The Omni Group
These forums are now read-only. Please visit our new forums to participate in discussion. A new account will be required to post in the new forums. For more info on the switch, see this post. Thank you!

Go Back   The Omni Group Forums > OmniFocus > OmniFocus Syncing
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

 
What should I do about "Client has not been synced" warnings? [Fixed: see thread] Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
My main complaint about this "feature" is the tendency of the dialog box to hide under some app in another space if Omnifocus decided to do its warning e.g. during the night. Finding the box involves hiding the rest of my apps - OF is patently unresponsible untill the box has been clicked.

This may very well be a feature of Cocoa for all i know and hence not something Omni can do much about, but it is still irritating. Maybe you should print the warning in a small box while doing the syncing, making it disappear when the sync process is done?
 
From the upcoming sneaky peek build's release notes:

OmniFocus will no longer prompt users to synchronize devices which haven't synchronized in over a week. Instead, if the sync database needs to be compacted (i.e. it has over 250 transactions in its sync history) OmniFocus will automatically unregister devices which haven't synchronized in over three weeks.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Case View Post
From the upcoming sneaky peek build's release notes:

OmniFocus will no longer prompt users to synchronize devices which haven't synchronized in over a week. Instead, if the sync database needs to be compacted (i.e. it has over 250 transactions in its sync history) OmniFocus will automatically unregister devices which haven't synchronized in over three weeks.
Wait, WHAT? Did you just say that OmniFocus is being changed so that it will automatically drop the unsynced client and force me to lose any local changes on it without even asking me?!? How is that possibly an improvement?!? NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!! DO NOT DESTROY DATA!!! I'd rather have the secret setting to defer the nag screen than have my data automatically destroyed for me. I have five instances of OmniFocus going between iPhone, iPad, and two computers. I simply cannot always remember to start something up every few weeks just to make sure stale changes get synced out.. this does not imply that I don't care about those changes, though. User data should never be put in such haphazard jeopardy!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeri View Post
Wait, WHAT? Did you just say that OmniFocus is being changed so that it will automatically drop the unsynced client and force me to lose any local changes on it without even asking me?!? How is that possibly an improvement?!? NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!! DO NOT DESTROY DATA!!! I'd rather have the secret setting to defer the nag screen than have my data automatically destroyed for me. I have five instances of OmniFocus going between iPhone, iPad, and two computers. I simply cannot always remember to start something up every few weeks just to make sure stale changes get synced out.. this does not imply that I don't care about those changes, though. User data should never be put in such haphazard jeopardy!
Radical idea: someone should write a program that could help you to remember to do important things such as backups, syncing OmniFocus clients every two weeks, etc. In the meantime, you could use OmniFocus to help you remember...

I would argue that if you are making changes on a device and cannot be bothered to make sure one (1) sync is done on that device in the three weeks after making a change, you have demonstrated that in fact you don't care about that data. After all, what is the point of making the change in the first place, if you aren't going to propagate it to the rest of your devices? Are you going to remember that stranded change when you next look at that project on another device?
 
I don't really care how you want to use these tools; I paid $100 to use these tools, trusting that they wouldn't wantonly destroy my data. Dropping clients without even asking me is doing precisely that. At that point I'd start to feel like I really want my money back if my data is going to be put at such risk by future software updates. I didn't sign up for this kind of misbehavior.
 
I agree, you don't have to convince me! You do, however have to convince Ken, and not being able to effectively counter the questions I raised about your apparent workflow makes me think that you are likely to be on the losing end of an engineering tradeoff. It isn't usually possible to please everyone, and your stance is going to make you an outlier compared to the much larger numbers of people who want their syncs to be reliably fast, and don't insist on the right to make changes on a device they never sync and yet not lose them. Omni being Omni, if you stubbornly insist that this means more to you than the ability to keep using OmniFocus, you may well get your money back. Putting in an action to remind you to do a sync every two weeks seems like an easier project than finding and migrating to a new task management system!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeri View Post
Wait, WHAT? Did you just say that OmniFocus is being changed so that it will automatically drop the unsynced client and force me to lose any local changes on it without even asking me?
Yes, OmniFocus will automatically drop devices which haven't synchronized in three weeksóbut no, that doesn't lose the data on those devices!

When you next attempt to synchronize a dropped device, you'll be asked whether you wish to replace its database with the current server copy. You can cancel the sync at that point and look at its local database before deciding whether to replace it. (To easily review recent edits, I recommend using a context-mode "Recent Changes" perspective that groups and sorts all items by their Changed date.)

If you do elect to replace a local database with the server copy, OmniFocus for Mac will make a backup of your old local database just in case you realize later that you missed something. (You'll find it named something like "OmniFocus Prior To Resynchronizing on [date]".) OmniFocus for iPhone can't do this automatic backup (because it doesn't have any mechanism for accessing alternate databases the way the Mac app does), but you can always email your database to yourself and open it on your Mac.

Finally, I should point out that OmniFocus tries to automatically sync local changes to the server within one minute, so in my experience it's uncommon for out-of-sync devices to have any local changes. (They're generally just out of date!) But if they do have some local changes (perhaps they were offline while those changes were made and haven't been synced since), please rest assured that those changes will not be dropped without warning. (That would be antithetical to the notion of a trusted system!)

(The next step I'd like to take is to have OmniFocus automatically determine whether any local changes have been made. If there are no local changes, OmniFocus doesn't need to prompt about whether to replace the local database or notóit can just do it. And if there are local changes, perhaps OmniFocus could automatically reapply those changes after it gets back in sync.)
 
That is the root of the concern, yes: a device which may have edits done while the device is offline. How is it not considered losing data if my choices seem to amount to "Don't sync this anymore" or "Throw away whatever you had on this device and overwrite it with the server data, then reenter the deltas by hand"? I don't consider it to be an effective alternative if I have to reenter the data that was on the device in question. What, then, was the point of me entering the data in OmniFocus to begin with? What is the impetus for this change in the first place? Why can users not decide for themselves that they do or do not want this behavior? By my estimation this all amounts to a bunch of added complexity for some users who understand what's going on and don't quite need this level of hand-holding. I also take significant issue with the statement "But if they do have some local changes (perhaps they were offline while those changes were made and haven't been synced since), please rest assured that those changes will not be dropped without warning." It seems an awful lot like, by the time I'm finding out that something has happened, the device has already been dropped from the coherency domain by other instances and the damage is already done, forcing me to do a bunch of extra work to clean up the mess that I don't think needed to be made in the first place. Can you please make this behavior optional? I understand that this is a desired behavior for most users who don't understand the nuances of what's going on here, but for those us of who do can we get an opt-out? Also, can the mobile clients also drop other clients like this or will it just be the desktop software that is capable of this?

Last edited by Xeri; 2010-06-01 at 12:49 AM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Case View Post
From the upcoming sneaky peek build's release notes:

OmniFocus will no longer prompt users to synchronize devices which haven't synchronized in over a week. Instead, if the sync database needs to be compacted (i.e. it has over 250 transactions in its sync history) OmniFocus will automatically unregister devices which haven't synchronized in over three weeks.
Yikes, please don't make this change, or at least make it possible to disable this behavior. I was glad to find the hidden options in your post #10, and now I'm glad I read ahead. It doesn't matter how I use it--I NEVER want OmniFocus to decide to unregister my device, which might cause me to have to use some workaround just to preserve data.

Here's how I use OmniFocus: I have a copy on my home desktop, which I make changes to about once every 2 weeks. I have a copy on my iPhone, which I make changes to more frequently. But I almost never use my iPhone version at home, as it's easier to just use it on my desktop. And the tasks I enter and modify on my desktop (like paying bills) tend to be different from the ones I enter and modify away from home on my iPhone (like shopping lists).

So I don't care that much if they're out of sync for a while, and I tend to only actually open the iPhone app at home when I'm intending to sync. But I still do want to be able to sync when I want to, and keep one database, not a home one and an on-the-go one.

If the issue you're trying to solve is poor sync performance, perhaps a better solution would be to display a message on the syncing device during a slow sync that says "Your sync is taking a long time because you haven't synced in a while. Sync more often for faster syncs." That would let me decide whether the trouble of syncing more often is worth the benefit of faster syncs, instead of you making a fairly drastic decision for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Case View Post
Yes, OmniFocus will automatically drop devices which haven't synchronized in three weeksóbut no, that doesn't lose the data on those devices!
How can that be? It sounds to me from your description and my usage patterns that my choices would be to either a) let it replace the database on my iPhone, in which case I'd lose local changes, or b) email myself my iPhone database, and somehow figure out what's changed and manually copy things over to my desktop database? Both of those are awful solutions. If they're my only choices, I won't be updating to the version with this change.
 
BTW, I'd love to be able to just use a remote WebDAV server and sync that way, so I'd effectively be synced whenever I open the iPhone app, but I've tried to set it up and ran into enough problems that it wasn't worth the effort.
 
 


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"Email-to-OmniFocus" entry in client list? [A: created by Sync Server's Mail Drop feature.] Robejazz OmniFocus 1 for Mac 1 2013-03-11 04:03 PM
Sync adds "Process" prefix to Perspectives [A: Bug, will be fixed in update. Sorry!] b-dr OmniFocus for iPhone 3 2012-09-24 12:56 PM
"Jump to specific canvas" action wrong in exported PDF? [A: Bug, fixed in 5.4.1] Georgy OmniGraffle General 4 2012-07-31 03:44 PM
Some synced events not appearing in iCal [A: check "add blocked items" in OF Prefs.] peterlemer OmniFocus 1 for Mac 2 2012-02-08 09:06 AM
"Existing sync client entries will eventually go stale"?? al_f OmniFocus Syncing 2 2008-09-12 02:11 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:13 PM.


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