Will the release of OS X Mountain Lion affect Scrivener?

If Scrivener is made to work with iCloud…

apple.com/pr/library/2012/02 … tures.html

More than 100 million users have iCloud accounts, and Mountain Lion makes it easier than ever to set up iCloud and access documents across your devices. Mountain Lion uses your Apple ID to automatically set up Contacts, Mail, Calendar, Messages, FaceTime® and Find My Mac. The new iCloud Documents pushes any changes to all your devices so documents are always up to date, and a new API helps developers make document-based apps work with iCloud.

it might allow you to access files in iCloud simultaneously!!

download.cnet.com/8301-2007_4-57 … ep-closer/

A couple of iCloud features will not be available in the developer version I used, but Apple says they are coming soon. First off will be the ability to view, create, and edit the same iCloud documents from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Any changes made on any device will be reflected on all devices through iCloud. Also coming is a new Document Library that will launch with apps that support Documents in the Cloud. Besides giving you access to your latest documents regardless of where they were created, it’ll mean you’ll also be able to create Document folders in much the same way you create folders on iOS (drag and drop a document on top of another). You’ll also have a Share button built in to the Document Library so you can quickly send a document via Mail, Messages, or AirDrop.

iCloud is only available on the Mac and only to applications bought from the Mac App Store. It is therefore unlikely to be a great solution for Scrivener in the short-term. Also, iCloud has no effect whatsoever on whether a Scrivener project could be accessed and edited simultaneously - there is no magic bullet for handling potential conflicts when working with complicated files such as .scriv package across computers, so iCloud has no bearing on that.

Mountain Lion has only been announced today, so it is far too early to speculate on how it will affect Scrivener, other than to say that, as I have done with every major OS release since Tiger, when Scrivener was released, that I will be working hard to ensure that Scrivener is fully compatible with Mountain Lion when it is released.

I just thought this feature would be helpful if Scrivener could make use of it:


iCloud’s Documents in the Cloud service brings several enhancements. For example, in a demo by Apple, I saw that as you edit a document on an iOS device the updates are immediately pushed to a Mac version of the document even if it’s open in the application. And, Mountain Lion debuts a new Document Library where you can choose between iCloud documents and local files.

It’s not magic, I’m afraid. iCloud has been doing this since Lion, although there have been enhancements. Yes, it can push the new version to all machines, which works fine with simple documents of a few kilobytes such as a .pages or TextEdit document. Try pushing a gigabyte file instantly, though. And what happens if the user loses an internet connection and then accidentally makes edits on both computers? In such situations, data loss will occur. This is exactly the same issue you would face if you were working on Dropbox - there is no real advantage to iCloud over Dropbox in any of this, and iCloud is available on fewer platforms.

okay, thanks…

Just thought I’d ask, I remember reading a post where it said something to the effect that if two people were going to collaborate on the same project, they both could not access the file at the same time because the results could be disastrous. I’m not a programmer, but I thought it was be cool, that if you were just working on one section of the file, perhaps it would sync only that aspect of the file, but I guess I remember you reading that Scrivener file system is address as a whole piece, not a simple single file, but multiple files inside a giant file.

Will Apple’s moving to a new document library affect Scrivener in any way?

I should add that I’m not trying to be dismissive. I’ll continue to evaluate iCloud and it may well end up as a sync option in the future, it’s just that it’s not the be-all-and-end-all for Scrivener because it is very limited in its availability, and the “It just works” catchphrase that Apple likes to bandy about is a little misleading. Also, I really do want to look at finding a way for users to work on the same file on more than one computer at the same time in the future - this is a massive technical issue, but it is one I ultimately want to address. As for the new document structure, there isn’t one, really, just improvements to the iCloud storage system as I understand it. I have built and run Scrivener on Mountain Lion today - it’s the first thing I do whenever a new OS is released to developers - and it runs fine. The next thing I’ll be doing is going through all the enhancements to 10.8 and evaluating what I can take advantage of in Scrivener, and I’ll continue to do this right up until 10.8 is launched, by which time Scrivener will have been thoroughly tested on it.

All the best,

Thank you do much Keith!!! I really appreciate it, if you run across anything new and exciting in OS X 10.8 as it relates to Scrivener, please let all of us know!

Thanks again,


If I recall correctly, when iCloud sees a date mismatch between two devices it will save a copy of the old document and not write over it, leaving the user to decide which copy to use.

A sync type feature for only text would be awesome but I’m not sure how that would work with sandboxing, if say, I use iAwriter or Pages.

Here’s what happens with iAwriter:

  1. Create document on iPad, WiFi ON, Write sentence, “This will be the test document.”

  2. Turn WiFi OFF on iPad, Add a couple sentences.

  3. Open in iAwriter for Mac, Wifi ON, Write a different sentence

  4. Turn iPad WiFi ON, open iAwriter:

Selecting the older version on my iPad with iAwriter also running on my Mac causes the mac app to crash.
If I open “/Users/doylemaunder/Library/Mobile Documents/74ZAFF46HB~jp~informationarchitects~Writer/Documents/test.txt” with TextEdit it lets me browse all versions on my Mac. However, iPad doesn’t create versions like the Mac does.

I guess the worst case scenario is that you would have to browse older versions on your Mac in case you mess one up on your iPad.

Again, this has no effect on anything. Please see my post up-thread about how this does not solve issues when users have made change to the same project on different machines offline. On iCloud, just as on Dropbox or on any other system, you have to choose one over the other and thus lose data. This does not solve the fundamental issue of having two users edit the same project. There’s very little difference to using Dropbox, other than the fact that iCloud could only be used by Mac App Store users, which wouldn’t be a great solution for us.