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-   -   Automatic document synchronization? Dropbox integration? (

korm 2011-05-13 07:33 AM

Syncing is fine and maybe essential for OmniFocus, because it's transactional - make a change on one platform and all platforms get updated without much ado. Synching for OO is less important, IMO. I'm not going to run back and forth between the iPad and the desktop; I'm going to spend time editing a document one place or the other before I decide to commit the changes (via upload to the cloud). For me, having more clouds available is more important than sync, WRT OO.

DavidFoster 2011-05-13 07:42 AM

I agree with the need for Dropbox and TextExpander support
Sync or not, Dropbox is an indispensable tool in accessing documents on the road. It's the most widely used cloud-based service; plus it's accessible from a huge number of other iOS apps.

Textexpander support is similarly nearly ubiquitous. It's a huge timesaver when composing text and minimizes reliance on the screen-based keyboard when an external keyboard isn't at hand.

Support for ' in' would be a cherry on top!

Congratulations to the team, Omnioutliner for the iPad is absolutely wonderful, and canvassing the reviews, it looks like almost all users agree!

I'm really looking forward to implementation of these requested features in version 1.1.

wolfneuralnet 2011-05-13 09:13 AM

Ken -- Nice job on the first release. I understand that Sync is the long-term priority for all apps, and I think it should be for mobile devices as well.

Unfortunately, as things stand right now, I cannot use the app without abandoning my workflow. I have all of my OO outlines so I can work with them on multiple machines stored on my Dropbox, and I can find no way to open them in OO or save them back to the Dropbox. Is there really no way to easily interact with the Dropbox app on the iPad in order to get these issues worked out?

I have already paid for the app and couldn't get it working with my existing files due to the lack of DB support. My understanding is that you are recommending the use of your WebDAV server that I already use for OF. Can someone direct me to a document on how to set this up, and how this workflow could be used with DB? It sounds complicated and unwieldy to mount a WebDAV server on the desktop every time I want to edit the files on the Laptop/Desktop, and then open and resave them on the iPad. How would I edit these files if I had no internet access? I just don't get how the storage of the OO files on the WebDAV server solves the problems that DB does.

In short, if you or others could explain to me how to use this new app successfully with DB or post a doc somewhere on how to use your service so that it functions somewhat like this that would be great.

If there really is no way to do this, what is the hesitation with putting in DB support before you get the whole syncing thing worked out? I guess I agree its for the greater good, but it doesn't seem to me like its going to be a huge deal to put in DB saving/resaving support prior to working out that larger issue.

Thanks for listening -- bummed I can't really use my new app right now in my current workflow.

P.S. I cannot afford DropDAV so that isn't going to work for me.

Fordyce 2011-05-13 10:25 AM

Data export preference
I would really like to export OmnitOutliner data to OmniGraffle for further treatment/diagramming. Dropbox integration would be a really handy method for iPad <-> Desktop transfers, but I'm talking about sharing files between OMNI Group programs on the iPad. Has anyone asked about this yet?

Fordyce 2011-05-13 10:41 AM

email OPML files
I just emailed an OmniOutliner iPad OPML file to myself and opened it in Dropbox on the iPad. I was also able to open the Dropbox OPML file on my desktop in OmniOutliner Pro.

Cypher 2011-05-14 07:41 AM

I was really pleased to see OmniOutliner for iPad released and was just about to buy it when I noticed no Dropbox integration :(

I use Omnifocus on the Mac & iPad and use applescripts in Omnifocus to create project folders and OO documents for each projects in my dropbox account. I've been looking at my system with a view to removing Omnioutliner from my workflow and to use plain text notes instead as all my data is locked up in OO format and as a windows user at work, I'm cut off from my files unless I remember to export them to other formats. It really becoming too much work and text files seems the way to go. Seeing Omnioutliner for iPad was now available I thought it was Christmas, my prayers had been answered. However I assumed OmniOutliner would give me access to my dropbox files on the iPad.

I don't understand the issue with syncing, I just want access to the files in my dropbox account and be able to save back to dropbox. I'd leave dropbox to do the syncing to my other systems.

I will have a look at the other integration options available to see if I can work OO for iPad into my workflow but without dropbox integration I really think its a deal breaker. :(

whpalmer4 2011-05-14 10:33 AM

If you're doing this at work, you've probably got fast, reliable connectivity for your iPad, right? In that case, you've got Dropbox access from the app, right now, using the DropDAV service. Just save the file back to Dropbox after you make a change, or at the end of the time you're using the iPad, and fetch it from Dropbox when you start working on the iPad. You've got a local backup copy stored on the iPad so you can access it when you don't have connectivity. Unless your files are very large, or you switch between them like a toddler on crack, the time spent shouldn't be an issue. It would be nice if the saving of files could continue in the background after switching to another app, but the Dropbox app doesn't seem to be able to do that, either!

Now, if you are frequently without internet connectivity on your iPad, this is more of a challenge, but sitting at your desk at work, bathed in speedy WiFi, this is more a case of convincing yourself there's a problem. Sure, life would seem easier if the app supported Dropbox syncing and did the dirty work for you, but if you give the matter a little careful thinking, you'd realize that you would still have some of the same issues if you can't make the assumption that the iPad (or any other device that changes files in your Dropbox) is always connected and able to sync immediately after making a change. Edit a file on your laptop on the plane and don't connect to the internet after landing? Oops, that change isn't in your Dropbox! Colleague puts a file in your Dropbox with details for the presentation you plan to work on during the flight, but you didn't remember to connect the laptop to the internet before heading out? Oops again. Yes, Dropbox makes things easier in an always-connected environment, but once you wander away from that simplifying assumption, there will likely come a day where you find yourself wishing you had handled a few more of the details personally :)

JohnJ80 2011-05-14 10:58 AM

There are two issues here: (1) true sync and (2) file save with cloud access. I think we might be confusing the two. True sync can be file save but file save is not true sync.

Forgetting to save a file back to the cloud makes it easy (and likely) to potentially destroy critical data. I use my iPad as my notebook for taking customer notes in engineering meetings. I need to get that data back to my laptop and I need to be able to edit it in both places maybe even simultaneously. I lose those changes and I'm toast because the topics are far too complex to recall the changes. Same would have to be true for students and class notes etc...

Cloud saving is here now with DropDAV, iDisk or general webdav. It's here, but saving to the cloud is insufficient. Dropbox or any of these other services are places where you can do a file save to the cloud. But, unless the file has a lock on it until it's saved by where it's edited last, you will be at risk for catastrophic loss of data.

Sync is the answer. Sync done in the manner that Omnifocus does it (and does it so well). Each action is synced separately instead of each OF file (or in this case OO file). That works, and that makes huge sense to implement and is what, I hope, Ken means when he says "sync."


gopi 2011-05-14 11:38 PM

I want sync and a file browser that can handle lots of documents. I don't mind if it "penalizes" me if I take my devices offline and edit the document in two places.

In other words, I'm fine if it duplicates my document if I take an offline iPad and offline MacBook and edit the document on each. Let me handle the merge. Sync like that would cover most people and shouldn't be too complicated.

The inability to do this, and the inability to handle 20+ documents comfortably is stopping me from really getting in to OO and starting to use it.

robbmonn 2011-05-16 02:42 PM

So this is what I want:

Instead of importing a doc from Dropbox, I'd like to be able to find a doc (in my case an OPML) doc and mark it "sync."

It will download it and put it in my doc library with a Green or Red sync indicator to reflect if it is the most current version or not.

When I save the doc it tries to update the Dropbox instance if it can.

When I open it it tries to check Dropbox to make sure that it has the most current version.

If there is a conflict it makes a new copy of the document with the most current remote version of the doc with a "broken sync" icon to let me know.

I'm sure there are better behavior patterns, but this would eliminate the problem of docs being out of sync.

Ultimately I want the docs on Dropbox to be in a special "sync" mode. OO should check the sync status of all the docs on boot.

This might be confusing, but this is what I need. By keeping local copies of my OPML docs on the iPad that do not sync, I'm creating a lot of problems... my outline that I edited at home can't make it to my OPML folder by itself.

My requirement is to be able to work on a half dozen outlines without having to email them all over the place and as close as I can get to always being able to edit my OPML based outlines and having them automagically be up to date on dropbox and my iPad so that I can then work on them from my desktop or from iThoughtsHD without having to worry about different versions being in different places.

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