Sparkle and iCloud Drive: Is it safe?

Hey folks … Been gradually rebuilding all my little sites (and a couple new ones) in Sparkle, and generally happy with it! I just un-installed Muse and cancelled my Creative Cloud subscription this weekend†. :slight_smile:

One thing I’ve found useful, because of how Sparkle saves each project as a self-contained file, is to dump all my web sites into iCloud Drive. Each site is in a folder with its Sparkle file, and a “Resources” folder where I keep the source files for all my images, etc. Because it’s there, I can open and work on my sites whether at home on my iMac, or on the road on my MacBook.

So I’m just curious … this is okay, right? Are there any known problems with keeping Sparkle files on iCloud Drive and accessing them from different locations? (At different times … I generally don’t have my Macbook active when I’m at home working on my iMac.)

Thanks everyone!

†Okay, actually I downgraded to the “Photography” plan for $9.99 for now … It’s hard to drop three decades of Photoshop muscle memory, so I’m gonna give myself a bit more time for that transition to the other image-editing apps I’m moving to.

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Sparkle and iCloud are, in my experience, a good match! So don’t be afraid! Be careful not to delete anything from your iPhone or iPad or something… Hahaha

And about Photoshop… Jump off that boat. I abandoned Photoshop a few years ago… And I couldn’t be happier. I use Pixelmator Pro or Affinity Photo. They are both GREAT pieces of software, no subscription. They also have iPad versions, which for me it’s becoming a MUST (please, Sparkle team, Sparkle for iPad) and work WAY better than anything Adobe has done.

Actually: Sparkle, Affinity Photo, Pixelmator Pro, Affinity Designer, Affinity Publisher, Sketch, Motion 5 and Final Cut X are my go-to pro apps. Don’t regret a thing. And they are so optimized for macOS that it just makes sense, u know?

Quit Photoshop, quit Adobe, you’ll sleep better at night.


eatlon: Oh, I am on it. :slight_smile: A few years ago when Freeway went out of business, I was forced to subscribe to Creative Cloud as Muse looked like the best replacement at the time. Now that Muse is cancelled, I’m done.

My four daily apps were Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Muse. Muse has now been replaced by Sparkle; Illustrator and InDesign have been replaced by Affinity Designer and Publisher.

That leaves Photoshop … I’m already migrating a lot of my work to Affinity Photo, as well as Procreate, Sketchbook, and Clip Studio. Unfortunately I still have more than a bit of client workflow (I do a lot of freelance), plug-ins, macros, etc. that will take time to switch over or find replacements for. I wanted to cancel CC before my annual subscription rolled over in September, so downgrading to the photography plan is just a temporary stopgap until I can get everything migrated properly. :slight_smile:

Glad to hear you’ve had no problems with Sparkle and iCloud, thanks!


Hey @cooner,

TL;DR: Yes.

Long answer.

iCloud Drive or other cloud storage (Dropbox, Google Drive, owncloud, etc) are all equivalent.

There are three main issues:

  • Sparkle auto saves, and this will generate quite a bit of file synchronization data traffic when you’re mobile — which is probably fine if you’re always on wifi, but can be more costly on cellular data.

  • in the event you change the project file on different computers, either because you actually did or because file synchronization from the cloud was slower than you starting to work on the file, this will cause a conflict which you will need to manually resolve

  • Sparkle will not always copy assets inside the project file by default, and this would break the connection to the file when editing the project on a different Mac; this is the case for video files, gallery images and downloadable files; however each of them has a storage option, which you can set to store “in this document”, which copies the assets inside the project file solving the problem

So with a little bit of discipline it’s not a problem.

More details: auto saving happens when you have changes (the document title says “edited”) and you either pause for a few seconds or you switch to a different app. Sparkle inherits this behavior from the system, like all apps that opt-in to the modern document model. This includes say Pages and Keynote, but not Adobe apps. You can turn off auto saving globally by checking this checkbox in the System Preferences, general section:

About the storage option, this is for example the video element with an mp4 file:


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duncan: Thanks for the detailed reply!

Let’s see, if I’m working I’m USUALLY on either my home wifi or a coffeeshop wifi … and for the rare times I’m tethered to my phone, we have a REALLY good family data plan. :smiley: And I’m not really using videos on my sites, and for the image assets, I keep all those in a “Resources” folder in iCloud Drive right next to the Sparkle document. So it sounds like I should be good to go, thanks! :smiley:

On a global note: Looks like I already had the “ask to keep changes” box ticked … I think I changed that right away because I’ll often open a file just to tweak things around temporarily and then close it without saving changes (for example, to print just the relevant part of a document by temporarily deleting the rest of it) so that behavior was a no-go for me. XD

Thanks again!