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Need some help with my sync time Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I use OF on two macs. On top of that I have an iPhone 3gs.
I use OF on all those devices. I sync via mobileme.

I have one HUGE problem, the sync time is horrible.
Even after trying to make the database as smooth as possible it is still not even close to acceptable.

I have archived old stuff, I have unregistered clients, I have made backups and reverted from those, I have tried every trick I can find and I still canīt get it to sync in less than 40 secs.

My database is fairly small, only 44 projects and 121 actions.
This morning I went through all the tricks to make it smaller, before the size was 980 kb now it is 130 kb. Before 460 zip files now 27 zip files.

Still when I sync it takes forever, most of the time more than a minute.

After talking to OG support, who were very helpful, I really donīt know what do about it.

I have been using Remember the Milk with the same amount of tasks and projects, and there sync takes about 5-7 secs.

To have to sit and look at OF while it syncs for these long periods is a thing that makes avoid using it, which makes me unproductive.

Could it be mobileme thatīs slow? I almost have no files on my iDisk, 14 gb free.

When I look inside the OmniFocus.ofocus file there are always between 7-9 .client files. I only have 3 registered. I have even tried to manually deleting all of them from inside the file, but they return when I sync next time.

I hope someone here can give some advice as to what I should do about it.
 
One relevant variable not mentioned here is the speed of the connection you are getting from your iPhone to MobileMe.

You don't want to manually delete client files from inside the OmniFocus.ofocus bundle unless you know what you are doing. It is normal behavior to have several of them per client -- you'll get a new one each time a client syncs. What you don't want is client files representing clients that are no longer syncing, and those are best removed through the Show Clients display in the Sync preferences in OmniFocus.

There is a known bug in the shipping version of the iPhone app which can cause syncs to take longer than they should. Omni is testing a fix which greatly improves the situation, but they want to be 100% certain that it doesn't introduce any other problems before releasing it for general use. The problem is also present in the desktop application, but less likely to be noticed there because of the much greater performance of the desktop cpus.

In the mean time, turn off auto sync and have the phone do a sync at a time of your choosing, like when you won't immediately need it. You can put the display to sleep with the button at the top and prevent any inadvertent button presses while it syncs in your pocket.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
One relevant variable not mentioned here is the speed of the connection you are getting from your iPhone to MobileMe.

You don't want to manually delete client files from inside the OmniFocus.ofocus bundle unless you know what you are doing. It is normal behavior to have several of them per client -- you'll get a new one each time a client syncs. What you don't want is client files representing clients that are no longer syncing, and those are best removed through the Show Clients display in the Sync preferences in OmniFocus.

There is a known bug in the shipping version of the iPhone app which can cause syncs to take longer than they should. Omni is testing a fix which greatly improves the situation, but they want to be 100% certain that it doesn't introduce any other problems before releasing it for general use. The problem is also present in the desktop application, but less likely to be noticed there because of the much greater performance of the desktop cpus.

In the mean time, turn off auto sync and have the phone do a sync at a time of your choosing, like when you won't immediately need it. You can put the display to sleep with the button at the top and prevent any inadvertent button presses while it syncs in your pocket.
Thanks for your reply.
One odd thing is that it is impossible for me to turn on auto sync, I can turn it on inside the app, but it never syncs by itself, I always have to press the button. If I put it to sleep while it syncs it will 9 out of 10 times tell me that sync timed out when I activate it again.

It makes the sync function quite useless.

I was told by a supporter that there is only supposed to be one .client file per client, I have attached a picture of my .ofocus file to show you how many I have.
Currently there should only be two registered clients as I unregistered them all this morning, however as you see there are 17 in my file??
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Nicholas, sorry for the confusion here - OmniFocus does keep more than one .client file around.

At a minimum, it keeps one client file that's more than an hour old for each machine; we do this so the database doesn't compact before some other device gets a chance to add un-synced changes to the server.

If you sync a device more frequently than that, you could easily have multiple client files on the server, though.

Auto-Sync means that OmniFocus will sync when it notices the following:
  1. Changes need to be synced and you haven't changed anything in the app in the last minute.
  2. It's been more than an hour since the last sync. (This usually happens when the app starts up.)

When you auto-sync, it's important to put the phone's screen to sleep (a short press of the power button at the top) rather than putting the whole phone to sleep. Not sure that's causing the problem you mentioned, but it's one possibility.

If you let us know the specific error message you got, we may be able to help figure out what's causing it.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
Nicholas, sorry for the confusion here - OmniFocus does keep more than one .client file around.

At a minimum, it keeps one client file that's more than an hour old for each machine; we do this so the database doesn't compact before some other device gets a chance to add un-synced changes to the server.

If you sync a device more frequently than that, you could easily have multiple client files on the server, though.

Auto-Sync means that OmniFocus will sync when it notices the following:
  1. Changes need to be synced and you haven't changed anything in the app in the last minute.
  2. It's been more than an hour since the last sync. (This usually happens when the app starts up.)

When you auto-sync, it's important to put the phone's screen to sleep (a short press of the power button at the top) rather than putting the whole phone to sleep. Not sure that's causing the problem you mentioned, but it's one possibility.

If you let us know the specific error message you got, we may be able to help figure out what's causing it.
Hi Brian

First of all thanks for your reply.
As you can see there are two problems here.

One is that the sync time simply isnīt acceptable, it shouldnīt take this long and it makes the product quite useless as a trusted system.

The other is that in 9 out of 10 cases the sync fails if the phone has gone into sleep mode before it is done syncing.
That means that I have to sit and "keep it awake" every time I want to sync.

These two factors means that right now I canīt use OmniFocus as it is intended, there is simply too much waiting involved and there really shouldnīt.

I have attached two pics from my iPhone to show how it looks when it wakes up after it has been trying to sync in sleep mode.

Is there anything to be done with the horrendous sync process?
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The error message you're getting there means that we were unable to connect to the sync server; we sent a message, but never received a response to that message. This could be a problem in OmniFocus, or it could be a problem with one the EDGE network the traffic is crossing.

I'm not sure why it only happens when the screen is turned off; if we take a look at the console messages your phone has logged, we may be able to figure out what's going on here, but that information isn't going to be particularly forum-post-friendly. Please contact the support ninjas so we can figure out what's going on here.

One thing I'm trying to figure out is how to communicate to folks in threads like this that sync involves wirelessly contacting a server that is likely to be hundreds of miles away, fetching information from that server, doing some non-trivial processing of that information on the phone, and then sending information back.

Obviously, we want to make sync as fast as possible, and I understand that folks don't want to wait for syncs to complete. Especially on an EDGE network (with upload speeds comparable to a 56k modem), 30 or 40 seconds doesn't seem to be that long to wait to do all that. But that's because I know how it all works.

The previous two paragraphs aren't really about the specific problem you're having, Nicholas - it's just something I've been noticing and chewing on for a while. I think folks will always want syncs to take less time; when/if we hit a point where the network is really the limiting factor, I need to figure out how to communicate that without it sounding like a cop-out.

In any case, I've rambled a bit here - contact the support ninjas and we can pull the console logs off your phone. That will give us info on the specific traffic between your phone and the sync server; we'll use that info to figure out why sync is failing for you when the screen is turned off.

Last edited by Brian; 2009-12-02 at 11:56 AM.. Reason: add last to paragraphs for purposes of clarity
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
The error message you're getting there means that we were unable to connect to the sync server; we sent a message, but never received a response to that message. This could be a problem in OmniFocus, or it could be a problem with one the EDGE network the traffic is crossing.

I'm not sure why it only happens when the screen is turned off; if we take a look at the console messages your phone has logged, we may be able to figure out what's going on here, but that information isn't going to be particularly forum-post-friendly. Please contact the support ninjas so we can figure out what's going on here.

One thing I'm trying to figure out is how to communicate to folks in threads like this that sync involves wirelessly contacting a server that is likely to be hundreds of miles away, fetching information from that server, doing some non-trivial processing of that information on the phone, and then sending information back.

Obviously, we want to make sync as fast as possible, and I understand that folks don't want to wait for syncs to complete. Especially on an EDGE network (with upload speeds comparable to a 56k modem), 30 or 40 seconds doesn't seem to be that long to wait to do all that. But that's because I know how it all works.

The previous two paragraphs aren't really about the specific problem you're having, Nicholas - it's just something I've been noticing and chewing on for a while. I think folks will always want syncs to take less time; when/if we hit a point where the network is really the limiting factor, I need to figure out how to communicate that without it sounding like a cop-out.

In any case, I've rambled a bit here - contact the support ninjas and we can pull the console logs off your phone. That will give us info on the specific traffic between your phone and the sync server; we'll use that info to figure out why sync is failing for you when the screen is turned off.
Hi Brian
I have been talking to your supporters several times, very nice people by the way, but it hasnīt solved the problem.
The thing is that for you 30-40 secs of sync is acceptable, for me Iīd prefer something much faster since I have seen other solutions that syncs the same amount of tasks in 5-10 seconds (in this case Remember the Milk).
I would accept 30-40 seconds but in most cases it takes a lot longer, which is why the phones goes into sleep mode (I have autolock set on 1 minute). If the sync was improved I wouldnīt get all those error messages when the phone woke up because sync would be done before itīd fall asleep.

I have seen several people here on this forum say that their sync takes 15-30 secs or even less. As far as I can see their databases are bigger than mine, so I see no reason why my sync should be this slow.
IMO it is unacceptable, especially when I know that other people have much better experiences with it.

Most of the time when it starts to sync it takes 15-20 secs before the process bar even appears. Could there be something wrong with the database that I have? Is it mobileme that is slow? Are there better alternatives to mobileme? I mostly sync over wifi so connection shouldnīt be a problem.
 
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you - I needed to check with one of the developers to find out the exact sequence of events involved with a sync.

According to the developer I discussed this with, the progress bar shows up when we've finished contacting the server, uploading the transaction files the server doesn't have, and downloading the ones the phone doesn't have. (Basically, the stuff before the progress bar appears is the portion that the cell or wifi network is going to influence most strongly.)

If this is the portion of the sync process which is taking the most time, then yes, it's possible that switching to some other WebDAV provider may get you better results than you're seeing with MobileMe.

We maintain a list of free WebDAV providers in this forum thread; trying one of them on an experimental basis would be one option...
 
After doing some more testing it just gets worse.
Today it took 4,30 minutes to sync the database.
I love the functions but right now it simply feels too complicated to sit and wait for it like this. Unless I find some way to reduce the sync time to something like what you mention 30 - 40 secs I canīt use Omnifocus.
I also notice that it doesnīt reduce the number of zip files in the database by itself, I have to do it manually by unregistering, backing up, reverting ect. now it stays above 250 zip files all the time until I manually do something about it.

I am sorry to bitch so much like this, but it just completly ruins the experience and I feel that I am reluctant to open the app on iPhone simply because I know how it will sync forever and afterwards when I open the app the next time it will take forever to launch because it has to "optimize the database"
Is there any way to see if there are some files in the database that makes it slower than it is supposed to be?
 
The best thing to do here would be to contact support again, or to send me a private message on the forums and let me know what email address you've been talking to the ninjas on.

250 zip files is an awful lot, and we've made some specific changes in the last couple of months to make sure OmniFocus compacts as frequently as possible. If that's not happening for some reason in your case, we'll need to gather some information about the transactions in your database to figure out why. That way, if it is a bug, we can fix it.

If you've already tried this, I apologize - I checked the support database for tickets from the email address you're subscribed to the forums with, but I didn't find any tickets from that address.

In any case, we can probably help; just need more info to do so.

Last edited by Brian; 2009-12-08 at 01:50 PM.. Reason: apparently, I can't spell "fix".
 
 


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