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

 
Sync creates duplicate actions Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hi:

I have OmniFocus installed on three devices. A Mac running OSX Lion, an older iPhone (3g) and a new third generation iPad.

I sync all three devices through the OmniFocus sync server.

For some reason I end up with duplicate actions. An action I created on one device will end up with two or three duplicates after I've synced a few times. When I look at the duplicates in the Inspector, it is clear that they are complete duplicates of each other with the the same start and end times. I have to go through and delete them.

Is there any fix for this?

Janet
 
The most common way this happens is when you have a repeating action. Checking off an action creates the next repetition of the action. So if you check off the same action on 2 different devices, each one will create a copy of the action, and you'll end up with 2 copies of the action. The way to avoid that is to not mark an action complete if you know you've already marked it on another device.

If repeating actions aren't involved in your case, then there might be something more nefarious going on. It may be easier to diagnose if you email our Support Ninjas: omnifocus@omnigroup.com
 
The approach I use to prevent the error Lizard mentions is that I only check actions off on the device I used to see that I needed to do them.
 
I will try the thing of only checking "done" once for each action.

However, remembering to do things is why I use OmniFocus to begin with. So remembering not to check off something on one device that I've checked off on another is... You see it kind of defeats the purpose.

So consider this a feature request. If you check "done" on an action, and then check "done" to the same action on a different device, make it so that you don't end up with duplicate actions.

Janet.
 
If you sync when you start using a different device, you shouldn't have the opportunity to check it off twice.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet View Post

So consider this a feature request. If you check "done" on an action, and then check "done" to the same action on a different device, make it so that you don't end up with duplicate actions.

Janet.
+1 on this feature request. This duplicate actions issue is the main reasons I registered for the forums in the first place. As someone else has mentioned - it seems odd that this happens so often as the first thing that OF does typically is sync, I don't try to do anything until it has finished. I'm surprised this seems to happen to me so regularly but now I know the probable cause I'll be more careful.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellis View Post
+1 on this feature request. This duplicate actions issue is the main reasons I registered for the forums in the first place. As someone else has mentioned - it seems odd that this happens so often as the first thing that OF does typically is sync, I don't try to do anything until it has finished. I'm surprised this seems to happen to me so regularly but now I know the probable cause I'll be more careful.
I third this request, and these folks' explanation of it. I agree it should be a feature rather than something we should be hyper-cognizant of ourselves as users. I understand the scenario, but surely the apps can be smart enough to realize what's going on and help users keep it clean. After all, the phenomenon is never something a user would activate on purpose.

Further, I have tried to always tick off an action at point of completion, but I don't always, always have Omnifocus on me in that moment, and I should not have to stop what I'm doing and go grab Omnifocus before I *do* something, as it is not always 100% convenient for me to do so, so in those cases there is still an opportunity for error, and this should be considered human.
 
+1 on this request. I can imagine the complex logic this might take to fix this, but I am 12 days into the trial on the Mac with purchased software on my iPhone and iPad and I have several duplicates every day. The only difference between the two duplicates are the Added and Changed timestamps. There was 30 minutes between two dups this morning.

One solution might be to improve the sync algorithm so that only added/changed/deleted data is sent and increase the frequency of syncs, particularly on the desktop. It looks like my Mac is syncing once per hour. If the Mac synced after a screen unlock or focus event (with a max of every 5 minutes or so), maybe that might decrease the likelihood of a dup.

Another thought that occurred to me is to remove dups during cleanup. Only delete a dup that differs only in the added/changed timestamp that was created by two or more executions of the Repeating Action code. If I duplicate a task manually, exclude that duplicate from the cleanup.

I am of course, just brainstorming. But I agree with everyone here that I should not have to think about duplicate tasks. Computers were made for man, not man for the computer.

Thanks for listening!
 
You'll only get duplicates if you check a repeating action off on more than one device without syncing in between. If you check something off when you do it, and sync when switching to using a different device, it doesn't happen. If in doubt, sync first and check off later :-)

Presumably you're putting these tasks in OmniFocus to help you remember to do them. If you're just using it as a place to record everything you did at the end of the day, there's not much point in using it, as it isn't helping you choose appropriate tasks to work on.

As for automatically removing duplicates, it quickly becomes an messy problem. OmniFocus handles devices not syncing for several days, so potentially the duplicate result can be repeated multiple times, edited, etc. making it difficult to reliably stuff the cat back in the bag.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcowan View Post
One solution might be to improve the sync algorithm so that only added/changed/deleted data is sent and increase the frequency of syncs, particularly on the desktop. It looks like my Mac is syncing once per hour. If the Mac synced after a screen unlock or focus event (with a max of every 5 minutes or so), maybe that might decrease the likelihood of a dup.
OmniFocus actually does sync changes. We send a small file containing one or more files with "do <thing> to <some item ID>" instructions, in other words. Timestamps on those files help OmniFocus do the right things in the right order.

The issue here is that checking off an item on two devices gives you two new items in the database with their own IDs. Theoretically, we could start trying to track which items had which parents and attempt to resolve this, but that would make syncs take longer. It would also introduce the possibility of false positives deleting data you wanted to preserve.

If there's one things customers have told us they want, it's fast syncing. If there's two things customers have told us they want, it's fast syncing that doesn't delete things they wanted to remember. Better to have two copies than zero, right? ;-)

In any case, based on the amount of feedback we get about this issue, it appears that there are other things that customers would prefer we work on right now. It annoys me when it happens, as well, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes pretty rare.

Regarding sync frequency - by default, the app will initiate a sync of any new changes after one minute of idle time. (We'd rather be polite and sync when you switch to another app or get up from your chair than yank control of the app away when you're using it.)

If a copy of the app doesn't have any new changes, it'll sync once an hour to pull down any new info from the server.

However, if you'd prefer a more frequent sync, you can change the behavior with a Terminal command like
Code:
defaults write com.omnigroup.OmniFocus MaximumTimeBetweenSync <number of seconds>
(Note that Mac App Store customers will want to use "com.omnigroup.OmniFocus.MacAppStore" in the above command.)

Hope that helps!

Last edited by Brian; 2012-07-18 at 04:59 PM.. Reason: 'two new devices' -> 'two new items in the database'
 
 


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
OmniFocus Creates Duplicate Contexts when importing OmniOutliner project templates shanekeller OmniFocus 1 for Mac 1 2013-03-03 08:35 PM
iCal Sync Creates duplicate taks when syncing a completed task fbec iCal Sync 2 2011-04-30 01:50 AM
Duplicate recurring Actions appearing swashbuckler OmniFocus 1 for Mac 8 2010-06-09 08:47 PM
Duplicate Actions evansb OmniFocus 1 for Mac 1 2007-12-17 10:01 AM
Sync creates conflicts... no way to resolve? juniorbird OmniFocus 1 for Mac 0 2007-12-16 06:25 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.