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The challenge of syncing OmniOutliner—solved! Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I am hoping there has been some good progress?
 
Agree with Santra. I DEARLY love my OF but OO has got to do better with import/export features. Otherwise i'll use another app
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiecoyote View Post
Agree with Santra. I DEARLY love my OF but OO has got to do better with import/export features. Otherwise i'll use another app
Here we are, one month later, a new version (1.3) comes down the pipeline for our iPads, and STILL no autosync.

What do we get? A "preconfigured option for import and export servers." We're stuck with zip file names, so I have no idea what I'm importing from my Mac since your code creates a zip file name that's in hex or something. Not to mention the fact that this is NOT TRUE SYNC—which we have had with OmniFocus on MULTIPLE platforms for years. Zipping files for import and export? You've got to be kidding me.

You guys KNOW how to do killer sync. Look at the way OF currently handles it straight across the board on ALL devices: Mac, iPhone, iPad... Why can't you give us this for OO? OO is a flat file structure without all the bells and whistles of OF, and it still doesn't have auto sync? You guys already have your own awesome server that works beautifully, and yet you can't use it for OO?

I. Just. Don't. Get. It.

I have been waiting over 2 years for sync to come to OO. This is insane.

I don't care if you force me to use Apple's iCloud and prevent people from using Dropbox. Whatever. I'll move all my files. And I don't care about AirPlay mirroring, either. (Whose idea was it to put that before dev on autosync, anyway?) Oooo...Airplay mirroring to a big flat screen... Wow.

Hey, folks, I'm in the trenches as an employee or a consultant delivering high-level IT services to companies large and small; I need to keep track of data with OO, not watch pictures or a movie on a big TV.

Please. I JUST WANT SYNC!!!

Recently I bought a product from a company, and it didn't work correctly. I notified them by email. Their response was to immediately send me a replacement, free of charge, and additionally include over $200 of extra equipment in the box—for free! This is a company with probably 1/10 the revenue (or less) of OmniGroup. You guys have what...20 or 30 employees? This other company has maybe 2 or 3. This was a company that I had never bought a single product from prior to a few weeks ago. Yet I’ve been buying OG products for years: OF for Mac, iPad, iPhone; OO for Mac and iPad; OmniPlan; OmniGraffle for Mac and iPad; OmniSketcher for my iPad. I’ve spent roughly $500 over the past five years on OG products. This other company...I purchased a $19.99 product from them. It was messed up. So they sent me $200 worth of merchandise for free. They even called me to apologize! What a difference.

Ken, I love ya, man, but this OO issue is really starting to make my teeth grind. All the other OG products work like a dream. Why can't you get us OO sync? If ANY product needs to be cross-device synced, it's a KB app.

When I think of all the dev and QA time and effort that went into adding sexy styles to OO for the iPad at the expense of bringing autosync to the table, it makes me seethe.

EVERYTHING is moving toward unified cloud storage with auto-sync and mirroring to all devices. PLEASE heed the writing on the wall.

I KNOW you know this; I KNOW you see how Apple has brought this type of system architecture to multiple areas: iTunes Match, iCloud documents, iCal, Mail. And I know you can do it yourself, because you've done it with OF!

OO really must be the runt of the litter at OG. That's the only way in my head I can explain why this is taking so long, and why the reasons for delay have been obfuscated at so many junctures by rhetoric from your dev team reps about how "tricky" it is. I know, I know...KB programs are not "sexy" for the consumer. But they are incredibly crucial and valuable for business users.

This is the kind of thing that will in the future steer me away from recommending OG products to clients, and instead recommend products like Things, DEVONThink, PersonalBrain, and Daylite. Ironically, most of those products are far more complicated than OO, and most of those companies have terrible tech support and somewhat buggy releases, AND YET those companies have made cross-device autosync work for far bigger and more complex programs than OO.

My love for OG used to be something like 300%, starting at an all-time high with the rave party alpha release of OF at TekServe in NYC years and years ago. My respect for the company has slowly eroded about 25-50% a year since then. Some things, like customer support, and the beautiful build and power of OF, have been amazing; and they’re even still improving.

But stuff like this OO sync problem have slowly but consistently worn down my faith in the company.

Last edited by santra; 2012-09-05 at 05:24 AM.. Reason: edited for typos (a few times)
 
It is with great sadness that I agree. I loved OmniOutliner, but the stubborn inability to give us true sync - the way OF does - has made it a poor match for my workflow. I'm moving more and more of what used to be in OO over to DevonThink.

It's not what I want to do. It's what lack of true sync in OO has forced me to do.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by santra View Post
Here we are, one month later, a new version (1.3) comes down the pipeline for our iPads, and STILL no autosync.
Trust me: nobody is more disappointed about the delay in automatic syncing than we are. We had very promising results at the start, and our code was ready to ship a year ago—in fact, it did ship as open source, where it's working fine for some other third-party apps which have a simpler native file structure. Unfortunately, it wasn't stable: as described at the top of this thread, we ran into showstopping issues with trying to sync OmniOutliner's native document structure. We've finally had to give up on the entire approach when we learned that the issues we need to solve were impossible for us to fix and would not be fixed in a free update, so we've changed approaches and are now a few months into building a sync solution based on open protocols.

I apologize for the bad judgment call. (I particularly apologize to the team at Omni who has invested so much time in trying to get code working that wasn't within their control to fix.) If we'd had any idea this approach was going to take anywhere near this long, we would have just designed our own sync solution in the first place, exactly as we've already done for OmniFocus and OmniPlan. There are some strong philosophical reasons to prefer the fully-open approach in the first place.

Quote:
All the other OG products work like a dream. Why can't you get us OO sync?
OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner, and OmniGraphSketcher are all in the same boat here, waiting for a good solution which will automatically sync their native document formats. That's what we're building now—and now that all the pieces are within our control I have every confidence that what we're building will work as well as what we've built for OmniFocus and OmniPlan.
 
Thanks Ken - honest and classy. In science we have to pursue multiple parallel solutions to the same problem at all times, since we never know which one is going to work. I doubt you had the resources to do this, but maybe next time.
 
Thanks, Ken. I have always greatly appreciated your candor, honesty, and sincerity.

It sounds like you and your team have gone through as much pain (or more) than the user base here longing for the sync feature under debate.

It takes a lot of guts to admit the mistakes you confessed to in your above post, especially for someone in your position. I have a lot of respect for that.

Yes, Open Source is always worth going after. But notwithstanding that choice, I'd like to be clear with you, OG, and everyone else in this forum that I value OO so much that I would be more than happy to buy at the regular price a whole new version of it, especially if it included the kind of seamless, invisible sync that OF provides. (And my apologies for remarking, "All the other OG products work like a dream," implying that OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner, and OmniGraphSketcher all have the same seamless syncing that OmniFocus has. My bad for using a near-Straw Man argument for the visceral impact of excessive exaggeration. Heat of the moment.) tl;dr: If I have to rebuy OO, no problem.

Quite a few companies (whose names shall go unmentioned) have forced their entire userbase to buy outright, at full price, brand-new versions (major updates) of an app; and some of these companies did so without even the excuse of "Oh, you have to rebuy the app now because we're moving it to the Apple Apps Store."

It's both comforting and reassuring that you care enough about your users to involve us in the software dev process, and to keep us updated as often as you do.

Thank you so much.

—Sandy
 
Given that there seems little hope of Dropbox or iCloud sync, I'd like to offer an idea which would make the proprietary Omni sync platform much more attractive: the ability to publish outlines to non-OO users. CarbonFin, a competing (and significantly less capable) iPad outliner app, provides this ability now.

OO's dynamic HTML export (in the Mac version) is wonderful. But right now I have to manually do the export every time I change my outline, and then upload it to a web server.

If you could offer the ability to publish that version of the outline to anyone (private URL, passwords, whatever -- CarbonFin uses private URLs), and keep that HTML version synced with the OO version, then that would be tremendously useful. I could edit outlines, and send out a link to my clients that they could use to view the information.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogbar View Post
I'm moving more and more of what used to be in OO over to DevonThink.

It's not what I want to do. It's what lack of true sync in OO has forced me to do.
I just started using OO, and on the Mac it is hands-down the best outliner out there. I love Notebook for note-taking, but to manage data, OO is much better. I've tried many competitors (DevonThink, CarbonFin, TOoG and LooseStitch online, etc) and OO is just ... better. Except for the lack of basic functionality like syncing, automatic formatting, etc. Maybe we just all need to get better at Applescript.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenficara View Post
If you could offer the ability to publish that version of the outline to anyone (private URL, passwords, whatever -- CarbonFin uses private URLs), and keep that HTML version synced with the OO version, then that would be tremendously useful. I could edit outlines, and send out a link to my clients that they could use to view the information.
Interesting idea - I'll file that as a feature request against the sync server. Thanks!
 
 


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