Updating compile settings from v2?

I’m the author of a toolset that would take a custom-compiled Scrivener output and convert it to HTMLBook GitHub - jorhett/scrivener-htmlbook: How to use Scrivener to write HTMLBook

It seems the compile features got a nice update in v3, and things I was doing outside Scrivener can now likely be done inside. One problem I’m having however is that the compile settings I created previously are being ignored, and I need a starting point. Is there anything that can be done to upgrade a compile settings file, or do I need to recall all the changes manually?

The old compile settings file is here: scrivener-htmlbook/HTMLBook.plist at master · jorhett/scrivener-htmlbook · GitHub

The new Compile command is sufficiently different that you’ll probably need to mostly rebuild your settings from scratch.

If you haven’t already, I’d recommend taking a look at our upgrade guide for Scrivener 2 users. You can find it here:

I spent about an hour on this and found absolutely nothing even starting to address this topic. While I never had expectation of being anywhere near the top of L&L’s priorities, I find myself deeply disturbed that after significant discussions about the limitations of the Compile mechanism in the past, and my having done work on my own time that provided a feature integration with O’Reilly’s atlas publishing platform–that directly led to Scrivener being the top-rated editor suggested for the largest technical publisher–that perhaps maybe if you overhauled the Compile settings maybe some of these limitations would be addressed?

No, it appears that even though Compile is perfectly capable of generating the entire HTMLBook output suitable for the finished product, you’ve instead:

  1. Not addressed any of the concerns I raised in previous conversations
  2. Actually hardcoded new things into the output that will make this even harder than it was before
  3. Abandoned the old compile settings with no mechanism for upgrade

And when said developer asks about upgrading the integration, you punt him to beginner feature docs for an upgrade… that have gotten so little attention they haven’t even been upgraded to the current version.

As much as I liked using Scrivener in the past, it seems you’ve gone out of your way to ensure it’s unusable for technical writing. Further, you’ve made it clear how little you value the people who bring features to your product for free on their own time… so, nevermind. I’ll mark my htmlbook conversion as unsupported, and find an editor with developers not determined to screw the people who extend it.

Since I wasn’t involved in the previous conversations you mentioned, I’m afraid I can’t say whether your concerns were addressed or not.

If you’d like more complete information, there are two full chapters on the Compile command in the manual, and another on integration with post-processing tools. (Including the ability to pass raw LaTeX through to the output document.)

And if you still have questions, feel free to open a support ticket, here:

I would further add that if you search the forum here for “processing pane” and “post-processing” in the post-2017 timeframe, you should find a number of good discussions on what sort of automation the compiler supports, and how one can even go about creating their own bespoke file format generators. In fact the Non-Fiction-LaTeX project template that ships with the software was built in part not only to facilitate demand for a native LaTeX workflow that did not require learning Markdown, but to demonstrate how Scrivener can be configured to generate complex plain-text file formats with no inherent knowledge of them.

And that project does not even dip into post-processing (outside of one very simple example script that could, when enabled, make the compile process go from producing a .tex file to a finished .pdf file).

You will also find practical examples of automation on the forum, for example this multi-file compile setup.

Abandoned the old compile settings with no mechanism for upgrade

Well that’s strange. This is what you were asking about initially, and the document that Katherine provided to you answers precisely how to upgrade your compile settings. I realise you have rather hotly declared that the tutorial does not address this, but I would suggest you give it another try.

This is even one of the bullet points on the page that has the download link!

In fact almost all of the compile settings will be updated if you import them from the project, or from your previous repository of compile presets.

As much as I liked using Scrivener in the past, it seems you’ve gone out of your way to ensure it’s unusable for technical writing.

If you say so. Fact of the matter is though, Scrivener 3 has a programmable compiler that is capable of constructing most forms of syntax directly (we used XML as a target benchmark for how detailed we wanted the conversion process to be capable of).

But whatever! Despite all of that, the ancient v2 system that couldn’t even handle a simple tagged text range and convert it to <something>here</something> was better. :laughing:

In conclusion, I would be happy to help you figure out how to get your workflow going with the new system. You may find a lot of it no longer needs to be in exterior scripts, and what scripting you do need may even be something you can pack into the compile settings themselves, making distribution to your users a snap. No installation instructions, no shell commands.

Might want to dial back the righteous fury a bit though, so that we can actually discuss things instead of spending time on paragraphs such as these.