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Originally Posted by MarcinK View Post
Interesting, I just performed another sync on my desktop and watched my OF db grow to almost 600kb and drop back to 200kb. I guess this is just normal synchronization behaviour
Yes, the apparent size of the database can fluctuate quite a bit, and so can the actual size of the database. Here are some reasons why:

Your database is stored as a base file, containing all the state that all the clients agree upon, plus a bunch of little zip files corresponding to changes made since that point, approximately 1 zip file per change made. When all the clients are in sync, the next client to sync will compact the database, moving all changes more than an hour old into that base file and eliminating the little zip files that held them.

Because the database is stored as a bunch of files in a directory with a flag set to tell the Finder to treat it as one file (a package file), and because the filesystem allocates space in blocks which are typically larger than needed to hold these small zip files, as you accumulate a number of them, the size of that package reported by the Finder will grow rapidly, although the actual number of bytes in the package file may not. This doesn't matter much as far as the disk is concerned, but it does if you are copying the file across the network, where you are happy that you don't have to copy as much as it might appear at first glance, especially if you are using a slow cellular connection. So, if you really want an accurate view of the size of your database, look at the number of bytes reported by the Finder in parentheses, not the number of KB/MB/GB initially listed, which can be misleadingly large as it represents the maximum amount of data that could be stored in the disk blocks occupied.

In addition to the apparent size fluctuations, there can be some actual size fluctuations due to syncing. If you attach a file to an action or a project, perhaps an audio note from the iPhone, or a picture, or embed a document, that is a change that will occupy one or more zip files. If you then go and delete that attachment, it will remain in your database (even though it will appear to have been removed) until all of the clients are synced again and the transaction(s) adding, editing, and finally deleting that attachment have been compacted into the "past history" portion of the database. It is sort of like putting a file in the Trash, but not immediately emptying it, rather relying on someone else to do so at an unknown point in the future.

Zip files can accumulate in relatively large numbers if you are very active, and especially if you have a device which doesn't get synced very often (thus delaying compaction). If the number continues to grow, check the Show Clients display in the Sync preferences panel in the Mac application to see if you have a client that isn't being synced. Sometimes if you reinstall the app you'll end up with a registered client that is no longer active.
I must be blind, but I can't see anywhere in the settings on my iPhone the choice of sync to the beta, like it is on the iPad. How do I get it to sync to my iPhone 4?

Never mind, I figured it out. Thanks! I think this is going to be my choice way to sync Omnifocus? I sure hope it can go through the Firewall at work! Then my two Macs, iPad and iPhone will all be in harmony! :D

Last edited by ewelch; 2010-09-10 at 06:57 PM..
I find that the cloud sync works very nicely. At the very beginning I had a couple very slow syncs until everything settled down, but since than it has been smooth sailing. I've set it up to sync automatically and most of the time I don't even think about it - it just works in the background.

I just got my invite but have not actually switched over yet. I've been using WebDav on my own host and it works pretty well. However, having OmniFocus on a personal Mac, a work Mac, iPhone, and iPad makes synchronization a bit of an issue, especially since my database is pretty big and sync operations are a bit slow on the iOS devices.

Before I dive in with both feet, I was wondering if anyone has noticed a particular performance boost or decrease with the Omni server? I mean, aside from the couple of "first time I did it, it seemed slow" kinds of posts... have you seen an improvement by switching from your old method?

Gets me to wondering, if every item is in fact a little zip file in the OmniFocus directory, why you couldn't employ a kind of "trickle sync" and just sync up every updated item in a background thread after every change rather than batching them up. Quite often I'll be updating my daily checklists on the iPad when it suddenly starts "updating with synced data", which sometimes creates duplicates of the repeating items I just checked off. Are you guys thinking about moving away from the batch model?
I can't speak to comparing other WebDAV syncs to Omni Cloud (which I think is WebDAV too) as I used to sync directly.

If you are looking at increasing speed of your sync, than removing all unnecessary 'attachments' works wonders. I do a lot of clipping of e-mails and webpages into OmnioFocus. The problem there is that all graphical content gets saved as attachments and significantly grows your OmniFocus database. I've cut my db down to 1/4 of its original size by removing all unwanted attachments.

In the Window menu there is an Attachment List, which makes removing attachments that much easier. Also, when I create new actions from e-mails, I'll explicitly select the portion of the e-mail that is of interest to me - this limits what gets clipped to what you selected.
That's a good suggestion. I hardly ever use any attachments, though, and they almost wind up on someday/maybe items that I never update. Worth checking to see if I left anything large tacked onto an item somewhere, though.
I can already sync for free ota using webdav, but if the price is within reason, I'd consider using the native solution. I already paid a premium for apps, but I guess it's totally worth the price after seeing what the competition on the app store offers (and lacks). There's one GTD service called Nozbe that charges like 10 dollars a month and I think that's way too much for syncing and the app and service is very subpar. It doesn't even do real GTD! If the pricing is closer to what Toodledo is offering (around 15 a year) I'd consider it as long as the apps get constant updates (something Things and Remember the Milk could never commit to).
Locking, un-stickying, and deprecating thread in favor of this one. Part of the updated info there is that we're not going to charge to host your sync data. :-)

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