Why I don't trust Dropbox and what the Scrivener developer can do about it.

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scshrugged
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Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:51 pm Post

iCloud Drive has worked well with Scrivener for me (Mac to Mac). It's been several months now with zero problems. I don't use 'Optimize Mac Storage' or 'Desktop & Documents Folders'.

In addition to what's been posted, you can also monitor iCloud Drive's activity at Finder's Status Bar and in Icon View. See here:
http://osxdaily.com/2017/06/22/watch-ic ... gress-mac/

For quick access to iCloud Drive's folder, rather than enter it at Finder's preference––New Finder window shows––I've added iCloud Drive app to the Dock. See here:
http://osxdaily.com/2017/12/29/add-iclo ... -dock-mac/
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devinganger
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Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:06 pm Post

How robust is iCloud for Windows? Given the...stability...of past Apple software for Windows (not to mention life span; Apple is the only major company to kill Windows software faster than Microsoft these days), I would not want to trust Scrivener docs being synced cross-platform on iCloud. That's where Dropbox retains the advantage, IMHO, despite all of its many flaws.
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JoRo
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Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:11 pm Post

scshrugged wrote:For quick access to iCloud Drive's folder, rather than enter it at Finder's preference––New Finder window shows––I've added iCloud Drive app to the Dock. See here:
http://osxdaily.com/2017/12/29/add-iclo ... -dock-mac/


Thanks, And this,,,

iCloud Drive.jpg
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nontroppo
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:33 am Post

There is a very nice iCloud Drive utility that has recently been released by the wonderful eclecticlight:

https://eclecticlight.co/2018/05/19/cir ... neral-use/

It allows you to check status and functioning of iCloud drive files.

My experience running both Dropbox and iCloud (not on the same file obviously) is is that iCloud is far less reliable. Even with the fact Dropbox is totally blocked in China and I have to go through a VPN, sync always occurs immediately and is totally dependable. iCloud (250GB paid option, optimize storage and desktop and documents OFF) infuriatingly syncs sometimes immediately, sometimes it takes minutes, or occasionally just doesn't bother! Cirrus hopefully should help identify what the actual individual status is going forwards. But (as much as I dislike the company itself) I will grudgingly keep renewing my Dropbox annual subscription until I find a replacement that is anywhere nearly as reliable and ubiquitously supported as Dropbox is.

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Tacitus
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:46 am Post

nontroppo wrote:There is a very nice iCloud Drive utility that has recently been released by the wonderful eclecticlight:
https://eclecticlight.co/2018/05/19/cir ... neral-use/
It allows you to check status and functioning of iCloud drive files.
That looks rather more useful than the one I suggested upthread.
nontroppo wrote:My experience running both Dropbox and iCloud (not on the same file obviously) is is that iCloud is far less reliable. [...SNIP....] I will grudgingly keep renewing my Dropbox annual subscription until I find a replacement that is anywhere nearly as reliable and ubiquitously supported as Dropbox is.
Exactly my experience. I've used DropBox for a long time and never had any problems with it. I'm fortunate that in DropBox early days I was able to build up a reasonable storage quota via recommendations and since I only use it for live projects am able to manage without a subscription.

iCloud does have the advantage of lower storage tiers at lower prices but its quirkiness and unreliability kill it for me. DropBox and for that matter, Box and Sync, do what it says on the package although neither of the latter are recommended for use with live Scriv projects. iCloud seems designed more to push you towards supporting Apple's policy of selling devices with minimal local storage, everything else being stored in the cloud.
Last edited by Tacitus on Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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lunk
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:58 am Post

I can't help being intrigued by the title of the thread...

"Why I don't trust Dropbox and what the Scrivener developer can do about it."

Interesting question, but slightly impossible. I mean, what can Keith do to increase the posters trust in Dropbox? :D
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 Mojave.
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 11 Pro, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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Tacitus
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:47 am Post

lunk wrote:I can't help being intrigued by the title of the thread...

"Why I don't trust Dropbox and what the Scrivener developer can do about it."

Interesting question, but slightly impossible. I mean, what can Keith do to increase the posters trust in Dropbox? :D
There's trust and trust. If the OP doesn't trust Dropbox because it's unreliable and fails to work, that's one thing that perhaps/maybe KB could do something about by tweaking the way Scriv interacts with the Dropbox APIs.

If on the other hand it is a matter of, "I don't trust them because it's not end to end encryption and they might sneak a look at my next best seller and anyway Condoleezza Rice was on the board which means a geen light for the spooks" there's nothing whatever Keith or anyone else can do about it. :D
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Silverdragon
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:16 am Post

nontroppo wrote:...My experience running both Dropbox and iCloud (not on the same file obviously) is is that iCloud is far less reliable. ...


I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds this to be true. iCloud (and now iCloud Drive) has stunk since it was introduced. I'm stuck with it for some apps just by virtue of choosing to be in the Apple ecosystem, but danged if I'll pay for it, or depend on it almost exclusively for my cloud storage needs.

In this regard, it's instructive to consider where a cloud provider's primary revenue comes from:
  • Apple: Hardware sales and media subscriptions.
  • Google: Advertising. OS licensing.
  • Microsoft: See Apple. Add software subscriptions and OS licensing.
  • Dropbox, Box, Sync: Cloud storage rental.

Come to think of it, I could move some more stuff out of iCloud. I'll do that tomorrow.
So you know where I'm coming from:
  • I write fiction.
  • I'm not an L&L employee.
  • Mac Scrivener 3.1.5, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.14.6 (Mojave)
  • IOS Scrivener 1.2.1; iPhone 8+, iPad 6; i(Pad)OS 13.3.1
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scshrugged
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:30 pm Post

Since Sync was brought up––as Tacitus said, Sync doesn’t recommend its service for live projects. I’ve asked Sync specifically about Scrivener and included Keith’s explanation from here:
https://www.literatureandlatte.com/foru ... 05#p244405

On the other hand, xiamenese, a long-time scrivanato, has posted on the forum that that’s how he successfully uses it. That’s just one user’s experience, but for me, he’s a highly credible source.

I’m in the early stages of testing Sync with positive results so far (Mac to Mac). There’s more management capability and available features than iCloud Drive––including zero-knowledge, archive capability and versatile collaboration. If/when I get to the point of greater trust of the service's ability to sync live projects, it’ll be trust placed partially because of my continually present back up regime––something we all must have in place for whichever service we use.

Of course, the safer alternative method of ’syncing’ projects can be used as explained about half way down here:
https://scrivener.tenderapp.com/help/kb ... c-services
I'm a Scrivener user, not an L&L employee.

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Jack Daniel
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Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:28 pm Post

Well, personally, I experience this issue with iCloud every single time I use it for a large file.

For instance I place a copy of a file in folder set to sync with iCloud. I back up Logic Pro X projects all the time, and they can be 1.5 GB or so.

As soon as I place the 1.5 GB copy there, if I check iCloud, it sees the file, transfers it (or begins), and indicates that, for instance, 961 MB of that file still needs to be transferred to iCloud. Instantly.

I don't believe that for a second. Asymmetrical transfers mean uploads are done at a fraction of download speeds. 549 MB does not upload instantly. It's not possible.

Then, it continues to say '961', either for 20 minutes or so, or permanently. If it still says '961' after half an hour, which it often does, and I close the laptop in disgust, then open it later, the transfer will have completed. Updating the Finder window manually does not alter this behavior.

The point it it never gives an accurate indication of the transfer. For a file that is large, this is always the way it works.

I also regularly have trouble using iCloud to move files of maybe 40 MB from one computer to another. I put a copy of the file in a iCloud-shared folder, it indicates that it has begun transferring, yet it never (in the next 20 minutes) appears available on the second computer, even though it appears to be there when looking at iCloud from the computer it was originally on. It might not even appear as grayed-out in the Finder of that computer, indicating that transfer is in progress.

I know, there are other, better ways to accomplish that, but a thumb drive turns out to be the easiest and most reliable. I have these regular issues where a 40 MB file doesn't seem to appear for a long time, yet a 1 GB file might appear in under 5 minutes. Off-sight transfer is complex, I know, but DropBox seems to not have these issues.

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lunk
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Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:16 pm Post

Jack Daniel wrote:I know, there are other, better ways to accomplish that, but a thumb drive turns out to be the easiest and most reliable. I have these regular issues where a 40 MB file doesn't seem to appear for a long time, yet a 1 GB file might appear in under 5 minutes. Off-sight transfer is complex, I know, but DropBox seems to not have these issues.

And neither do Mega. It generally works like Dropbox. Box sometimes works like Dropbox and sometimes it doesn't, and you never know beforehand what kind of day it is. An instant- or delayed-upload/download day .
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 Mojave.
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 11 Pro, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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Tromano
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Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:57 am Post

After years of being on the side of Dropbox, it just works, I have had major problems with it--but not because of Scrivener. I have huge video files that I am trying to live in the cloud forever and only bring them on to the computer when absolutely necc. These files are 45-70 gbs. So it was draining my entire ISP load and then when it synced, it was not clear where my Dropbox files were in the process of syncing . Like i needed it on to make sure my project was synced up to dropbox, but leaving it on was burning data because of video.again, this is a dropbox ish.


virtualshift wrote:Let me start off by saying I have Little Snitch installed on my system. When I look at where dropbox is trying to send my files (and info) off to, It really worries me. Dropbox has 31+ different connections out going from my Mac at any one time. I'm not going to list them here, unless anyone asks for them, but I think that is just crazy!! Why does dropbox need to send my files to Thailand? Really?

What I would love form Scrivener: To start an new project or even just work on a current one on my iPhone or iPad when I'm away from my Mac, and be able to pick up where I left off when I get home, all with iCloud sync.

As for what I think the developer of Scrivener can do about it? Start a donation page or maybe even a Kickstarter project and start collecting money to hire a another developer/s to help add iCloud sync if you do not want to do it yourself. I know it can be done, it may take lots of work, but with the new iCloud file system, it can be done. With the amount of people I've seen on this form and others complaining about not having iCloud sync, I'm pretty sure you could raise enough money help solve this problem.

Please stop telling us to use dropbox and look to your community to help solve this problem. Maybe some of use with programming experience could even chip in on the project?

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kewms
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Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:09 am Post

For files that big, you don't want a consumer "cloud" service, you want a dedicated corporate server. Consumer services just aren't designed for that kind of volume.

Or else skip the internet altogether and use an external drive to haul the files around.

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Jot
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Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:24 am Post

Tromano wrote:After years of being on the side of Dropbox, it just works, I have had major problems with it--but not because of Scrivener. I have huge video files that I am trying to live in the cloud forever and only bring them on to the computer when absolutely necc. These files are 45-70 gbs. So it was draining my entire ISP load and then when it synced, it was not clear where my Dropbox files were in the process of syncing . Like i needed it on to make sure my project was synced up to dropbox, but leaving it on was burning data because of video.again, this is a dropbox ish.

I had this issue too (people I shared folders with put honking big videos in the folder). I also sync my ebook collection to DB but don't want to download 4000 books to my ipad!

There is a way around this issue though. Put your videos in their own folder in DB and then in the options, select "don't sync" (you can even select per computer/device). So, if I want one of the videos, I can select it in DB and download it when I want, but otherwise, it just stays in DB and nowhere else.
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