Writeroom, PlainText, SimpleText, Dropbox, gaaah!

Things are changing pretty fast in the iPad world. I’m supposing you know what Jesse Grosjean over at Hog Bay Software has been up to since Scriv hooks into his SimpleText.ws. Here’s his latest update on WriteRoom for iPhone, which basically is getting rewritten and moving off of SimpleText.ws:

blog.hogbaysoftware.com/post/761 … one-status

So now the question is how Scrivener is going to work with this Dropbox sync, which has been advised against for saving .scriv files. PlainText should be out within weeks, and it apparently abandons SimpleText in favor of Dropbox. I don’t know if we even need the hook anymore since Dropbox (and actually SimpleText via the Snow Leopard app) make all notes and files accessible through the OS file system.

Given there won’t be a Scrivener iOS app in the foreseeable future, I was hoping to keep Writeroom/Plaintext as my mobile solutions. So I guess the bottom line question is: what are Scriv’s plans in this regard?

I’ve just today finished an external folder syncing feature that will be ideal for working with PlainText (for version 2.0 of course).

Wowza. It’s teasers like that that make me all tingly when thinking about 2.0. For goodness sake, FOLDER SYNCING!? Very very exciting.

Well, it’s not as advanced as it sounds. :slight_smile: You can’t sync the entire folder structure or anything, as that would be a technical nightmare - but it is rather cool way of taking, editing and creating project documents on the iPad.

Right, a good way of thinking of it is that it will keep text contents in your project synchronised between a project and its external folder. It isn’t a full project sync, structural tool, or anything like that. It’s for editing text remotely (or via a separate author/editor) and taking those edits in later automatically. Caveat aside, it is awfully nice and will work very well with mobile tools like this, or even just another writer (or yourself, in Windows) accessing files in their word processor.

Thanks for telling us about it. I can’t quite visualize it right now, but I’m excited to see it. If I remember correctly, the .scriv structuring is being rewritten for 2.0, yes? Documents within projects will have “real” names instead of numbers, or am I misremembering this?

Against your recommendation, I keep all my projects on Dropbox. (Wrap my knuckles, but it makes life so much easier.) As long as I quit it at home or work when I’m at the other computer, it works like a charm. With that, on Dropbox’s iOS sees .scriv projects as folders, so sometimes when I’m out I dip into a project to find some key text on my iPhone or iPad. This usually requires some hunting, especially because Dropbox also sees .rtfd files as folders (which they basically are anyway).

Do I recall correctly? Will 2.0 have clearer naming of the “package contents”?

No, I’ve never said anything like this. The internals of Scrivener’s file format are changing, but the numbered files are never likely to change. Scrivener’s binder is never going to try to keep underlying files in sync in a folder structure with it, as the possibilities of Scrivener’s binder are quite different to a file system, let alone the limitations I would have to place on the naming of binder documents were they to represent actual file titles. (Scrivener Gold, the original Scrivener beta of years ago, did this, and it was horrible because of it. The numbered system keeps things fast and keeps naming flexible - the file format, like all file formats, as not designed to be tampered with externally.)