in the two applications, but I have been fiddling with it for so long now that my eyes have gone squinty and I can't see the wood for the trees :D As far as I can tell, if I correctly enter the full long date then the event/document synch is performed as expected. But that involves asking Wolfram Alpha to tell me what day of the week a particular date fell on so that I can put the long date into the Scrivener meta-data, so it's not very convenient.

Do we have to use the exact date format, or can Aeon accept short dates from Scrivener meta-data even if a long date is the Aeon default? And would it be possible to display a warning message if the date formats don't correspond (or if there are other validation mismatches of any sort), to give the user a chance to sort it out and prevent accidental overwriting of meta-data?


Just an update: with the new release (version 0.9.3), I have made the date formatting more flexible, so that you can include or omit the name of the day, leave out the time (it will default to midnight), and write the month by name (eg. Nov or November) or digit (eg. 11). The only caveat to date formatting now is that you must get the digit order correct for Day/Month/Year vs Month/Day/Year vs Year/Month/Day.

Whatever format you write, the format will be updated to the selected date format (eg. adding name of day) whenever you sync.

Should make updating dates from within Scrivener a little easier.

Regards,
Matt

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janra
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Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:09 pm Post

Hi Matt,

I've been playing around with the sync feature the last few days, and I've noticed a few glitches as well.

One was that not all the documents that I added a date to in Scrivener seem to have been synced to Aeon, although that may be a user error - I told Aeon to skip a lot of them when I didn't have dates for the documents on the first sync, then added dates a few days later, when I had added a whole pile more new documents. I'm pretty sure I chose "skip" and not "ignore" on the ones it didn't transfer, but I could be wrong. It was a whole week or so ago, and that's a long time to remember which button you pressed. :-)

Another was that some documents which didn't have dates in Scrivener and which I don't recall seeing in the sync list at all (otherwise I would have told Aeon to skip them for now, until I figure out their dates) suddenly gained dates in scrivener corresponding to the start date of the timeline.

Third, each time (all two times now) that I've synced, my process has been as follows:
1) put dates in the date field in scrivener
2) close the document in scrivener when I'm ready to sync
3) sync from Aeon
4) add entity participation, maybe adjust some dates from looking at the timeline
5) sync from Aeon again

In step 5, most of the changes I made within Aeon show up as changes needing to transfer to Scrivener, but both times I went through this process, there was at least one document that had a bi-directional update - even though the Scriv file had not been opened since the previous sync (in step 3).

Otherwise, this is a very promising feature, and it does seem to have picked up most of the documents and saved me a lot of typing.

ja
janra
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Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:47 am Post

janra wrote:One was that not all the documents that I added a date to in Scrivener seem to have been synced to Aeon, although that may be a user error - I told Aeon to skip a lot of them when I didn't have dates for the documents on the first sync, then added dates a few days later, when I had added a whole pile more new documents. I'm pretty sure I chose "skip" and not "ignore" on the ones it didn't transfer, but I could be wrong. It was a whole week or so ago, and that's a long time to remember which button you pressed. :-)


So you can ignore this particular one - it was user error. I found the files when I clicked the button to show previously ignored files.

Be
BenjaminJ
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Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:11 pm Post

Nevermind, figured it out. Learned a hard lesson that I should enter meta data lol. Taking a lot of editing now to get everything sorted lol.

ma
matt
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Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:14 pm Post

I take it you edited your original question then :-)

Glad to hear you got it working.

Let me know if I can help any other way - and thanks for purchasing!

Matt

pk
pking36330
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Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:45 pm Post

Any advice on how to update a sync using Scrivener 3?

I have a project authored in Scrivener 2 for Mac that I have sync'd with Aeon 2 to create a swoopy timeline. When I open that project in the new Scrivener 3, it updates the project into Scrivener 3 format as a copy. It isn't immediately obvious how to now sync that project with Aeon 2.

Can I use the existing Aeon 2 sync project with the new Scrivener 3 project?
Or do I have to start from scratch with Aeon to create a new Aeon 2 project using the Scrivener 3 project?

Any advice would be helpful. A 'best practices' series of actions would be very much appreciated. This isn't time sensitive for me, so I'll just wait a while before doing something that can't be undone. Thank you in advance to any trailblazers who work this out and share!

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Silverdragon
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Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:28 am Post

I took the plunge and synced my old Aeon Timeline 2 doc with my newly converted Scrivener 3 project. It worked fine. I worried too, but for nothing. :D
So you know where I'm coming from:
  • I write fiction.
  • I'm not an L&L employee.
  • Mac Scrivener 3.1.4, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.14.6 (Mojave)
  • IOS Scrivener 1.2; iPhone 8+, iPad 6; i(Pad)OS 13.2.3
  • Website: https://silverdrag0n.wordpress.com

pk
pking36330
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Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:54 pm Post

My first try resulted in every single section/event being unlinked. Unless someone recognizes what I did wrong, I'm looking at having to manually re-link 162 sections as events in Aeon.

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Silverdragon
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Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:51 pm Post

That's depressing. I hope you have a backup..

All I can tell you is that I

1. Launched my timeline in Aeon that had been synced to the Scriv 2 version of my project.
2. Selected the Scriv 3 version of my project via Sync > Scrivener... and then choosing the new version
3. Saw that all my events had yellow exclamation points next to them, and
4. Clicked the sync button at the top of the synced events pane,

It just worked. My Aeon version is 2.2.6 (2.2.6). Mind you, there are 321 warnings, but that's because I only link critical events, and never "ignore" anything.

From the Aeon Timeline support forum:
aeonjess
Hi,
We have already worked with the people from Scrivener to get Aeon Timeline working with Scrivener 3, so there is no reason to delay upgrading from our perspective. The same with High Sierra, the current version should work.

Jess


If nothing here is helpful, all I can suggest is that you go over to the Aeon Timeline support forums at
https://www.aeontimeline.com/forum/chan ... er-syncing
and see if the Aeon people can help.

Good luck.
So you know where I'm coming from:
  • I write fiction.
  • I'm not an L&L employee.
  • Mac Scrivener 3.1.4, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.14.6 (Mojave)
  • IOS Scrivener 1.2; iPhone 8+, iPad 6; i(Pad)OS 13.2.3
  • Website: https://silverdrag0n.wordpress.com

pk
pking36330
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Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:29 pm
Platform: Mac + Windows

Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:24 pm Post

All I can tell you is that I

1. Launched my timeline in Aeon that had been synced to the Scriv 2 version of my project.
2. Selected the Scriv 3 version of my project via Sync > Scrivener... and then choosing the new version
3. Saw that all my events had yellow exclamation points next to them, and
4. Clicked the sync button at the top of the synced events pane,

It just worked.

From the Aeon Timeline support forum:
aeonjess
Hi,
We have already worked with the people from Scrivener to get Aeon Timeline working with Scrivener 3, so there is no reason to delay upgrading from our perspective. The same with High Sierra, the current version should work.

Jess


The process you listed is what I tried, but it didn't work for me.

As I mentioned on the Aeon forum, it very well might have been something I did wrong to break the link between the Scrivener project and the Aeon Timeline, so I just created a new timeline in Aeon. It only took an hour to get all 100+ chapter and scene entries back on the timeline since the Aeon metadata was still associated with each chapter/scene.

Probably my fault it wasn't automatic, but even manually re-working it was not bad at all.

I truly appreciate all the civil, constructive, genuinely nice advice here.

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Silverdragon
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Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:47 am Post

You're welcome.
So you know where I'm coming from:
  • I write fiction.
  • I'm not an L&L employee.
  • Mac Scrivener 3.1.4, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.14.6 (Mojave)
  • IOS Scrivener 1.2; iPhone 8+, iPad 6; i(Pad)OS 13.2.3
  • Website: https://silverdrag0n.wordpress.com