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Scrivener sync -- desperately needed feature

Sun, 05 Nov 2017 15:36:00 GMT

Hey guys. Overall I love the app -- the UX, the flexibility. There's one thing that's keeping me from using it currently. In Scrivener project imports, if I want to fill out a new event, I need to be able to read through the text of the chapter/scene I'm syncing, to make sure I collect the right Participants/Observers, have the right arcs, etc. Because I can't have the project open in both Scrivener and Aeon, this means I have to close Aeon, open Scrivener, read through the chapter, then close Scrivener, open Aeon, and so forth. Which effectively means Aeon is sitting in my Apps folder, unused. Would be awesome to provide a Preview-type feature for a Scrivener entity. Thanks!

Craig Schiller
Sun, 05 Nov 2017 18:27:21 GMT

Actually, you can have Scrivener and Timeline open at the same time. But it's wise to close Scrivener when you're finished getting the info you want.

Sun, 05 Nov 2017 18:36:44 GMT

Yes, you only need to close Scrivener if you are actively syncing. If you don't open the binder in AT2, you can keep both programs open as much as you want.

Sun, 05 Nov 2017 23:22:34 GMT

Thanks folks, but as you can imagine, the distinction of "actively syncing" vs. "not actively syncing" is one mistake away -- I'd be nervous taking the chance with a large novel. Even if it were entirely safe, still far less convenient than being able to see the text in-place. Any chance of this feature getting on the roadmap?

Craig Schiller
Mon, 06 Nov 2017 00:05:46 GMT

partnerinflight - It's really pretty simple. As razyr suggests, just don't open the Scrivener binder until/unless you want to sync.

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 00:42:13 GMT

Heya, PIF. Yes, there's really no chance of accidentally squashing information in either direction. First, you have to explicitly open the Scrivener binder from AT2 and it will alert you if the binder is open in another program. Second, before AT2 will sync your data, it will show you what the data looks like in each source (AT2 and binder) and let you decide field by field, object by object whether you want to sync and which source you want to sync from. You could have a single object where you elect to perhaps update one field in the binder from AT2 and another field where you update AT2 from the binder. What you're asking for isn't really possible. Scrivener expects to have exclusive access to the binder. Your project in Scrivener is stored in multiple files. Those files are not being continuously read. Nor are they continuously being written to. There's simply no way for Scrivener to know if a 3rd party program has changed the content of a file. So potentially, you're editing an event in Scrivener, so now Scrivener has a current view of the "data". Then you open AT2, make a change and write to the binder. Scrivener doesn't know. Now you make a save in Scrivener, which naively overwrites your update from AT2. It's not like Scrivener is using a database where records could be locked, marked as dirty for write, etc... The Scrivener/AT2 sync isn't perfect, but the least of your concerns should be whether your data is at risk. It's a very clean and well-written synchronization process. Additionally, both programs do an excellent job of creating backups, even if you did manage to somehow clobber something.

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 15:09:30 GMT

Thanks razyr. What I'm asking about is functionality inside AT that would give me the preview of the text. That way I could keep Scrivener closed. But given your points above, I could make do with having the two apps side by side. Thanks!

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 00:53:13 GMT

Hi, Unfortunately we are unable to have both Scrivener and Aeon Timeline open at the same time when syncing due to limitations with Scrivener (it can't have two copies of the same file open at once), so there is nothing we can do about it at this point in time. Jess

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 02:22:52 GMT

Hi Jess. Sorry, I don't think I'm communicating the request correctly. I'm NOT asking to have both open at the same time. That's actually something I want to avoid needing to do. Instead, I'm asking to add the ability to view a Scrivener document (scene, chapter, etc) inside AT2 directly. Does that make sense?

Matthew Tobin
Tue, 07 Nov 2017 04:10:03 GMT

Hi, This is something I have thought about adding in the past, but it is a little bit complicated. Internally, Scrivener stores individual RTF files for each document in the Binder. In theory, I could load those up and show the text. Unfortunately, Aeon doesn't have anything to support rich text out of the box. On Mac, one option would be to allow the user to Quicklook the RTF file, which would be very quick and easy to implement. Unfortunately, Quicklook adds an "Open" button at the top, which would then open the text file in an editor like TextEdit. This isn't a good option, as Scrivener doesn't like having those files edited behind its back. And it also doesn't account for Windows. So instead we would probably have to create something that can read and display the Rich text files... which is certainly not impossible, but there is a fair bit more work involved. Still, I will add it to the development list to consider in a future version. Thanks, Matt

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 04:35:49 GMT

Thanks Matt!

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 04:37:34 GMT

I know this is an late response, but I've found the best way to do this is to make a backup of my Scrivener project and open it separately. You do have to be careful that you don't make any changes in your backup Scrivener file, but for me it hasn't been a problem, since all I do is drag the binder elements to the timeline.

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 12:14:20 GMT

Partnerinflight, once you have your custom metadata setup in Scrivener, simply type the values into Scrivener's Inspector (on the right side). You don't even need Timeline open for this. A downside is that you have to consistently spell entity names. E.g. capitalization needs to be identical, etc. If not Aeon Timeline will think "Jack the Ripper" and "Jack The Ripper" are two different characters.

Mon, 20 Aug 2018 19:11:07 GMT

The feature that partnerinflight is suggesting would be very much appreciated, as it is almost impossible to work with the binder in AT2 without being able to preview the text content of the Scrivener events. So please implement and I will be a forever faithful customer :-) Best regards Morten