Collaberative workflow?


Im trying to set up / design an easy collaborative workflow between two authors at once…

currently i have dropbox and I tried folder sync… but since the export format is RTF and not really scrivener native its just good for the content ( text ) but not so good for the sharing of scrivener views with images ( great for story boarding ).

Are there any recommendations for workflow between two authors using Scrivener to collaborate on a single project?

What have others done?


heres from the manual:

Important Note
Note that this feature is not intended for keeping two versions of the same project in sync and should not be used in such a manner - you should never try to sync two different projects with the same folder. Rather, this feature is intended to allow you to edit or share project files with other applications or on other platforms, and then to have any changes made to the shared files reflected in your Scrivener project. It also cannot be used to perform structural or outline order modifications, just simple text content modifications.

---- end quote

So basically it sounds like Sync is not meant to be used to keep two Scrivener project users in sync… more to just share the contents with outside collaborators doing edits on the text etc.

I want to sync two Scrivener users…

the way I have set this up so far is to make DropBox my save location… then just reopen the file on another machine - it works if the user is just me and not at once obviously…

Is there a way or idea to allow two users collaborate on the same project at once?

( or maybe I need to just set up an SVN system for this?.. doh… I was hoping to make it simpler.) )

Your best method will depend a bit on the stage of collaboration and your collaboration style. The traditional method would be something like you suggest, saving the project or a zipped copy to a shared network folder and basically bouncing the one project between users. You’d never want to be working simultaneously on the project, Scrivener 2.0 is good about noting if the project is open elsewhere, to prevent your both opening the .scriv from the Dropbox, and will offer to make a copy. That would allow you to each work at the same time, of course, but it will mean you have to manually merge your changes since you’ll now be working in two separate copies of the project.

Better would be if you can communicate clearly on who’s working when, so that if Collaborator A is working on Mondays and Wednesdays, or from 3-5pm, or what have you, Collaborator B doesn’t touch the project at all during that time. With that method you can avoid forking the project and won’t have to worry about losing edits. Alternatively, if you confine your edits to specific documents–perhaps make a collection for each collaborator and only work in your assigned collection–even if you break off and work on separate copies, pulling the changes together into a single project again should be relatively simple. It will require one of you to sit down with the two copies open together to pull all the updated documents from one into the other (which can then be saved as the new merged project), but if you set up a time every week (or whatever works best for your schedule) to update the project this way and to revise your collaborator collections, that may work fine and not be much trouble.

Depending on your situation, you may find something like screen sharing or getting together with laptops in a coffee shop to work better for the planning, storyboarding stage, allowing you more real-time collaboration. Or you may find that in the early stages, each of you building your own project to play around with ideas as you discuss them, and then periodically looking at each other’s work and potentially combining ideas will work best until you fix on an outline.

Aside from not including meta-data, trying to use the sync for a planning stage won’t work because it absolutely requires the projects to be identical in the documents syncing–they are ID’d internally by Scrivener, so the title of the document means nothing, only its ID, and you must be certain that Document X in each project also has the same ID number. Thus you can’t* create and sync new documents, since they won’t have an identical counterpart in your collaborator’s project.

[size=50]* Technically you could do this but you’d have to do so much work to ensure it was going to happen properly that it wouldn’t be worth it, especially for inital planning when it would likely happen frequently. You’d need to create the new document in each project before you performed the sync, and you’d then need to check to ensure the IDs matched. If both collaborators were working individually and creating and deleting new documents, you’d end up needing to close the projects and manually go into the packages and change the ID numbers so they matched, and it would be such a mess that you’d be sorry you ever tried.[/size]

ahh… yea thats too bad. Scrivener would be X100 times more awesome if I could collaborate in realtime with someone else. At least if it was smart enough to allow changes / merges etc.

Actually just integrating an SVN client into the system would make that really work… check out and work and check back in.

But I guess Ill have to manually do this to make it work?

( this could be a great feature request… putting in some svn or git client side tools to allow files to work between users would be really nifty. )

ok thanks for the reply… sounds like I have no built in solution for handling this - and will have to make use of some hacks/tricks or a full SVN running to make it work… darn I was thinking that Scrivener handled this somehow natively - the sync / backup offline are almost what we want!


Do search the forums a bit; the collaboration/SVN/sync issue has been discussed before, so you may find some good tips (and some explanation on what will or won’t work and why).