Kudos and Table Question

I recently had a Dropbox nightmare … Months ago, I had synched my wife’s computer to Dropbox so we could share a few things. (She has a Mac. I have a PC ) Then I forgot about the Dropbox link and we had smooth sailing for months.

A few days ago, she decided to do some housecleaning and started deleting unfamiliar files. She would have never deleted files listed under a Scrivener project, but Mac weirdness hit …

<start_of_apple_rant> :frowning: Mac apparently offers this incredibly AWFUL, HIDEOUS, HORRIBLE view where every file on your system appears in the same list regardless of logical, true location … as if context is unimportant. I’m sure that’s good if you have the right mental paradigm (i.e. never deal with your files directly, only through Apple approved modes), but for those not jacked in to the Apple-hive, it can be maddening. </end_of_apple_rant>

Anyway, I opened Scrivener and half of my novel was gone. The structure was in place, but no text in the scenes. It took a few minutes to realize what had happened. Thankfully, Scrivener was auto-saving backups on exit (keeping the latest 5). I went to the oldest one and all of my data was there! YES! Incidentally, the 4th oldest did not have my data. Had I opened and closed Scrivener one more time, I would have been out of luck.

So, kudos for having a backup system in place, for defaulting it to reasonable values, and for making it easy enough to navigate source files and get what you need. :smiley:

I recently put together a detailed table to serve as a timeline for my story (I long for Aeon Timeline for Windows w/ Scrivener integration). I freely merged and split cells and even used a color coding scheme. When I opened the project the next day, the table was corrupted. The data was still “there” but shifted around. I scanned the tech-support and bug forums and read about a weird bug involving merged cells and color.

So, … :question:

[b]What should I avoid with tables until the bug is fixed?

Is not coloring cells good enough to avoid corruption?

Or should I avoid merge/split as well?[/b]


Glad you were able to recover from a backup! You might want to adjust that number to 10 or more, too, for an extra safeguard. As for your Apple “All Files” rant, it’s funny you should bring that up, as it almost caused us some serious havoc a month ago when an intreped youngster helpfully dragged all the files to a “Backup” folder–removing thousands of company files from their rightful homes. Erp!

One nice point with Dropbox (and they were heroes in the above catastrophe) is that it stores versions of your files for up to 30 days, so even if your last backup hadn’t worked, you may have been able to recover all your missing files via the web interface there. It’s a pain to have to recover them individually, but better than nothing!

As far as the table questions, probably the best advice, though least pleasant, is to keep it simple. Cell colours don’t seem to save correctly at the moment, so there’s no point to messing with them; text colour is usually ok, but there is a weird bug or two where a certain order of colouring text and merging cells can cause a crash or hang, so I’d suggest doing all your colouring in one session if you want text colour, and then closing and reopening the project before starting merges. (If you don’t want to go as extreme, you really should be fine just making new selections–the crashes typically happen when you’ve made a text selection across cells, then change the text colour and merge all without clearing the selection.)

You shouldn’t need to avoid split and merge entirely, but the more complicated you get with the cell division and nested tables, the more likely you’ll end up with the table not appearing quite the same after it’s saved and reloaded. Lee’s been looking into this, but it’s rather a deep issue with the Qt framework, so there’s unfortunately not a lot more to be done with it until a more major update when we can overhaul the text engine and improve tables as well.

I’m not sure quite what you’re after with the tables for your timeline, but something else you might consider is just using a reference to an external file, so you could keep your table in another program like Excel or even Word, and then just opening it from Scrivener when you wanted to view or edit it. You could even import the file into the project if you wanted, rather than keeping it external, and then just use the Documents > Open > Open in External Editor command to open it in the default program. (Word files won’t work for this, since they’ll be imported as text, but Excel or such would be fine.) Other timeline programs or mind map programs, etc. would work with this approach.

Another user posted about using a Python script to integrate Scrivener with Timeline Maker–you might be able to get more details on that if you were interested, although the post is from a while ago.

Thank you!

I really appreciate the table info. I’ve worked with Qt before on a previous project … not enough to have any insight into deep table bugs, just enough to be thankful that most of my current work is Java. :slight_smile:

As far as the timeline, I just wanted a list of dates in one column and events in the other. I was trying to color code them and offset by character, so I’ll keep it simple for now. I’m waiting for Aeon Timeline to come out for Windows. :slight_smile: