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Home / Mac / My Markdown Writing and Collaboration Workflow, Powered by Working Copy 3.6, iCloud Drive, and GitHub – MacStories

My Markdown Writing and Collaboration Workflow, Powered by Working Copy 3.6, iCloud Drive, and GitHub – MacStories



For the past couple of years, I (and the rest of the MacStories team) have used Working Copy to collaborate on Markdown drafts for our articles. As I explained in a story from late 2016, even though Working Copy is a Git client primarily designed for programmers, it is possible to leverage the app's capabilities to perform version control for plain text too. Each MacStories team member has a private GitHub repository where we store Markdown files of our articles; in de zelfde repository, andere writers kunnen edities maken en plannen voor GitHub; This way, the author can then pull back the edited file and use Working Copy's built-in diff tool to see what's changed from the last version of the file and read comments left by whoever edited the draft.

As I mentioned two years ago, this system takes a while to get used to: GitHub has a bit of overhead in terms of understanding the correct terminology for different aspects of its file management workflow, but Working Copy makes it easier by abstracting much of the complexity involved with committing files , pushing them, and comparing them. This system has never failed us in over two years, and it has saved us dozens of hours we would have otherwise spent exchanging revised versions of our drafts and finding changes in them. Med Working Copy, kan vi bruke de tekstredaktører vi hver foretrekker, og så lenge vi overskriver de originale kopier af vores forslag og holde styr på begivenheder, vil appen sørge for at merging alt og vise forskelle mellem versioner. From a collaboration standpoint, using Working Copy and GitHub for file storage and version control has been one of the best decisions I made in recent years.

The beauty of Working Copy – besides its support for various advanced Git features – is that it's an amazing iOS citizen. Developer Anders Borum is always quick to add support for the latest iOS devices and APIs, and his app is at the bleeding edge of modern iOS technologies when it comes to automation, integration with other apps, and support for iOS 'system-wide Files layer .

One of Working Copy's most powerful integration is how it works alongside the Files app on iOS. I tillegg til exposing repositorier som mapper i dets Files-placering (så du kan se dine Working Copy-filer i filer-appen), Working Copy supports iOS 'Open in Place feature. Dette betyr at andre applikasjoner som, say, tekst eller kode redaktører kan åpne et dokument som er lagret i Working Copy og gjør endringer i filen direkte uten at importere det og duplikere det i deres egen container. Med denne metoden fungerer Working Copy i hovedsak som en lagringsplass for apper: i dette tilfellet kan vi bruke Pretext og iA Writer (programmer som begge støtter File File Picker) for å åpne en Markdown-fil, noen fra teamet presset til en repo so we can edit it and have changes be automatically reflected in Working Copy.

This is convenient for two reasons: first, the integrated system based on native iOS Files APIs allows us to work with the original version of a file without scattering duplicates across multiple apps; More importantly, it enables us to edit in the writing environment we prefer (Working Copy's text editor is not optimized for Prose and MultiMarkdown) while delegating storage, sync, conflict resolution, and collaboration to Working Copy.

With today's 3.6 update, Working Copy extends its integration with Files even further by allowing you to sync entire app folders from iCloud Drive as repositories, allowing you to manage documents from third-party apps in its Git-based workflow. Allow me to explain how this works in practice, because I think it is one of the most exciting productivity enhancements for iOS file management. I've seen in a while.

By default, iA Writer stores all its text files in iCloud Drive under the app container labeled 'iA Writer'. In Working Copy 3.6, kan du konfigurere denne mappen som en synkroniseret mappe som vil importere alle de iAWriter-mappen iCloud Drive-mappen og konfigurere dem som en lokal repository i appen. and therefore iCloud Drive), they are reflected in Working Copy as uncommitted edits. Men fordi dette er en to-veis synkronisering mellom Working Copy og iCloud Drive, kan du også redigere en tekstfil i Working Copy, og når du åpner iA Writer, vil den samme filen også bli redigert i appen.

This functionality, called "opening directories in place", is not new to iOS 12 or the third-party app ecosystem. To my knowledge, Textastic was the first app to support opening directories in place years ago by – you guessed it – allowing you to open Working Copy repositories as folders. Nu med versjon 3.6, Working Copy, gjør dette på andre måter: mapper fra enhver app som bruker iCloud Drive (eller "På min iPhone / iPad" lokal lagring) kan importeres og holdes synkroniserad som en folder.

Where all this gets really interesting is if you also set up a GitHub repository as a "remote" for a synced app directory. This allows you to sync an app folder with Working Copy and to push the content of the mirrored local folder to an online repo on GitHub too. Again, let me explain this with an actual example.

After setting up iA Writer's iCloud Drive folder as a synced directory in Working Copy and confirming that the two apps were communicating with each other, I added my existing 'Ticci Drafts' GitHub repo as a remote for the folder.

This GitHub repo is the one that I have been using for a couple of years to store my drafts and share them with MacStories team members. This repo already contained hundreds of text files in an 'Archived Posts' folder. Efter at jeg har udført den første merge for IA Writer-katalogen med Ticci Drafts-repo, flyttede jeg mine gamle arkiverede filer til en ny "Archive" -folder, jeg tidligere havde lavet i iA Writer. From the Ticci Drafts repo in Working Copy, I moved files with drag and drop from 'Archived Posts' (GitHub) to 'Archive' (iA Writer); I then committed my changes and pushed (ie uploaded) to GitHub. In ongeveer een minuut werden een honderd bestanden verplaatst van de oude GitHub repo naar de iA Writer appfolder, backed up naar iCloud Drive, en re-uploaded naar GitHub. Nu, de hundrevis af filer er tilgængelige både på iCloud Drive og GitHub, og jeg kan få adgang til dem fra filer, iA Writer, og Working Copy – alt uden at skabe duplikat kopier af originalerne.

The benefit of this dual-app system is twofold: at a basic level, both in A Writer and Working Copy are dealing with the same set of documents – the "master copy" that is stored in iCloud Drive on my devices and available to every iOS app. But because the iA Writer folder is also mirrored to GitHub, all my files and folders are backed up in a shared space where my teammates can access my drafts and edit them. All i need to do is keep writing in iA Writer as usual, then commit and push the iA Writer folder to the 'Ticci Drafts' GitHub repo. This integrated writing and sharing setup cuts one step from my workflow: I do not have to manually export a document version from iA Writer because edited files are already available in Working Copy, ready to be committed to GitHub.

If you can imagine , det motsatte er også true: om noen andre fra MacStories-teamet, gør en redigering til en tekstfil i den fælles Ticci Drafts GitHub-repo, synkronisering og merging som repo i Working Copy-resultater i den originale filen som afspejles iCloud Drive and iA Writer. For example, if Ryan edits a draft I pushed two GitHub, syncing his changes back to my devices will make the edited file appear as a new version of the original file in iA Writer. Takket være Working Copys support for versioner og filgendannelse, kan jeg trykke på synkroniseringsikonet på toppen av iA Writer-synkroniseret katalog og se alle versjoner av filen og gjenopprette en bestemt en hvis jeg ikke liker endringene. I can also compare changes between versions in Working Copy with its built-in diff tool or drag and drop individual versions into Kaleidoscope, which has a superior diff viewer.

So, to recap, this kind of setup allows me to: 19659015] Automatically mirror iA Writer's iCloud Drive folder to Working Copy;

  • Manually push changes to my text files to a private GitHub repository shared with my teammates ;
  • Merge edits from Ryan and John back to iA Writer, iCloud Drive, and Working Copy, all in one go.
  • There is very little management involved with this system; Det var betraktelig bedre enn min gamle prosess, som bestod af to separate sæt af filer (iCloud vs. GitHub) som jeg måtte manuelt rekoncile hver gang. Med denne nye tilgangen har jeg alltid tilgang til alle versjoner av en fil, og jeg kan fortsette å jobbe i iA Writer, ved hjelp af Working Copy som en mellemled mellem iCloud Drive og GitHub. It's pure Markdown collaboration bliss.

    The ability for Working Copy 3.6 to open app directories in place is not exclusive to iA Writer. As I mentioned above, any iOS app that uses iCloud Drive for document storage is eligible for this integration – with varying degrees of utility, of course. While I would not recommend mirroring Pixelmator's image library to Working Copy, developer Anders Borum has collaborated with the makers of Codea, Scriptable, and other apps to ensure compatibility with the new feature.

    In my tests with Working Copy 3.6, I var i stand til at tage min eksisterende bibliotek eller JS-scripts fra Scriptable appen (som er lagret i iCloud Drive) og spejlvend dem til en undermappe i min Ticci Drafts GitHub repo. To sync an app directory with a specific folder in Working Copy, you can select the folder, tap the share icon in the upper right corner of the title bar, then choose 'Files Sync.' This will allow you to point the folder to a specific app directory from iCloud Drive and set up sync between the two locations.

    After creating a 'Scriptable' folder in my GitHub repo, I set up Files Sync with the Scriptable app directory from iCloud Drive and performed the initial commit and merge. Once that was done, everything was mirrored back to iCloud Drive into my iA Writer folder, which means I now have access to Markdown files and JS scripts in a single text editor. Og, of course, ef ég geri einhverjar breytingar á skrifleguðuðum skjali frá Working Copy, eða iA Writer, eða forritum eins og Kodex og Pretext, munu þessar breytingar birtast í aðalskrifanlegu forriti.


    In the two years I 've spent using Working Copy, I've learned that the more an app can integrate with iOS' native files layer, the better the overall experience is for me as a writer who works from an iPad Pro. Even vóór vandaag de update, de mogelijkheid om mijn versiecontrole systeem beschikbaar te hebben van de Bestandsdocument Browser, uitklasseerde elke andere oplossing die ik had geprobeerd in het verleden.

    Working Copy 3.6 maakt een sterk argument voor of met iCloud Drive, ondersteunende bestanden ' Open in Place APIs, and, generally speaking, implementing modern iOS features for document collaboration. Mens disse API'er og de filer dokumentbrowser var lidt buggy, da de blev introduceret i iOS 11, har jeg aldrig oplevet et enkelt problem med Working Copy's open-in-place mode, og jeg har heller ikke sett noen konflikter med iA Writer, Scriptable eller andre programmer. that used iCloud Drive for storage. I set up app directory sync and, for the most part, forgot about it. When I'm working on my iPad, I commit changes from iA Writer's repo to my main GitHub one, now with the added benefit that every file is going to be backed up, not just the ones I exported. Takket være denne funksjonen, mer enn noen gang, søker jeg nå ut apps som er basert på iCloud Drive for document storage; med noen undtagelser, ser jeg tilpasset synkronisering og lagringsmetoder som ikke integreres med resten av iOS som nedlastinger gitt den filer-sentriske arbeidsflyt jeg har etablert.

    Om du er en skribent eller en programmer eller bare trenger å samarbeide med noen på specifikke dokumenter, og især om GitHub giver mening for dine behov, anbefaler jeg stærkt at checke ut Working Copy og dets nye filer integrering. I'm glad I started using this app two years ago, and I'm amazed by how much its developer continues to push the envelope for what's possible with file management on iOS.

    Working Copy 3.6 is available on the App Store .


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