I’m afraid I’m repeating myself once or twice here but… I feel like those using beta versions of this software should be aware of the problems that I’ve been having which culminated eight minutes ago when Scrivener ate almost my entire novel. If I did not keep backups, I would have lost an entire month’s worth of work.
As it is, I have to copy and paste from the compiled PDF file I made to show a friend last night, which is awkward enough already, then manually edit each and every line break, and then proof read everything all over again. Thankfully, as a Linux user, I have not yet been charged anything, but I’m afraid my writing is just too important to me, and my time far too precious to have to keep spending hours fixing application files and rewriting everything again and again.
First of all, the Linux beta that’s meant to never run out - did. On November 7th. They put up a new one but almost a day later and it took 6 hours to make it install so that I could actually open my files. They advertised on the NaNo forums obviously knowing full well that NaNo runs until November 30th since it’s on every page, as a version that would not expire. I had to learn how to make my own installation files. And I, as well as several others, panicked, thinking that we could not get back into our novels. Even after it was fixed, we were all more than a day behind in our writing, which would have put a lot of people off of continuing at all.
If it had been mentioned here, or anywhere at all that was relatively easy to see, and someone had made an installable version for more than one distro, or at least posted instructions, there wouldn’t have been a problem. But they didn’t. And I still don’t understand how they can say that Linux will be in beta for an unknown amount of time because they’re -not working on it at the moment-, at the same time that they’re forcing people to update to new versions. How can there be new versions if nobody is working on it? I understand the reasons for updates being forced, I really do. But when people were being encouraged to try out this software for an event with set dates, we should have been warned, and told where and how to install the new version.
And then my word count said that I won NaNoWriMo on the 26th. It was a little bit of a surprise, because I didn’t think I had written quite so many as 4k words in that one writing session. But I scrolled through everything to check, and couldn’t see anything that said otherwise. So I updated my word count, and decided to take a break from writing through the day today to catch up on another couple of things that I’d been neglecting. I reopened Scrivener to write some more before sleeping, and when I finished chapter 8 and went to add and name chapter 9, I saw that it had duplicated almost all of chapter 8 without being told to. I now had two chapter 8s on my file list, one of which was incomplete and which was definitely NOT displaying the day before. - Yes, mistakes can sometimes be made. But I checked every file and all word count options repeatedly before updating my word count because I was so surprised that it was displaying as 50k+ a full day before I expected it to. The second chapter 8 simply did not display until the application was reopened.
So I copied the contents of the longer one into LibreOffice just in case, deleted the shorter entry and went back to check on the longer one. It was empty. So I pasted it all back in and saved, clicked off and back into the chapter again. It had gone back to being a copy of the older, shorter version that cut out halfway through. So I deleted that too, cleared trash and remade/pasted the contents in.
However, it now displayed my word count as 46k. Which didn’t even take into account the amount I had written the day before. It was a good 2k behind what it should have been, even considering the duplication.
I wrote as quickly as I could to catch up again, and I re-won yesterday. I compiled the PDF for my friend as mentioned above, and started to proof read the prologue. This afternoon, I proofread chapter 1. I closed Scrivener for a break and took care of some chores.
And then I reopened it again about two hours ago. I proofread chapter 2 and rearranged a few sentences, adding in maybe another 70 words or so. I checked my word count to see how many. And it told me I had 46k again.
So I opened up my last backup, as well as the PDF and compared the three versions of the novel with each other. It had eaten half of chapter 3 - which I had not yet opened to proofread, and which hadn’t been touched since I had finished writing it, - and several chapters had randomly reverted back to older versions of themselves. They were not even as new as my most recent backup.
So then I spent an hour or so copying and pasting and correcting line breaks, trying to recreate the files as they were this afternoon. And then I closed Scrivener so that I could back up these files.
When I reopened Scrivener a couple of minutes later, I had three chapters listed. Three. One of which was incomplete. It had gone back to an even older version. I copied the backup I had just made back onto my hard drive. But that was the same. I hadn’t even backed up at the three chapter stage. I backed up for the first time partway through chapter 5. So I know that older backups didn’t accidentally replace anything. I had only backed up twice - the last of them several days before the duplicate chapter problem, at about chapter 7. When I checked the folders, the other files weren’t in there either.