The Omni Group Forums

The Omni Group Forums (
-   Syncing via Omni Sync Server (
-   -   Could we use the server to sync other files? If not suggestions? (

analoggab 2012-04-26 05:40 PM

Could we use the server to sync other files? If not suggestions?
I think Omnigroup has been really good at developing an intelligent sync architecture.

I quote Ken Case:

[QUOTE=Ken Case;63190]DropBox knows how to copy around data, but it doesn't know how to resolve conflicts when data is edited in two places before being synchronized.

OmniFocus does know how to do this, so if you want to avoid potential data loss when resolving conflicts I strongly recommend using OmniFocus' built-in sync facility[/QUOTE]

I'm having a lot of difficulties with Dropbox for syncing my regular files. Lots of conflicts and loss of data and files.
I'd really like to find another smarter solution. A one which knows how to resolve conflicts like Ken mentions.

Would it be possible to use the server to sync other (small) files?
Or perhaps suggestions on smarter cloud storage?


whpalmer4 2012-04-27 06:05 AM

OmniFocus doesn't know how to resolve conflicts either! It just throws away all but the last change in the case of a conflict, so you most certainly can lose data if you change the same item in two different ways on two different devices, then sync them both. This usually isn't an issue, but it can be in cases where you make a change on a device that can't sync (maybe it is out of network range, or the app gets killed to reclaim memory before syncing takes place) and then make another change to that same action on another device. The first change will be silently discarded. That would be unfortunate if the first change was taking a picture of the completed work, and the second change was marking it complete. After the sync, the picture is gone! It isn't so much conflict resolution as conflict removal :)

I haven't managed to lose any data with Dropbox sync, though I've certainly managed to get it to throw up its hands and make me fix the conflict. I try to avoid doing so, however, so the fact that I haven't had any data loss is inconclusive. Are you sure you've actually lost the data?

The sync mechanism in OmniFocus is built for syncing OmniFocus databases, and you can't use it to sync arbitrary files as is. It relies on the notion that OmniFocus databases are large collections of objects where relatively few objects change at once. Using it to sync drafts of a term paper would require splitting the text into a collection of objects, and those objects would probably not be neatly packaged in the way the OmniFocus actions, projects, etc. are. You'd need some software that did the packaging and unpackaging, ran the sync, kept track of which files you were syncing, and it would need to be written for every platform on which you wished to sync. Probably looks a lot like the Dropbox app when you're done!

DrJJWMac 2012-04-27 07:40 AM

[QUOTE=analoggab;109847]...Or perhaps suggestions on smarter cloud storage?[/QUOTE]

Perhaps you may want something with subversion or an equivalent (GIT ...) front end to do version management?


The Mac has svn built-in, all you need is to set up your methods to use it.

My experience is limited to svn for software that I develop on the side and store in a distribution service. I am only suggesting it as a starting point for your further research. It may be entirely overkill or inappropriate or untenable for your needs.

Let us know what you might discover.


analoggab 2012-05-22 11:52 AM

Hey guys. Thanks for your answers and input.

I waited to get back to you to explore the solutions shared here but it ended up taking a little longer than expected. ;)

Maybe something like subversion is overkill.
What I learned since my first post is that when syncing a database from an application, Dropbox seems to wait until an Application has quit to fully write all the changes.
For instance with Devonthink: even if all documents are saved, if I open the app on another computer and save some more documents on this Mac, there will be conflict since dropbox didn't truly wrote the changes all the way through.

So after all, I guess I'm in search of a syncing system that has immediate write/save. No need to quit the app.

I'm know I'm out of OF concerning that, but you may have some nice final input.


P.S. I've checked with the developers and they all confirm their software write the changes right away so it would be how dropbox handles the changes

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:31 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.