iCloud, Dropbox and RapidWeaver


I know that using Dropbox for RW project files can cause all sorts of issues and as a result I have steered well clear of this (although I used to work this way in the past).

I haven’t seen anyone mention it here, but in Sierra, you have the option of having your document folder in iCloud (which I have). Am I right in thinking that the same caveat applies to iCloud, as well as Dropbox, in that you might easily end up with a scrambled file, if you finish before iCloud has finished synching?

(Greg Schneck) #2

Somewhat off topic but one option to consider. I keep RW projects on my computer hard drive but I use scheduled backups each night to copy my RW projects to Dropbox as backup. (In addition to Time Machine) That way, if I travel on short notice, I have the latest projects available on my MacBook Pro when traveling. The scheduled backups keep seven days worth of projects in Dropbox so it also acts as a weeks worth of safety net on project files.

That is an interesting question about iCloud. I hope someone with RealMac will comment.

(Robert Ziebol 🖖🏼) #3

I honestly do not see an issue with dropbox, as long as you are patient and wait for stuff to sync. Follow my rules here

and you should not have any issues.

(Doug Bennett) #5

Chwck out this video:


(Paul Russam) #6

I have everything in DB even my plugins and stacks sync between my 2 mac’s via DB.
Follow @zeebe 's recommendations and you’ll be fine.
I’m running my DB account across 2 Mac’s, 2PC’s, iPad and iPhone, I store EVERYTHING I do in DB, my Documents folder on all machines is empty.

(Jochen Abitz) #7

I am a Dropbox user all the time. Like Paul, I use it for syncing RW addons and project files. But I need more space and am moving to Owncloud. The sync is great and it feels like Dropbox.
But I have always an eye on my Macs to be sure to quit RW before leaving it. This is dangerous!

This could be interesting too:

(Paul Russam) #9

For my day job we use OneDrive in exactly the same way I use DB personally. It works essentially the same way and if you get the office 365 subscription you get 1tb of space.
Each one has pros/cons but between the two I’d choose DB.


Thanks for all the replies and I think it may change the way I work, but nobody has touched on Sierra’s move of the Documents folder to iCloud. It is optional, but appears to be Apples preferred choice, so I will bet that a fair few new users will end up with their project files in iCloud and not even realise.

(Isaiah Carew) #12

Just as one point of evidence:

I have stored all of my test files, my software development, and my RapidWeaver folder (which is usually pretty spartan) inside of Dropbox for years with no ill effects.

Watching for data corruption and data loss is something I spend far more energy on than most users – so if there was data loss or corruption there’s a very good chance I would have noticed it.

My experiences with iCloud have not been so rosy. I’ve had more problems than I can count. Although I try desperately to use iCloud as little as possible, Apple makes it difficult to avoid. I experience new problems nearly every week.

That said, I think many problems relate to issues of a very corrupted Apple ID – and they’re probably mine alone, not problems that are widespread.


(Matthew Long) #13

I keep my project files in Dropbox so that I can use them between multiple Macs. However, I have run into many problems in the past if I am working on a file and I keep saving it too often.

Previously I have had RW issues in which it would crash upon saving, thereby losing all of my work. As such, I got in the habit of pushing ‘save’ every few minutes while I was working. However, if you have a large project file, and you keep it in Dropbox, then you can cause issues if you push ‘save’ while it was still syncing a previous save.

So now I keep my current work file on my Mac locally while I am working, then at the end of my session I will copy it to my Dropbox folder and allow it to sync across my other Macs.

The other issue I have had with Dropbox occurs whenever I have tried to delete a large number of old RW projects (usually old versions). Since each RW sandwich files actually contains many thousands of individual files (in my case hundreds of thousands), the act of deleting is a complex issue that takes time (particularly when Dropbox is having to keep track of all the associated metadata and sync across devices). So if I suddenly decide to delete 30 or 40 old RW files from Dropbox, then it can take DAYS for all of my computers to be back in sync. Such a large deleting forces Dropbox to reindex all of my files (which runs into the millions). The problem is, if I then add some new files to Dropbox and then need them in a hurry on another machine, they won’t show up until all of the syncing is complete.

So Dropbox is great for storing simple file types like Word documents or images, or movies, but complex RW sandwich files can get out of hand quickly if you try to move or delete too many at once.

(Chris Jones) #14

If you compress your project files first, dropbox is a very, very fast and efficient way to move your project files around. I’ve been doing this for years

(Isaiah Carew) #15

dropbox is the least of your worries. :stuck_out_tongue:

friendly advice: break up your project.

(Matthew Long) #16

Thanks @isaiah - you’ve given me such friendly advice previously :slight_smile:

I will actually start another thread to ask a couple of questions about the specifics of this, as I have read a prior blog article that you wrote about the topic, but I still have some unanswered questions…

(Isaiah Carew) #17

:thumbsup: – i should do a whole video tutorial on splitting things. it’s easier than it looks. and the results can be both good for visitors to your site and good for your project file too.

(Greg Schneck) #18

@Isaiah… I have a site in five projects. Do you know of a sitemap plugin that will support this? I use the Alphabetical option to make an index page of an 800 page “Reports” section. I need to break it up. Thanks Isaiah! (I’m using SiteMap now but current version doesn’t allow for multi-projects - unless I missed someting.) Your own support and your participation here are second to none!

(scott williams) #19

That would be very helpful @isaiah

(Matthew Long) #20

That would be fantastic @isaiah.

(Isaiah Carew) #21

with a project that large, i’d probably look at back-end solutions: php things that would automatically generate sitemap from published content. you might be able to convince some tool in RW to do it, but i doubt that anything in the RW world will be well suited for that task.

(Greg Schneck) #22

For my actual (Google, et al) sitemaps I have a tool (my search tool indexer - Zoom). I use SiteMap (Plus) just to do Alphabetical list of a certain section. I hear what you say though. I think I’ll just steal the html output and manually start maintaining the Alpha list by hand (html stack). It’s only one entry per day…

Thanks @isaiah

(Eric Vaughn) #23

@zeebe is correct. I have followed this for two years now and NEVER had a problem with Dropbox. I use the Dropbox app and synch my RW folder (client’s RW files, stacks, plugins, etc…) Every month, I copy the folder to my desktop for a local backup and use TimeMachine for all my files.