Syncing (yes, old hat by now, I know)

Sorry about this post, should it seem superfluous…

First I must admit to not having bought the iOS app, yet. Will do so, though, no matter what the answers to my question will be. (Though I hate having to get a Dropbox account)

Now, I may be thick or blind but I have not found a clear cut answer to my burning question anywhere, so here goes:

Why is it not possible to integrate OneDrive as a syncing option, as opposed to Dropbox?

The way I understand both services to work is like this:

There is a local folder which gets synced automatically (by a OneDrive/Dropbox app) with a corresponding “folder” (i.e. some place in one’s account) on the server. Now any app should be able to “simply” put its files into a subfolder of this local folder and the syncing is “magically” 8) taken care of. All Scrivener has to do is provide a way for the user to choose the preferred default folder for his Projects!

This works like a treat for me with OneDrive and Scrivener on my various OS X and Windows desk- and laptops.

My humble uninformed guess would be that it should be easily (more or less) possible to do the same way with an iOS app.

So, please, prove me wrong :frowning: or, preferably :smiley: , correct this “bug” better sooner than later…

Oh, and thank you for not flaming me (too much). :wink:

That’s not how Dropbox or OneDrive work on iOS. Apps need to call the cloud service APIs - there’s no background process that does it “magically” as on OS X. This means writing separate code for each cloud provider, and their APIs and capabilities are quite different (see … pared.html ).

If you make a quick search within the forum you will find clear warnings never to put your Scrivener projects on OneDrive, and technical info explaining why. It can create disasters.

Ok, so I have been proven wrong, already. :frowning:

Thank you.

Anything a human does can create disasters… :unamused:

As stated, this has worked for me like a treat for syncing between OS X and Windows. Lucky, lucky me (?) :wink:

I will keep my fingers crossed, therefore.

EDIT: Following your suggestion to do a “quick search” (a thing which, of course, I had already done before, as hinted at in my original post :wink: ) I have now found the following tip, which I might be tempted to put into place:

If you decide to move your “live” scrivener projects to Dropbox (or Cubby), but you want to maintain the organization of your files in OneDrive, try moving the .scriv project folder to the new location, and then create a windows shortcut to the .scrivx file inside the .scriv folder. Keep that shortcut in the project’s original OneDrive location. You should then be able to double-click on the shortcut, which will load the scrivener project in Scrivener in its new location.

(my bold)
Just remember that iOS can’t handle Windows shortcuts. :wink:

Nor can OS X :wink:

This is obviously a possible solution for desk- and laptops only (cannot really call them non-mobile devices, can I? :confused: ). And, quite as obviously, I would replace the “windows shortcut” part with a “os x shortcut” (so to speak) on my Macs…

I am not going to comment on OneDrive as I have never and will never use it. I have 50GB space on Apple’s iCloud Disk, but I only put zipped Scrivener backups on that as it is known to cause problems with package/multifile formats like .scriv—yes, I know that appears as a folder on Windows!—but I use both Dropbox and Cubby.

For years, I have been working collaboratively on Scrivener projects with a Windows-using friend in China, where for some totally incomprehensible reason, Dropbox is blocked. So we use Cubby, which works just as well. But I want to be able to work on some of our projects while I’m out and about using my iPad Air 2, so Dropbox needs to come into the equation. I can’t just put the project in Dropbox, as she wouldn’t be able to access it and it’s not possible to sync the iPad with Cubby.

So, on the Mac, my solution has been to keep the project in it’s location in the appropriate Cubby, and create a symbolic link to it in ~/Dropbox/Apps/Scrivener. Within my set-up, on two separate Macs and the iPad, I have been able to work without problem, taking care to be disciplined about making sure everything is fully sync’ed on Dropbox and Cubby before opening a project on a different device—a habit that’s been ingrained for years. I am waiting for my friend to update her Scrivener for Windows and make some edits on one of the projects, to test that nothing is going wrong when she does so.

I don’t know how this works, but for me working alone between different Apple devices, it does; I was one of the original 75 internal beta-testers and have been using this method more or less since I started testing the app. I know that my friend has checked the project in the Cubby and seen all the edits I had done to that point, though she did not modify it in any way. Also, I know that ‘symlinks’ and ‘aliases’ are different, but I don’t know what the differences are; and I don’t know if there is a Windows equivalent to a symlink.

But I put this here for your consideration.


EDIT: I have just thought of some further tests I should make on this system myself. I feel I cannot recommend it in general, but where there is a specific limitation, like my collaborator’s inability to access Dropbox, it has provided me with a solution.

Yes, the main consideration here is that, although on Mac and Windows the Dropbox or OneDrive client syncs all the files with the cloud automatically, there’s no way for such client to do that on iOS, because the file system is segregated and completely isolated for each app. This means that sync providers have to provide an API that app developers can use to implement sync themselves. And these APIs are usually quite basic, just providing methods for upload, download and getting a list of files that have changed. So I had to write thousands of lines of code using the Dropbox API to replicate on iOS what the Dropbox client does on macOS and Windows all within Scrivener.

That is the reason we only offer Dropbox sync at the moment.

All of the code in Scrivener that handles merging the changes is separate and would work with any sync solution, so in theory it would be possible for us to add support for other sync solutions in future. The main problem comes down to resources (I’m the sole developer on macOS and iOS) and the APIs available.

All the best,

Keith, thank you very much for this clarification.

So I will wait and hope for OneDrive integration, while getting a Dropbox account in the meantime.

Thank you for your work so far, by the way. Really appreciate it.

And no pressure on the OneDrive front. Tomorrow will be soon enough… :smiley:


I believe the quote was from my advice. Note that it’s suggesting a shortcut that would be located in the original One Drive* location of the project. It would be pointed to the project in the Dropbox folder set up for iOScriv access. This is solely for convenience when working in WinScriv (or MacScriv), as the shortcut/alias will be in the original location, next to any other files related to your project.

[size=85]* Or any non-Dropbox location on your hard drive, for that matter[/size]

That is exactly what I gathered, yes. Thank you.

And you are absolutely right in assuming the quote is from your good self. Apologies for not having mentioned your name or linked to your post, but by the time I was doing the edit, I had already lost the path and could not remember your name and could simply not be bothered to go looking for either again. :blush: (I am sometimes lazy like that, especially on such a hot day in the Office as today)

Hope you are not too miffed about this…

No worries. It’s just a forum post, and you weren’t saying anything mean. :slight_smile: I think of forum posts as a conversation where no one can interrupt you. In my opinion, repeating what you just read is no big deal.

By the way, if you’re using OneDrive because you work in Office, the recent integration of Dropbox & Office in its latest incarnations is terrific. And with Dropbox you’ll get versioning of all file types, not just Office documents.

Has anybody looked into using a local server? I haven’t bought Scrivener IOS yet but its important to me to keep my files local.

So, my question is: Can I use Western Digital My Cloud with My Cloud for IOS (found on the App Store) to transfer files between Ipad Pro and Macbook Pro?



You can either use the built in system, which require that the Scrivener projects you want to have on both Mac and iPad are saved in the same Dropbox folder, or you can transfer files between Mac and iPad using iTunes (USB cable). Those are the choices.

Thanks lunk for helping make a decision