Sync between macOS and iOS via Nextcloud

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Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:33 pm Post

After doing a search on the forums I see a couple of people have asked for WebDAV support but there has never been a reply to it. So I figured I'll suggest the support once again, but not as a side comment to other tickets, but as a specific topic.

First off I have a Mac, an iPhone, and an iPad that I want to share Scrivener documents between. As of this writing the only way to keep a single project in sync with all three devices is to use Dropbox. I personally don't like Dropbox to hold important data, and I don't have a large volume space with the service to share all the documents I wish too. What I do have, instead, is my own Nextcloud server. In a nutshell, Nextcloud is a self-hosted file syncing extensible platform; it can do more but the file syncing function is the relevant part for this post.

I'd love it if I could store my Scrivener docs in a secure location (my Nextcloud server) and make those files available to all of my devices. I understand the team at Literature and Latte is small and can't just add in any feature requested, especially if only a small group of people will likely gain benefit from the feature initially, so here are a couple of thoughts on how to allow syncing through other systems besides Dropbox. I've listed them in order of the number of users that could use the features; from widest support down to smallest.

NOTE: This feature is really only applicable for the iOS version of Scrivener since the Mac and Windows versions can access the files stored in Nextcloud directly via the file system.

1.In the Scrivener app, in addition to local and Dropbox syncing, add support to "sync" to the Files app and all added locations. Since Nextcloud supports the Files app, if I could "sync" via the Files app, I could browse to Scrivener docs that Nextcloud has. This also has the added benefit of allowing syncing from any number of providers (like Google Drive, Box, or any other service that supports the Files app).
2. Add support for WebDAV syncing in addition to Dropbox, like the OmniGroup has done for all of their apps. This gives those who use Nextcloud/Owncloud, macOS Server, or any standalone WebDAV implementation the ability to access their files.
3. Add sync support directly for Nextcloud via their RESTful API: ... alapi.html

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:18 pm Post


(1) is planned but is far from trivial given the nature of Scrivener's package-based file format. It requires a lot of extra code to be added to the save and load routines, along with monitoring for external changes. It's high on my list for after Scrivener 3 for macOS is released, but will take a little while (and testing) to get right, so I doubt it will see the light of day publicly until 2018.

(2) has been on my list for a while but is even more complex, and I can make no promises about that other than that it's something I will continue to consider. Again, it's complicated hugely by Scrivener's package-based file format (which is necessary to support multiple files and research files within a project).

(3) is unlikely because supporting the Dropbox APIs is already an ongoing process and adding more APIs, especially ones used by fewer people, adds to complexity and the time required for maintenance.

I'm hoping that (1) will be the best solution all around for many sync platforms, although the solution I have to the package-based issues is currently only theoretical so I'm wary of saying it's *definitely* going to happen purely because I could run into serious issues in the implementation. All I can say for definite is that it is planned and the next big feature I am looking to implement in iOS. As I say, it will take a little time, though, so I can't give any dates, even vague ones; I can only say that it is a high priority.

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

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Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:42 pm Post

Old as this post may be, it's getting more relevant every day.

Nextcloud offers web-access, dropbox-like file sync, calendars, contacts, and it all works like a charm (and out of the box, if you care to set up a Raspberry Pi with DietP Linuxi, for example). The difference is that Nextcloud (like OwnCloud) lets you keep your data within your own control and on your own premises (even on the road, if you set up a VPN, which is equally trivial).

All it takes to tie into Nextcloud, is WebDAV functionality, a standard protocol.
Will this be implemented in Scrivener one day?

This is not a Nextcloud-specific question, by the way. I'm asking (somewhat pedantically, I admit) whether the Scrivener people would be interested in supporting non-proprietary, non-walled-garden solutions. Be it WebDAV, SFTP, whatever.

Please do.


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Tue May 07, 2019 5:08 pm Post

jcwippler wrote:Old as this post may be, it's getting more relevant every day.

I agree completely to the posting above. Additionally Dropbox introduced a "three devices limit" if you if don't subscribe to a monthly/yearly plan.

I use more than three devices, so I had to close my Dropbox. I am not willing to be forced into a monthly plan by my writing software. As much as I love Scrivener this is giving me serious headache. There is Nextcloud (just as an example) that works fine. Another reason that speaks for Nextcloud We keep our files. They aren't "somewhere in the cloud" - they are exactly where we put them.

Please do.