capturing web archives inside a smart group?

I have a question about how smart folders work within devonthink.

I hadn’t given this any thought until right now, I was reading articles that were collected together in a smart group, I followed some links, I clicked capture web archive, devonthink dutifully did that and placed the archive inside the smart folder I was in.

It took me a minute to understand what I just did or what devonthink let me do. I am placing a actual copy of a web archive inside a “virtual” smart group, that isn’t really there. Or is it?

The way smart groups work everywhere else, be it iTunes or Mail, is they contain messages which aren’t really in the groups at all, I can delete the smart group without destroying any of the content, which remains in whatever location its physically located in.

If I am in a smart group and choose to save a web archive, shouldn’t devonthink realize I’m being stupid and save it in the inbox instead? What happens to the physical file I just saved, into a smart group, if I remove that smart group in the future, is it destroyed? I’m becoming very confused as to where the physical file is stored, how do I find it inside devonthink (other then inside the smart group itself)?

You are correct. In other programs you mention, smart groups are simply virtual collectors. In DTPO, it seems they are collectors that hold physical sway over the files in them. By that I mean, the file names appear both in the smart group and in the main group/folder, i.e. a pdf file is stored in Research, but also represented in the smart group PDF. However, if you were to delete the file from the smart group, in DTPO, unlike in some other programs, you have also delete the file in Research. The file now resides in the Trash.

Thanks for mentioning that’s important distinction/comparison.

DT’s Trash, specifically. And emptying DT’s Trash moves items to Finder’s Trash, which can serve as a safety net.

Why do smart groups in DT work like this? It seems unusual.

I think it depends on what you compare it to. Got any specific examples?