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Scrivener sync--better handling for untitled documents, please

Thu, 10 May 2018 02:54:35 GMT

Now that Scrivener 3.0.x has a new feature, Adaptive Naming, it's perfectly possible for tens of Scrivener documents inside a project to have totally empty names and synopses--those being generated on the fly in Scrivener from the document text. When I sync such documents to Aeon Timeline, every single one of them gets the title "Untitled" hard-assigned to it--a) making it almost impossible to tell one event from another, and b) writing over the (empty) title when synced back to Scrivener, thus making things confusing on the Scrivener side, too. Worse, the "Untitled" title gets assigned to Scrivener documents that are not even synced to Aeon Timeline events, and is synced back to Scrivener, giving a hard title to a document that is intended to have an empty title. First, it would be ideal if Aeon Timeline avoided adding any title to a Scrivener document that is not linked to an Aeon Timeline event. Given the new Scrivener functionality, I consider adding a title to a document I don't link to an event to be a bug. Second, is it possible for Aeon Timeline to also use ad aptive naming, generating titles and synopses for events from the Scrivener text? Failing that, would it be possible to generate a title from the synopsis of an untitled document? If neither of those is feasible, might we at least have numbering in the Untitled documents (i.e., Untitled-01, Untitled-02, and so forth?)?

Thu, 10 May 2018 13:00:47 GMT

Maybe by allowing the title of the event in Aeon to be a label in Scrivener? I don’t know how inefficient it may be to do so but that would be awesome!

Matthew Tobin
Sat, 12 May 2018 02:29:14 GMT

Hi, Thanks for your suggestion. I wasn't aware of the new "Adaptive Naming" feature in Scrivener (it wasn't a change the Scrivener developers had highlighted to me), so I agree we will need to look at that a little more closely. In particular, I agree that we should avoid renaming any file that is not linked with Scrivener itself. The adaptive naming is a little more complex. I would need to contact the Scrivener developers to find out exactly what they do. The issue is in the way the data is stored inside the Scrivener project. We mostly work with a single XML file that defines the entire binder structure, but the Synopsis and Document content from which the adaptive title is drawn are stored elsewhere. So instead of worrying about opening and syncing with one file, we would actually need to be concerning ourselves with potentially hundreds of files, which would make things a little more complex, and so I would need some further information and consent from th e Scrivener team before embarking on that (I try to avoid doing things to their project file that they don't consent to). Matt

Sat, 12 May 2018 04:29:38 GMT

Thank you Matt, for explaining the complexities of Scrivener sync from your side. I understand that this is non-trivial and your sensitivity to how delicate the interiors of Scrivener projects can be is much appreciated. I've dropped a couple of suggestions in the Scrivener "Wish List" board, and I hope that you and Keith can work out a solution or two that's better than my current one (i.e., strip the "Untitled" titles from all formerly empty titles once I'm back in Scrivener.) That said, I know that you do import the contents of synopses as your "Summary" field, which is why I suggested you might pull titles from there. But I will defer to your wisdom and Keith's as to whether this is feasible. Again, thanks for looking into this and I am truly glad to have a tool like Aeon Timeline available.

Matthew Tobin
Sat, 12 May 2018 05:42:14 GMT

Hi, Yes, definitely pulling titles out of the Synopsis is a possibility... the limiting factor there would possibly be that it would be read-only - i.e. I wouldn't try to write titles back into that location in that way.

Matthew Tobin
Sat, 12 May 2018 06:31:12 GMT

I have sent an email to Keith for some more info on exactly how Scrivener derives the title. Once i know their exact algorithm, it should be fairly easy for me to recreate some of the issues. There will be some gaps to work out when creating new documents etc. but we can definitely improve it from where it is.