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Syncing problems. Is it Just me?


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#1 TattKttn

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 05:49 PM

I've been having serious syncing problems between my iPad 4 and my mac, both using Storyist 3. And I'm going to be a bit long winded about it, since I've been having this problem for a while. I used to use dropbox for everything (both the Apps/Storyist folder as well as /Storyist) and while new projects would sync (for the most part. Sometimes files would not appear on the IOS home screen untill I went into dropbox and opened them manually, occasionally creating duplicate copies), changes within the projects made on my ipad do not appear in the mac version. More often than not, when I returned to the iPad file, the changes had been completely erased causing me to loose thousands of words worth of work (thank whatever gods there may be that dropbox has an Events feature, allowing me to retrieve most of it). I gave up using Storyist for a while after that but today decided to try again, this time using iCloud. First I went through and deleted duplicate copies of projects, including my entire /Dropbox/Storyist folder (the one my ipad had been previously synced to) leaving a few projects in the /Apps/Storyist folder. I also deleted the two files from my iCloud/Storyist folder that had been created on my ipad, and saved a new project (Ghost Story) there created on the mac. I opened Storyist on my mac and all files disappeared (as expected since I deleted the folder from my mac). Then I changed the sync setup to iCloud and the two projects I had deleted reappeared, but not the new project. I changed the sync options back to Apps/Storyist and retrieved the files I had there (including 3 duplicate copies of Ghost Story. I assume this was because I had a file of the same name already in the dropbox folder as a backup so it synced and duplicated both versions). I changed the sync back to iCloud and all files currently showing on the iPad were copied to iCloud (also expected although deleting the duplicates on the ipad would not delete them from the mac iCloud). Final test: While the iPad was synced through iCloud, I made a few changes to Ghost Story. Nothing major, just a few lines of text. Then closed the project, hoping that would save the changes and shut down Storyist as the iCloud sync has no Sync Now option (and when I used that option with dropbox it would delete whatever changes I had made, reverting the file to the last mac save). Then I went into my mac and opened the iCloud version of Ghost Story. And the changes did not appear. Went back to the iPad and the changes were still there, so obviously the changes within a file are simply not syncing and I have no idea what to do about it.

I bought Storyist for my iPad so I could write on the road and wouldn't have to haul my PC around with me and because it was the best novel writing app out there for the iPad. I bought Storyist for my Mac so I could write at home and have the fully featured program and make changes to Character sheet forms etc. But if I can't sync files between the two then I feel I have wasted a lot of time, energy, and money on a program that, while absolutely brilliant, simply doesn't do what I need it to do.

#2 Marguerite

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 07:20 PM

Hi, TattKttn, and welcome to the forums,

I can only imagine how frustrated you feel right now. Obviously something is not working, and I don't know what to tell you—except that Mac/iPad synching is not only possible but usually seamless. I use Dropbox to sync between my Mac and iPad every time I work on my file. It took me a while to master the sync process, but since then, I have not lost my work. Storyist does rename files on the iPad to prevent losses under certain circumstances, so files can appear to lose changes even though they don't. But you should see those files on your iPad, named Ghost Story (TattKttn's iPad DATE) or something like that.

 

I don't use iCloud because I haven't set it up and because for a while it didn't save older versions of the files like Dropbox, making it harder to recover from problems, so I can't help there.

 

Steve Shepard will be along soon, no doubt, to help you figure out what's going wrong. This note is mostly so that you don't feel as if you're talking into the wind. If for some reason you don't get a response quickly, copy your message above and e-mail the support address, including information about which version of the Mac OS you're using. You should get an answer pretty fast.

Best,

Marguerite


<p style="text-align:center;">Storyist 3.5; OS 10.13, Intel iMac 3.06 GHz 12GB RAM, 64GB iPad 3, iOS 9


#3 TattKttn

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 10:23 PM

Thanks for the reply and the welcome. I've been lurking on the forums for a while now, mostly for the templates and troubleshooting issues. Like how custom templates don't appear in ios template chooser (grr) But I've got a workaround for that by keeping a clean copy and duplicating it. I'm generally a PC user so I figured it was all just me being stupid or something. And who knows, maybe it is. But in all my googling, I haven't found a fix so I figured I'd come here.

#4 Marguerite

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 11:44 PM

Best place to be. You will get one-on-one help from the developer himself: nothing better than that.

I'm a user, like you, although one with eight years under her belt by now. I do what I can, but it ain't everything.
Best,
M

<p style="text-align:center;">Storyist 3.5; OS 10.13, Intel iMac 3.06 GHz 12GB RAM, 64GB iPad 3, iOS 9


#5 Steve

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 06:59 PM

Hi TattKttn,
 
Welcome to the forums. Yes, this is the right place, and I'm happy to help get you up and running. Let me make some general comments for forum members who have similar questions, and then dive into your post.
 
Common Sync Issues

  • When using Dropbox on Yosemite, make sure you have the most recent versions of both. Dropbox and Yosemite had some compatibility issues early on, but they've been mostly resolved in Dropbox version 3.4.6 and OS X 10.10.3. 
  • Compatibility issues aside, the most common cause of the "file not appearing on my iPad" issue when using Dropbox is that the iPad is setup to sync to a different folder from the one containing the edited files. For example, the iPad might be set to sync with the "/Apps/Storyist" folder but the file is being edited from the "/Storyist" folder on the Mac (or vice versa). 
  • When using iCloud on Yosemite, some Mac users were seeing cases where files would not sync or would take a long time to sync. This is not a Storyist issue, and you can find more information on Apple's discussion boards.

Troubleshooting the Sync Process
 
When you edit a file on a device (Mac, iPad, or iPhone), the cloud storage service (iCloud or Dropbox) copies these changes from the device's local storage to "the cloud"--that is, to the storage attached to the service's servers. At some point, your other devices will recognize that the file has changed, and transfer these changes from the cloud to local storage.
 
Usually, the transfer happens quickly, but it is important to note that this process is not instantaneous. If you are on a slow or unreliable network, or are syncing large files, changes can take a little while to transfer from your device to the cloud and then to your other devices.
 
When you switch from one device to another, it's a good idea to make sure your files have finished syncing. You can compare the Date Modified timestamp of the file on the first device with the timestamp of the file on the second device. If they don't agree, the files have not finished syncing. When this happens, use your browser to check the timestamp of the copy stored in the cloud (iCloud or Dropbox) to see where the holdup is.
 
Note that if you edit the file on the second device before your changes have synced, you will create a conflict, and Storyist will ask you to choose which version(s) to keep.
 


I've been having serious syncing problems between my iPad 4 and my mac, both using Storyist 3. And I'm going to be a bit long winded about it, since I've been having this problem for a while. I used to use dropbox for everything (both the Apps/Storyist folder as well as /Storyist) and while new projects would sync (for the most part. Sometimes files would not appear on the IOS home screen untill I went into dropbox and opened them manually, occasionally creating duplicate copies), changes within the projects made on my ipad do not appear in the mac version. More often than not, when I returned to the iPad file, the changes had been completely erased causing me to loose thousands of words worth of work (thank whatever gods there may be that dropbox has an Events feature, allowing me to retrieve most of it).


It sounds like the files hadn't synced yet or that you were also hitting the "different folders" issue described above. When you say you "went into dropbox and opened them manually," I'm assuming you went back to the Dropbox folder on your Mac or another device and edited the local copy of the file again. This might have created a sync conflict. If you resolve a sync conflict by choosing "keep both," Storyist will create a copy of your file for each conflict so you can decide later which one to keep.
 

I gave up using Storyist for a while after that but today decided to try again, this time using iCloud. First I went through and deleted duplicate copies of projects, including my entire /Dropbox/Storyist folder (the one my ipad had been previously synced to) leaving a few projects in the /Apps/Storyist folder. I also deleted the two files from my iCloud/Storyist folder that had been created on my ipad, and saved a new project (Ghost Story) there created on the mac. I opened Storyist on my mac and all files disappeared (as expected since I deleted the folder from my mac). Then I changed the sync setup to iCloud and the two projects I had deleted reappeared, but not the new project. I changed the sync options back to Apps/Storyist and retrieved the files I had there (including 3 duplicate copies of Ghost Story. I assume this was because I had a file of the same name already in the dropbox folder as a backup so it synced and duplicated both versions). I changed the sync back to iCloud and all files currently showing on the iPad were copied to iCloud (also expected although deleting the duplicates on the ipad would not delete them from the mac iCloud). Final test: While the iPad was synced through iCloud, I made a few changes to Ghost Story. Nothing major, just a few lines of text. Then closed the project, hoping that would save the changes and shut down Storyist as the iCloud sync has no Sync Now option (and when I used that option with dropbox it would delete whatever changes I had made, reverting the file to the last mac save). Then I went into my mac and opened the iCloud version of Ghost Story. And the changes did not appear. Went back to the iPad and the changes were still there, so obviously the changes within a file are simply not syncing and I have no idea what to do about it.


There are quite a few steps here, so it's hard to say for sure what's going on, but it sounds like the changes made to the iCloud Drive folder on your Mac hadn't synced to the cloud before you made changes on your iPad.

 

Let's break it down:

  1. "I also deleted the two files from my iCloud/Storyist folder that had been created on my ipad, and saved a new project (Ghost Story) there created on the mac." -- You deleted two files from the iCloud/Storyist folder on your Mac and then added another. At this point, the delete files were removed from the local storage on your Mac but OS X had yet to remove them from the cloud. Similarly, the new file (Ghost Story) was added to the local storage on your Mac but had yet to be added to the cloud. Until these changes were synced, the folder in the cloud still contained the files you deleted on your Mac and did not yet contain the new file.
  2. "Then I changed the sync setup to iCloud and the two projects I had deleted reappeared, but not the new project" -- You switched to Storyist for iOS and saw the two files that had yet to be deleted from the cloud and did not see Ghost Story, which had yet to be synced to the cloud.

I would suggest testing iCloud sync on your Mac to get a sense of how quickly files are transferred from your Mac to your devices. You can use any app that supports iCloud (for example Pages, Numbers, Keynote, or Storyist) for this. If sync takes more than a few minutes for the changes to sync:

  1. Make sure you're running the latest version of Yosemite.
  2. Try making a simple change to your iCloud Drive folder. This may trigger the sync.
  3. Try logging out of iCloud and then logging back in.

None of the above work for you, let me know and we'll investigate further.

 

-Steve



#6 TattKttn

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 02:01 AM

Thanks for the reply! I've got the latest versions of everything (as far as I am aware, though I don't necessarily trust auto-updaters) I think the iCloud problem was that it took a while to sync. Just checked the mac version of Ghost Story and the changes have now been synced. I'm hesitant to use dropbox again due to the kerfuffle early on but that well could have been a compatibility issue as it was quite a few months ago, and possibly the ios beta of Storyist 3. The problem there was that when the files synced, all changes were lost. Though, there again, that could have me being impatient, opening the file before the changes had synced, so the old file then became the latest version. Makes sense. I'm hoping that's all it is because I really love the page views and being able to link plot points, section/scene sheets, and character developement points. Going to check sync times now as I am a little worried that if I switch between projects in ios (for say, copy/pasting text between files) I won't be able to reopen file right away without loosing changes.

Anyway, thanks again!

#7 RidleyP

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 10:32 PM

I have a single project file from ios Storyist that is not syncing. All others are. Thoughts? Suggestions?

Also: the "new" version of the project is considerably smaller than the "version" I saved to protect data when this problem occurred. Thanks

 

RESOLVED: After four hours of finding a way to back-up with satisfaction, today I quit SL, cold booted the iPad, reopened SL and the errant file loaded up to DropBox.... If I'd only been willing to risk that yesterday.....



#8 Steve

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 03:47 PM

Hi RidleyP,

 

Thanks for the update, and for the clarification that you're using Dropbox, not iCloud. I'm glad the sync issue is resolved.

 

Note that if you're concerned about saving recent changes to your manuscript, you can always email a copy to yourself before rebooting. Also, Storyist can save a version for you locally, and keeps automatically created versions around for at least 30 days.

 

-Steve






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