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Undo deleted everything. *Everything*. :( Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I downloaded OmniFocus a few hours ago. After watching the getting started video, I very nearly just went ahead and paid (I'm an OmniOutliner Pro user anyway), but I decided to give it a try first.

I spent a couple hours doing an initial dump into the inbox, then spent another hour organizing my projects and contexts. I setup a bucket, "Random chores", and told OmniFocus to put single actions there.

Then I went into the Inbox and added a few single items. I realized one had a single dependent, so I indented it. Then I hit return to add a new item, and I tried to out-dent it since it wasn't related to the prior item, but by mistake I indented it further. So I hit Undo. (Cmd-Z.)

Everything was gone. Everything. All my actions, all my projects, all my contexts, all my perspectives—even the ones supplied with OmniFocus. I tried Redo several times with no luck. I checked my view settings, and even with view all, nothing was there. I tried a bunch of other view settings hoping to get my stuff back, but no luck.

I quit and restarted OmniFocus, still nothing. I tried to revert, but my most recent backup was empty, and the one prior to that only had the Omni-supplied stuff (learning GTD and OmniFocus, etc.).

Is it all really gone?? I see that the files are bundles containing a gzipped XML file, and unzipping and examining them, the current one and the most recent backup is completely empty but for the DTD, and the prior backup has just the default stuff, so I guess it really is gone. :( :( :(

I guess I need to give you guys a few more revs before using it as a "trusted system"—but it does look incredibly cool. I hope the kinks get worked out!

Since there's no "Save", what would you recommend if I want to be brave and try this again? Would setting preferences to make a backup after every quit, and quitting and restarting frequently, do the trick?
Under " file " choose " backup database " I do it immediately following any large additions of tasks or changing my system structure etc ..
It's still beta software and there's no such thing as being too cautious .

Hope that helps ,
Are you sure its all gone?

Did you perhaps enter something in the search field? Or change a setting in the view bar? Those are common problems faced by new users. It's really easy (and panic inducing) to use OF's powerful filtering capabilities to filter out everything.

For what it's worth, I've been on the alpha since May and only had one episode of data loss that required restoring from a backup. That was in June.

Good luck. I hope your data is there!

As Curt noted, this is almost certainly an issue with a filter or focus being set. If OmniFocus did lose any of your data, that would be a show stopper -- please let us know as soon as possible how to replicate it if so. If OmniFocus convinced you your data was gone via poor UI, that's also a serious bug, so let us know about that too, if that's the case.
CTO, The Omni Group
Originally Posted by Tim Wood View Post
As Curt noted, this is almost certainly an issue with a filter or focus being set. If OmniFocus did lose any of your data, that would be a show stopper -- please let us know as soon as possible how to replicate it if so. If OmniFocus convinced you your data was gone via poor UI, that's also a serious bug, so let us know about that too, if that's the case.
Perhaps you can give me a procedure to delete all filters or focuses so I can be sure. As I mentioned, the XML in ~/Library/Application Support/OmniFocus/Omnifocus.ofocus is entirely empty, it consists of:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="no"?>
<omnifocus xmlns=""/>
That's the entire file. I don't see how my data could be there, there aren't any extended attributes or resource forks to hold it. But I'm willing to try something, if it will get my data back!

As to how to replicate it, I don't know. All I did was press "Undo". I've been trying to find a minimal situation to replicate it, but so far I haven't found one. I'll go through my entire process tomorrow recreating all my data, then I'll back it up, and then I'll press "Undo" and let you know what happens. But I haven't had time yet, I did spend many hours on the data before it disappeared.
In your ~/Library/Application Support/OmniFocus/OmniFocus.ofocus file, there should be a bunch of .xml files. Is there only one? There should be one per transaction unless you've used the 'Rebuild' menu option to compact the file.

OmniFocus should never re-write or modify these files; only adds new ones, unless Rebuild is used. In fact, you can't even backup over an existing file right now due to paranoia about losing data.

If you are in 10.5; do the Time Machine backups show any data (what OS you are on would be useful info either way)? Are there any messages in /Applications/Utilities/ from OmniFocus?

Are you using any sort of file synchronization software or a network home directory? Not that I can see how that would explain undo disappearing stuff, but just asking in the interest of collecting data.

Our data loss rate has been within epsilon of zero so far and I'd like to keep it that way, so I'm eager to get to the bottom of this and either improve the UI or fix the app if it truly is a data loss.
CTO, The Omni Group
Yes, there was only one:

-rw-r--r--  1 trey  trey  128 Nov 25 15:50 root=E07FE6CC-04B7-4872-BE83-F822754B5D28:A868F280-1E85-4768-BF31-D3327F987B60.xml
That date, 15:50, incidentally, was the moment I quit after the Undo, and corresponds to the newest backup time (the empty one). The prior backup from several hours before that contains just the default stuff.

Now that I've started to try to reproduce the problem for you, there are a lot more XML files in ~/Library/Application Support/OmniFocus/OmniFocus.ofocus. But they all date from after when I sent my last message, and the data in them is all test data, not my real data. (There's a funny non-English word that appeared in several of my real actions, so it's easy enough for me to check for that with zgrep. That string hasn't appeared anywhere in any file.)

No, I never used Rebuild.
One bit of data that might be helpful, or might be irrelevant: I mentioned that Undo deleted everything. So it deleted the bucket called "Random chores" I had set up as my default list for single actions. Going into Preferences, I now see my default list is displayed as "mby0PoSiGT3". I certainly never had a list or bucket called that before. Maybe that name will mean something to your developers.

I am using 10.5, but Time Machine isn't enabled, I don't have an external disk on this computer.

I'm still trying to replicate the bug with no luck thus far. I'm considering the possibility that this bug can only crop up in the first session using OmniFocus (as I mentioned, I had never quit OmniFocus, which was one reason I didn't get a good backup), so I'm going to try deleting the application, ~/Documents/OmniFocus Backups, ~/Library/Application Support/OmniFocus, Caches/com.omnigroup.OmniFocus, and Preferences/com.omnigroup.OmniFocus.plist before reinstalling. If there's anything else I should delete, please let me know.

Last edited by Trey; 2007-11-26 at 07:47 AM..
I've been going for about a week with no further data loss, and several tries to replicate the bug haven't been fruitful, so I'm just writing this off as some crazy fluke.

Thanks for the suggestions—I'm still quitting and restarting after I make an substantial changes, just to be on the safe side. :)
I'm glad this isn't troubling you anymore, but I'd like to try and repro it so we can fix it before it bites anyone else. I'm not sure it matters, but just in case... which OS version were you running? (eg 10.5.1) on what hardware? (eg G5 iMac)

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