Dangerous Behavior in Windows 10

Here is a serious problem that caused me some grief:

You haven’t chosen the standard way of using modal dialogs in the windows version. For example, they are sometimes treated as separate instances o the application. Usually, this doesn’t cause any major problems.

However, consider this example:

In it, I have two instances of Scrivener open. For my book Yesterday’s Thief, I have the compile dialog open. For Sanity’s thief, I do not. That screenshot shows what I see when I hover over the taskbar icon for Sanity’s Thief.

Here’s the problem:

If I click on the small image of the Sanity’s Thief instance (the left one), it brings up the Yesterday’s Thief instance.

This caused problems yesterday, because I made changes in the formatting dialog for the wrong project! That is, I thought I was working in one, but because of the bug, I was working on the other! This only happens if a dialog is open.

There are other examples of similar problems related to dialog boxes.

Hi TromboneAl, the problem that you describe does not look like being related to Scrivener directly. The thumbnail images, and their connection with the real windows is a functionality related to the window manager of each operating system. Scrivener neither implements the thumbnails, nor provides connections to the window manager which thumbnail relates to which window. It is all done automatically by the OS window manager. I could not reproduce the problem that you describe with any two projects(Win 10). Can you reproduce it with any other pair of Scrivener projects?

If it happens with all the projects on your machine, I would search the problem within a third party application, or a video card tool that has been installed, and adds functionality to the OS window manager.

If you cannot reproduce it with any other pair of projects(better create and test with two brand new projects), but it is reproducible with the above mentioned pair of project, please send us the two projects reproducing the problem, to investigate this further.(Feel free to remove any sensitive documents, but make sure the problem still exists with the projects you send to the Windows desktop support.).

Indeed I managed to reproduce the problem you try to point out in your post. Ignore my post above, as it is not relative to your problem. What you experience is a combined behavior of modal dialogs, and a single instance application. Although you feel like you have two Scrivener applications running, due to two Scrivener windows, there is actually always only one Scrivener application running in the background running multiple project windows. This ensures that you will never open the same project in multiple windows, which would be a disaster.

Modal dialogs block any usage of the application in any other window, until the modal dialog is open. Due to this behavior combined with the single instance application, you cannot work with any Scrivener project while you have a modal dialog open. For example you cannot edit the second project while the compile dialog of the first project is open. This modal dialog behavior is ensured by the OS window manager. In your case, although you select the non-modal Scrivener project window, when the Scrivener application gains focus, the OS Window manager will automatically focus, and show on top the last active modal dialog, which in your case is the compile dialog of the other project.

I agree this might be misleading, but it is a consistent behavior provided by the OS window manager, and the way Scrivener has always behaved. This is not a new Windows 10 behavior I am afraid.

Thanks for your response!

Yes, exactly. The problem is that modal dialogs should never launch a new instance of the application.

To see how it should work, open Notepad, and choose File/Save As. The Save As dialog is a modal dialog, but it is not a new instance of the application. It’s been this way since Windows 1.

I have never said that modal dialogs launch a new instance of the application in Scrivener. Scrivener is a single instance application. Notepad is not.

Sorry, I guess I wasn’t communicating well.

Just be aware, that the way it works, user can inadvertently make changes in the formatting dialog for the wrong project.

This seems to explain my disaster. I had what I thought were two projects open - the introduction to Scrivener, and my novel. I closed both projects, starting with my novel and finishing with the introduction. When I tried to open my novel this morning, I found that it contained the introduction - my novel has vanished, overwritten in the process of closing and backing up the introduction.

At first I thought I’d lost a year’s work, but I’ve found backups of the chapters on our external hard drive. However, I can’t find the corkboard, which has hundreds of ideas, sources, etc.

What should I be looking for (file name, extensions etc)?