A zip-like archive file format (NOT COMPRESSED!)

I’ve been observing new users of the Windows version, and the non-technical among them often don’t understand that they should stay out of the files within. There are people on the NaNoWriMo forums who recommend opening the individual rtf files when at a computer that doesn’t have scrivener installed (via dropbox or thumb drive), not realizing that this can lead to much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Also, the frequent questions, and confusion arising from editing a project on DropBox directly, lead me to think that if DB saw just one file, then conflicts would be handled in a more comprehensible way, rather than having some hidden “conflicted” files inside the project bundle.

So why not simply do what I’ve seen with office suites, which hold multiple files representing a single document in a zip archive? There’s just the one file to click on (instead of a directory to navigate into), neophytes don’t get silly notions in their heads about messing with a project’s internals (but it’s easy to get into them if necessary), and sync tools will treat the project as one file in stead of many, solving a lot of problems for people who aren’t as careful as most of us are on this forum.

I’ve brought this up before, but not as a wish list item, and there’s one thing I want to be perfectly clear about before the conversation gets side-tracked: I am not talking about COMPRESSION. Just bundling the files together into an atomic unit.

Wouldn’t this be a pretty big undertaking on its own since Windows doesn’t have this capability? This is more of a Mac convention than Windows and would probably confuse users even more. Lee’s focus would probably be better served adding features to catch up with the Mac version than coding a completely new file format.

The whole reason behind the current format is that Scrivener can access any of the files inside the folder as and when it needs. If you’ve got a gigabyte movie file in there for two thousand PDF files, that has no effect on loading time and doesn’t affect the memory usage at all unless you load them all up. With an atomic file format, that’s not possible - everything has to be loaded into memory. So, it would no longer be possible to support arbitrary research files, and things would be much slower when only a few research files were brought in.

All the best,

Well RAIN ON MY PARADE why don’t you. :stuck_out_tongue:

I had in mind the ability of some applications to poke around inside zip archive (but wasn’t married to the “zip” part of the equation, if that makes any difference). I was hoping that there was some kind of cross-platform container (like mac’s DMG “files”), which wouldn’t require Scrivener to load the whole thing, and which would allow external access to the contents while the project was open… but that opens up another can of worms (user opens spreadsheet from his Research folder, closes Scriv project, and then wants to save changes to the sheet).

sigh And here I thought I had come up with the million dollar idea.