"syncing start and end have been disabled" when using BC dates

Platform & OS Version

Platform: Windows
OS Version: 11
OS Language Setting: English

App Version

Version: 3.0.22
Application Shell: 3.0.22

Problem Description + Screenshots

I’m working on a timeline for a story that has backstory events and characters that straddle the boundary between AD/BC dates that is syncing with a Scrivener project. When I enter a BC date for any event or character, I receive a message that these fields will no longer be synced. After syncing, I look in Scrivener, and see only values entered before I entered a BC date.

Steps to reproduce

  1. Create a new project with synched metadata, including start and end dates mapped to similarly-named metadata fields in Scrivener.
  2. Enter dates (AD) for character birth/death
  3. Sync with Scrivener and verify that Start Date and End Date fields are correct.
  4. In Aeon Timeline, change a start date for a character to any BC date (or enter date as a negative number).
    a. Upon entering that number and pressing Enter, the message about date sync being disabled appears, and the Sync settings have indeed been changed.
  5. Upon re-syncing with Scrivener, the start date has indeed not synced
    a. In order to renable sync of these fields, the date must be changed to an AD date
    b. If the BC date is left in place, the start/end date fields are not available to select in sync settings.

I have recreated this circumstance reliably multiple times in my existing timeline file, then created a fresh timeline and scrivener project.

In this new timeline, I set up a character with a 1 AD start date, then synced and verified it was reflected in Scrivener. I then changed the start date to 1 BC, and the exact same error occurred.

The reason that syncing becomes disabled for the start and end dates when this occurs is because the Date type for custom metadata in Scrivener does not allow BC dates. Therefore we cannot sync to it when a synced item has BC dates.
If you wish to sync BC dates to Scrivener, then the custom metadata field that it syncs to needs to be changed to a text field, not a date field.

That makes sense, and I suspected this may have been the reason. Is there a way, within Timeline, to change this to a text field, or do I have to desync, change the field in Scrivener, and resync? If I do this, will Timeline no longer be able to do date calculations?

I’m curious how to go about enabling this and preserving the maximum functionality.

No, there isn’t a way to do this within Aeon Timeline, you would have to change the field type within Scrivener.
However Aeon Timeline will still be able to do date calculations even if it is syncing to a text field in Scrivener - it will read the date from the text field, but it still internally stores it as a date, so it can continue to do date calculations.

Okay. That works for me. Thanks!