Subversion Woes

I’ve just started using Scrivener and it looks quite promising. Difficulties with using it with subversion however is giving me second thoughts. I use a subclipse plug-in in Eclipse and have turned on the “subversion compatible saving” in Scrivener. Basically commits never seem to go through (as indicated by the subclipse “?” icon) and trying to recover the situation with updates/new checkouts appears impossible.

The documentation’s claims about Scrivener being basically compatible (i.e. without using any of its advanced features) with Subversion seems misleading to me as I have never even got basic functionality working. Are there any other experiences/workarounds or is this a Subclipse issue?


Hopefully some Subversion users can answer you here. I’m afraid I don’t use Subversion myself. As stated in the Help file, the section on Subversion was written by a user who had got it to work and described his workflow.
All the best,

Scrivener creates new files for each document in your binder, and when you do things like Split and Merge. Subversion does not know about these files. I’m not sure about the eclipse plug-in, but have noticed with other clients that I have to separately “Add” them to subversion, and then “Commit” them. Perhaps this is part of your problem?

I am now trying out Cornerstone as a client. It allows seamless Add+Commit operations. Seems to work, though I’m nervous since Subversion (or, indeed, any external tool to manage what Scrivener puts into its package) is not “officially” supported.


I concur on Cornerstone. I’ve been trying that out ever since I saw you mention it here and it is a pretty slick SVN front-end. The only thing it does not handle automatically are removals. If you delete a node, or even remove content from a node, in Scrivener it will clean up the RTFD file from the drive. Cornerstones seems to require the user to manually confirm resource deletions. Add commits are handled very nicely though, which is great since a simple editing session in Scrivener can often result in 40 or 50 adds.

Actually, I think the issue was that before “committing” in Subversion (sending it to a central repository) you have to shut down Scrivener. I think this was documented somewhere but nonetheless it is still pretty annoying - but not enough to stop using these two very useful tools together.

You may want to do another search for “Subversion” on these forums, I found that the .svn files in every directory can actually cause quite serious issues with Scrivener’s use of package formats. Ymmv.

I am also experiencing some problems with the Scrivener Bundles in a SVN Repository. Especially when some files disappeared and others were added. If I incidentally press “update” in Subversion, I have the deleted filed added again in my Scrivener bundle. Opening the bundle now tells me the .scriv Bundle is corrupt. Restoring it in Scrivener makes a big mess, even though all files are still around somewhere.
Doing something like a force-delete for all missing files would probably work, but for me the risk is too high as one wrong update can ruin a lot of work. I’ll stick with time-machine now, even if in general I prefer Subversion as revision control tool.
Anyone having a better solution, please let me know…

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