Using iClouDrive to sync

Any advice on using iClouDrive to sync Scrivener projects?

I suppose the same caveats would apply as to using Dropbox, though I’m not sure if one can check that syncing has completely taken effect with this newer software.

I can’t offer any official advice as I’ve never heard of it before, and there is nothing published in regards to the technology it uses to accomplish this. If it’s doing anything like iDisk did with WebDAV, I’d steer well clear. It wasn’t terribly reliable for high I/O rate software.

It just piggybacks on Apple’s iCloud, which somewhat unfashionably I’ve found to be extremely reliable in terms of syncing.

The caveat about not opening the same project on two machines simultaneously no doubt still applies, but it was the “wait for syncing to finish” that I was wondering about since there’s no visible way of checking this with iCloud. However I’ll test it with some test Scrivener projects and see how it fares.

If that’s the case, might it just be this? Hmm, now that I look at a screenshot, I bet that’s exactly all its doing. Just making an alias to the mobile files folder and calling it “iClouDrive”. You should verify this by going to the original folder as described in the link, and if your stuff is showing up in that folder, just be aware its an unofficial thing.

Yes of course that’s all it’s doing, and it’s not “official” but I can’t see what’s going to stop it working. I suppose Apple might just possibly change the ‘Mobile Documents’ basis of iCloud syncing, though I’m not sure why. Anyhow I’m going to test it, with a certain wariness.

In my experience, the only way to get successful syncs is to:

  1. Use the File: Back Up To… command
  2. Direct it to the cloud folder (in my case, Dropbox)
  3. Be sure that the “Backup as ZIP file” box is checked.

The last part is extremely important.

Are you talking about backups or project syncing?

He’s talking about syncing the absolutely safest way, I think. :slight_smile: With that method, you keep your work outside of network mediated folders and use them only as a fancy distributed globally accessible floppy disk. It means “saving” at the end of the day, and “loading” to updating your local computer from the stack of backups—but it also means zero worry over conflicted files and all of that. I wouldn’t say it’s the only successful way, I know plenty of people that plop a live project on a synchronised folder and work that way for years without error. But it definitely is the safest way, it’s the method that I use, myself. The only difference is that I have Scrivener’s automatic backup folder set to my sync folder on all machines. So I only have to worry about the “loading” process when I switch computers.

Sorry, I must be a bit slow on the uptake today, combined with a bit of cog fog … don’t the the three steps described above basically represent a method of backing up - namely, zipped backups to Dropbox? But they were described as “successful syncs”. Where does the ‘syncing’ come in to it?

I work on Mac “A”, and do zipped backups to a local folder on that Mac “A”. As far as syncing is concerned (i.e., being able to resume work on Mac “B”), I thought that keeping the project files in Dropbox is fine, as long as one makes certain that (a) one never opens the projects on more than one machine simultaneously, and (b) one makes sure that syncing is finished before resuming work on the other machine. I follow these rules before resuming work on Mac “B” and similarly backup to a local folder on Mac “B”.

I don’t understand what you do when you switch computers.

Again, sorry if I have this all wrong.

PS I should add that maybe I’ll change from remote syncing to local syncing, using something like Chronosync or DropSync. Somehow I don’t completely trust the security of cloud-based methods. I did used to sync encrypted sparse images in Dropbox to overcome that, until I noticed that inside the packages there were nasty conflict notices.

Oh it’s perfectly fine to do that if you follow those steps. The other method just keeps a stack of project versions in the sync folder so that it is available to all computers. You just take the top project off of the stack (as a copy, naturally) whenever you switch machines. It’s not “syncing”, it’s using a sync service as a more convenient flash drive. Where it is less risky is not needing to worry about following the clean sync rules.

The reason I use the “floppy drive” technique is because I’m horrible about following these rules and make a mess of things. :slight_smile: I think Keith uses the pure synchronisation method (and we use it for a number of internal projects), if you want an official endorsement (for Dropbox anyway, we can’t ensure Mobile Documents is as safe as it is less tested), that’s as good as it gets.

Yes, all this software does is create an alias to a newly created subfolder in the user’s Mobile Documents (in ~/library). As AmberV has pointed out with her link, you can do this manually without bothering to use the developer’s (a 15-year old) program.

Yes I’m aware of what the simple app does. (I hope the reference to the developer’s age wasn’t meant to be pejorative - who knows what he’ll be doing when he’s your age?) In any case I’ve decided to stay with using encrypted sparse bundle images, but instead of syncing them via Dropbox, to sync their contents over my network using Chronosync. I’ve set up my laptop so that the disk image is put away when it sleeps, so if it’s lost or stolen the contents are completely inaccessible to anyone. As much as I do like iCloud sync (not one problem so far) I can’t trust my work in the cloud.

ChronoSync is a nice piece of software, and probably the best solution if confidentiality is a required.