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Attachment Handling - Separate database for iPhone syncing Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I recently purchased OmniFocus & the iPhone App. I think this program has huge potential, however, the database limitations are really causing me grief.

I work with graphics. What I' d love to do is attached a PDF proof to each project action and once the job has been billed, attach a PDF invoice.

This works great on my MAC, however, as soon as syncing comes in to play, via MobileMe or WebDAV, this feature becomes completely useless. What's the point of being able to add attachments is a database file over 2MB is considered big?

What I'd love to see...
The ability to continue adding these attachments, however, they should be stored in a separate Attachments folder. When you sync the iPhone you should be given the option to Download Attachement when you are viewing a specific action that has something attached. If you don't want to t view it, don't download it.

A feature like this would keep the regular, syncing database nice and thin, because all it's holding is text. The meaty part would be the attachment database. On your desktop this won't make much of a difference, but it will be a huge advantage for iPhone syncing.
 
You don't need to embed the files in the document, you can put in links to them instead. To add a link to a file instead of embedding the file, simply do Edit->Attach File... when you've got the action selected, and choose the create a link option. Now they won't be clogging up your database on the iPhone. It's worth keeping in mind that the iPhone is not exactly an equal to your desktop machine in processing power or storage capacity, and shoveling multi-megabyte files over a 3G network is going to take some time.

You have all the tools to do as you propose by storing the files on the DropBox service (for example) and putting in URLs for the files. Tap the URL in the notes field, and you'll have the file displayed. The primary issue with such a solution is that it breaks down if you aren't connected to the network (more of a concern for us iPod touch users) but it shares that characteristic with your proposal. No need to wait for Omni to deliver this sort of functionality; you can do it yourself, no waiting.

I don't think anyone said that a 2 MB database is big; a 2 MB database made up of thousands of actions without attachments is big, because there's a lot more overhead to store thousands of small items than a handful of large items, and potentially a lot more work to be done in a sync. A 2 MB database with 200 actions shouldn't be much of a problem at all. At the moment, I'm using a 10.8 MB database with 4300+ actions to see if your "useless" assertion holds water, and the only issue so far has been an out-of-memory crash when I tried to view an embedded file that is several MB in size.
 
I'm sorry. Nowhere in your reply do you explain how this solves a few problems from my initial question...

1) I want to EMBED the files. Not link them. Pretty sure that was clear in the post.

2) I want the option to download the embbeded file to my iPhone, should I choose to do so. It should not download the file automatically if it is attached.

3) Regarding 2MB being large for a database. I have actually been told that 2MB is pretty big considering I just installed OmniFocus and only have 5 projects and 15 actions loaded.

Next time you respond to a post, be sure that 1) you actually read the post, 2) you're response is helpful.

I've itemized this reply to make it easier for you to actually recognize key points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
You don't need to embed the files in the document, you can put in links to them instead. To add a link to a file instead of embedding the file, simply do Edit->Attach File... when you've got the action selected, and choose the create a link option. Now they won't be clogging up your database on the iPhone. It's worth keeping in mind that the iPhone is not exactly an equal to your desktop machine in processing power or storage capacity, and shoveling multi-megabyte files over a 3G network is going to take some time.

You have all the tools to do as you propose by storing the files on the DropBox service (for example) and putting in URLs for the files. Tap the URL in the notes field, and you'll have the file displayed. The primary issue with such a solution is that it breaks down if you aren't connected to the network (more of a concern for us iPod touch users) but it shares that characteristic with your proposal. No need to wait for Omni to deliver this sort of functionality; you can do it yourself, no waiting.

I don't think anyone said that a 2 MB database is big; a 2 MB database made up of thousands of actions without attachments is big, because there's a lot more overhead to store thousands of small items than a handful of large items, and potentially a lot more work to be done in a sync. A 2 MB database with 200 actions shouldn't be much of a problem at all. At the moment, I'm using a 10.8 MB database with 4300+ actions to see if your "useless" assertion holds water, and the only issue so far has been an out-of-memory crash when I tried to view an embedded file that is several MB in size.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisaceto View Post
Next time you respond to a post, be sure that 1) you actually read the post, 2) you're response is helpful.
Not having an iPhone yet, I'm afraid I can't help with the attachments problem. But I can offer two suggestions:
  • You can use Help --> Send Feedback to submit feature requests.
  • My experience has been that being rude to people who are attempting to help me generally discourages others from attempting to offer their help.

Good luck.
__________________
Cheers,

Curt
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by curt.clifton View Post
Not having an iPhone yet, I'm afraid I can't help with the attachments problem. But I can offer two suggestions:
  • You can use Help --> Send Feedback to submit feature requests.
  • My experience has been that being rude to people who are attempting to help me generally discourages others from attempting to offer their help.

Good luck.
My intention wasn't to be rude Phil. The response to my question seemed a bit condescending and a bit offensive. I am aware that I can add attachments as a Link. Generally, I am used to posting on forums where people actually read the posts and answer accordingly. if my reply seemed rude, it was simply because the response was completely unrelated to what I was asking.

And as far as being rude to people trying to help. Again, if he had read my post and commented based on my question it would have been an honest mistake. But, the manner in which it was responded to was frustrating. It seems that some people are just too anxious to post comments without actually reading the content accurately.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisaceto View Post
I'm sorry. Nowhere in your reply do you explain how this solves a few problems from my initial question...

1) I want to EMBED the files. Not link them. Pretty sure that was clear in the post.
Yes, you said that, though you didn't provide any compelling reason why you wanted to restrict the solution space, and provided no indication that you were aware of the option. You also said you're a new user, having difficulty. I suggested a method that eliminates your problem and provides equivalent functionality without having to wait for Omni to decide that what you are asking for is more important than any of the other requests, suggestions, and their own good ideas and implement, test and ship it. There are desired features that have generated many more requests on the forum than this over the last year or two which have yet to ship. I assume when someone uses a tool for their livelihood that they don't really want to wait a year for a perfect solution when there is an imperfect solution available now that won't preclude using the perfect one if it ever arrives. You're under no obligation to use my suggestion, of course; feel free to use any others that may be supplied.
Quote:
2) I want the option to download the embbeded file to my iPhone, should I choose to do so. It should not download the file automatically if it is attached.
Right now, the entire database is synced everywhere. If you need alternate behavior, you'll either have to link the file, or prepare for potentially a long wait for your feature request to be implemented. I don't think anyone is saying this is an undesirable change, I'm certainly not, but I don't see it happening before 2.0, and we've been promised at least one release between now and then that no one outside of Omni has yet seen.
Quote:
3) Regarding 2MB being large for a database. I have actually been told that 2MB is pretty big considering I just installed OmniFocus and only have 5 projects and 15 actions loaded.
Because most people prefer to have fast syncing (especially if they are going to be using EDGE) the usual practice is to avoid stuffing large files into the database. If you aren't sticking big attachments or lengthy notes in there, 2 MB represents potentially thousands of actions. For most people who aren't embedding files, a database of that size is an indication that something may be amiss, such as a failure to regularly compact. If someone saw "2 MB" and jumped ahead to that conclusion, well, I'm sorry, but I don't have any control over that.

Quote:
Next time you respond to a post, be sure that 1) you actually read the post, 2) you're response is helpful.
I'm content with my ratio of "hey, thanks!" to "you knucklehead!" responses, but thanks for your helpful advice. I'll limit myself to answering any future questions from you posed as multiple choice or true/false to avoid potential "scribbling outside the lines" :-)
 
@whpalmer4: I for one am grateful for your 'misinterpreted' and 'unhelpful' post. It helped me a great deal. I'm also a new OmniFocus user (converted from Things... and quite happy) and sure, I've scanned through the manual (which is quite good), but I didn't catch the 'linking' feature.

For the record, seems to me that chrisaceto is the 'knuckehead' in this scenario. It seems to me he could have easily disregarded your proposed solution or responded with a simple 'Thanks, but I'd really like to embed, not link... sorry that my use of the word 'attachment' in my original post muddied the waters... any other suggestions?'

And, also for the record, I suspect I'm not the only one who benefitted from your tips... so 'hey, thanks!' from me.
 
 


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