Hybrid approach for iCloud syncing

I’m probably going to hate myself very quickly for even throwing this out there, but a recent discussion in the iOS Scrivener forum made me think of this potential. And if I can think of it, someone else can too.

What about a per-project option to ZIP archive the project, thus making it compatible with iCloud syncing? There would have to be caveats about project size, performance hits, etc. – and I would think this would have to be an option that would be off by default – but this might help fill in the gaps for people who REALLY don’t like the current alternatives.

Isn’t this just the File → Backup → Backup To command?

Being able to work with ZIPped files directly within Scrivener would pose all the problems associated with changing the project format, with the added potential for confusion due to inconsistent behavior across projects.


It would be an option for iOS version, if I understand Devinganger correctly.

That’s what inspired it, yes, but no – the way I am thinking about it would be more of a toggle to Scrivener to tell it to take the extra step of unpacking the project from .ZIP when opened, work with the unpacked files (in their temporary location) while the project is opened, and then pack it all back up to a .ZIP when the project is closed.

This would add an extra bit of overhead at project open and close, but it would require only a small amount of change to the code, and it would then allow the ZIPped project files to be seamlessly synced via iCloud, Google, etc. Some people might accept this compromise if it meant they got to use the sync engine of their choice to move files between desktop and iOS Scrivener.

By simply placing a semaphore file in the root of the .scriv folder (something like “ONLY OPEN WHILE ZIPPED”) Scrivener would know to not open any copy of this project it sees that it didn’t unzip itself – so if you left one copy of Scrivener open and it had written the temp copy out to a synced folder, the other copies of Scrivener wouldn’t open that copy and allow you to make simultaneous edits.

Just trying to do some pie-in-the sky thinking here.

Hmm. I’m not sure how much access to the iOS “file system” iOS Scrivener has. So I don’t know if it would be able to do something like this. It’s a novel approach to the problem, though.


At the very least, moving a single zipped file around with Files would potentially create much less confusion – and support tickets – than the current method…at least in my thought experiments.

It’s a kludge and I’m not going to die on this hill, but I figured it was worth tossing out there to see if it shook something useful loose.

Oooh. That’s a wonderful pun and could mean anything. I approve!