Full Collaboration?

I noticed in the iOS blog post that an all platform release is coming to comply with the new sync system designed for iOS devices.

My question is pretty simple, does this new, more advanced sync system open the possibility of a full and proper collaboration capability?

I use scrivener more for business than creative writing and that is by far the single biggest downfall of scrivener. In my world at least. We use git to bypass most of the problems, but still, its not perfect.

Can you unpack your question? I am having hard time figuring out what you mean here. What’s the ‘iOS blog post’? And what’s the ‘all platform release’ and ‘new sync system’ that may allow ‘full and proper collaboration’? And how do you use ‘git to bypass’ problems?


Think what is meant is “will the code necessary to support a single user updating the same document on an iPad and then on a Mac/Windows or vice versa be extended to support simultaneous multi-user access?” And by implication multiple device access too.

KB has been clear in other posts that Scrivener is not a multi-user product and is unlikely to become one in the foreseeable future.

Sorry, yes, thats what I was talking about.

I suppose my crew can continue using git then. But we will see. Maybe this more advanced sync system will open up some unintended capabilities.

Ahm… maybe I am extremely stupid and misunderstand completely, but… wouldn’t the current external syncing feature (which we use for editing Scriv docs on an iPad) work equally well if you decided to open a synced file with Scrivener on another Mac, instead of opening it with e.g. Textilus on an iPad? If both Scriverners, on both Macs, were synced to the same external syncing file, wouldn’t that mean that syncing the file when you open Scrivener would result in a message that the synced file was changed and please check the changes?

from what i have seen, when you sync to a folder, another instance of scrivener isn’t capable of opening the contents of that folder as a scrivener project. the project structure is reformatted and the primary config file for the project isn’t present. which means you can’t really resort things, add things, i don’t think your research goes along, etc. That feature just wasn’t meant for scrivener -> scrivener work. Now if you copy the project onto both machines, and have both machines sync to the same folder, i suppose its possible, but very brittle when you get to the issue of multiple concurrent people. Thats why we decided to use git to sync between machines instead of dropbox.

someone please correct me if i’m wrong there.

My hope is that since this new sync system is intended to go from Scrivener -> iOS Scrivener -> Scrivener that it can also be used to go Scrivener -> Scrivener. That’s the hope. Time will tell.

As I’ve experienced it one version of Scrivener will complain that the Project is open on another machine (or by another user).

As I understand it the most we can currently do is sync the Scratchpad (via Dropbox) and using an external device modify content there that will be updated on one Mac.

The code necessary for synching the new iOS version with Mac and Windows versions is entirely new but still retains the same user issue that a Project can only be open on one device at a time. If simultaneous access is attempted then one device will report that the Project is locked by the other. Not that I’ve seen it not being part of the beta crew but that is what I understand to be the situation from KB’s comments.

I think - I may be wrong - that the developer has previously explained that real-time collaboration - if that’s what the OP means by “full and proper” - would require the sort of development effort that only the likes of Google, say, could fund and provide - especially since with a Scrivener project we’re not talking about a single file, but the complexity of a folder with hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of inter-related files in it. (A search of the L&L site may throw up the post or blog in which he wrote this.)

oh trust me, i completely appreciate that. I’m a software architect by trade and as luck would have it, I prefer to use Scrivener to design software. I’ve built several collaboration systems and am actually using Scrivener as we speak to design a true real time collaboration system. It doesn’t take the level of Google to pull one off, but it is excruciatingly difficult to do right.

And to answer the original question: no, the technology we have developed for mobile sync was specifically designed to allow mobile devices to work with a project remotely, whether or not it is open. It is not applicable to two full versions of Scrivener competing for the same project resources, that would be quite a bit more complicated than what we developed (which is complicated enough!).

In theory you could have a second person on a mobile or tablet working on your project if you gave them access to it—there would be nothing to stop that of course, and if you both step on each other’s toes accidentally, you’ll be able to sort that out when you sync in the mobile changes and are alerted of conflicts—but we really did design the premise of the system around the concept of an author working on their own material remotely, or alternating between the den and the coffeehouse down the street.

For best results one is still going to want to communicate working schedules because, like I say, the optimum window we designed around is an individual stepping away from their computer to use another device, not sitting there using a device and their computer at the same time and making a huge mess out of it. :slight_smile: It has ample protection for someone doing that, or forgetting to sync now and then, but it’s not something you’d want to call a “workflow”, more like a “recovery”, same as if you conflict a bunch of files on Dropbox, with or without another individual involved—you’re going to be in for some merging of changes, and such a process is likely going to encourage you to not end up in the same situation any time soon. :wink:

Thanks for making it clear. Now even I understand it, I think: :smiley:
As for myself, I am perfectly happy with not having other people screw up my text. Collaborating with myself is enough of a challenge…

Yeah! :frowning: I know where you’re coming from, lunk :cry: