file naming conventions

My apologies if this is a dumb question. Do any of you have experience using leading white spaces in the names of your top level folders?

I've used leading white spaces for some of my Mac and synced Dropbox folders, including Scrivener folders over the years, and disaster has never followed. 

However, I have a big book project that I'm getting into some order on Scrivener 3 and have decided to use a somewhat more complex file structure: A top-level folder, "  Scrivener," which will have two leading spaces, and below folders for backups; Scrivener "resources," including the manual, related articles on Scrivener; folder for templates, layouts, etc.,; and a folder for syncing to iOS app on iPhone and iPad.  (If a picture helps, see the structure below.)

 Will those two leading white spaces get me in trouble? In particular I'm thinking of those hidden files that run behind Scrivener, Dropbox and the iOS system.  (I do use Spotlight search to find many things, but I also like to look inside my folders, especially for Scrivener.)  If you do look at the structure below, will here there be dragons?

I’m something of a Neanderthal on Scrivener, using it for journal articles, reviews, and class prep, but I’m really excited to use it for a bigger project and learn more about it, especially Scrivener 3 (all device systems late model and updated).

Thanks, Linn

The file structure I anticipate goes something like this (note leading white spaces in second line):
MNE file structure 1.4.png

I don’t use leading spaces to control sorting of items in the Finder (or elsewhere) but I do use visible characters, such as dashes and asterisks. I use them simply because they are visible and therefore, to me, less confusing than spaces. I have sometimes adopted little-used symbols like §, so searching for it will bring up “important stuff” I have marked with it, whereas searching for spaces would probably bring up all sorts of things. Using such symbols multiple times is a crude way of indicating how important a file is (i.e. “§§§Some File” would be really important).

I’ve seen all sorts of wonderful systems in blog posts and articles over the years, and I’ve tried to implement many of them, but I found that none of them really worked that well because they hadn’t been set up by me for my purposes. I’ve usually found that it is only when I try to do some actual work that I find what the problems are, and where my expectations and methods don’t fit with the wonderful system.

One observation on your file structure is that putting your backups with the live material is probably not best practice. It would be better to put them on another disc or server.

But I would suggest you find what works for you. If you really want to confuse yourself, have a look at the looong discussions about knowledge work and methods on this site:

Best of luck with it!

I would guess it doesn’t really matter if the space is here or there in the name. You can use spaces in the middle of the file name, so why not the beginning? To the system it is just another character, like “d” is.

As for whether it is safe throughout all of the various systems that might encounter it—the best way to find out would be through simple testing. Just throw the Tutorial or something else disposable into a sample hierarchy using this naming scheme and trying a few two-way edits and syncs. Any issues? If not it’s unlikely you’ll encounter problems for that reason.

I think the larger issue with your proposal here isn’t so much the naming scheme but the scope of it. You’ve got all kinds of files in here as well as the projects themselves, and if the idea is that the iOS version is going to be scanning this whole " Scrivener" folder every time you so much as edit a sentence, well it’s just going to slow the whole thing down, trawling through not only all of Scrivener’s stuff, but whatever PDFs and DOCX and JPG and automatic backups and so forth files that will be accumulating in these project folders. (I’m no typical Scrivener user, and I keep old copies 25 in rotation, but for frame of reference my automatic backup folder clocks in at just under 10 gigabytes.)

Better to treat the Scrivener sync folder as a place to sync only Scrivener projects (and shared resources like fonts and .scomp files), and use aliases/shortcuts/symlinks pointing to these .scriv projects from the master project folders themselves; store those wherever you like.

Thank you, mbbntu. You’ve made two important points: (1) we might learn and find inspiration from other systems of practice, but (2) the ones that work best are those set up by ourselves for ourselves. Ouch–that lesson takes a long time to learn!
Thank you also for the link to the zettelkasten site. I looked at the top page and immediately recognized that I had a choice: write my book or read someone else’s book about how to write my book. :wink:

Thanks for your advice, AmberV. It took a while to test, but spaces are treated like any other character throughout the process of saving and revising. Also they are stable through the syncing operations with iOS on both my iPhone and iPad Pro, too.
As I’ve only started playing with iOS Scrivener, I hadn’t thought about the iOS version scanning the whole Scrivener folder. In any event, I’ll go back to the single Scrivener folder and use alias as you suggested.