There are a few points I’d like to raise, and a few questions I’d like to ask about the new DEVONthink syncing method (particularly the Dropbox method), to clarify matters.
Firstly, I think the instructions on how to set up the Dropbox sync should be changed. The instructions tell you to set the Dropbox preferences (Preferences > Advanced > Selective Sync) to exclude the “Apps” folder. This is very misleading and could lead to data loss! Many people like myself have other apps (such as Day One) also syncing, and unchecking the “Apps” folder would probably result in the loss of those apps’ data. The instructions should clearly state that in the Dropbox preferences, you should continue to the advanced view and uncheck only the DEVONthink folder. (Some people might only have that DEVONthink folder in the “Apps” folder, but others may have other folders that they still want to sync.)
Which, secondly, brings me on to the syncing method itself (at least, the Dropbox method). If DEVONthink is in fact unselected, then HOW does DEVONthink in fact do its syncing via Dropbox? (I wasn’t in on the beta use of this, so please excuse my ignorance here, but obviously there are going to be many others who are as mystified as I am as to how all this works.) The databases are not being synced by simple “Dropbox syncing” (this can’t be the case, since in the Dropbox preferences, the DEVONthink folder in the selective sync “Apps” folder is deselected, and thus the database isn’t in the Dropbox folder); apparently only a “sync store” file is being synced, invisibly in the background.
I set all this up and synced a modestly-sized “test” database of 391.6MB. It all worked! But - how? My Dropbox space quota didn’t decrease by 391.6MB, so presumably I’m right in thinking that only this “sync store” file is synced, and - somehow - this instructs Dropbox to sync the “real” contents of the databases, silently, in the background - and without increasing the space used by Dropbox.
Have I got this right? Because, if I have, then this syncing is revolutionary: very large amounts of data should be able to be synced via Dropbox without impinging much on one’s Dropbox quota. If I am right, then for me at least, this is going to kill the likes of Evernote and iCloud Documents stone dead. It would be the most sophisticated sync method for the Mac that I’ve ever seen.
But maybe I’m hugely wrong and someone will point out my embarrassing mistake?
The third thing I’d like to know: am I right in thinking that two people can work on the same synced database - at the same time? Surely collisions are going to occur? (I guess if it’s just one person, moving from one Mac to another, then everything’s going to be OK.)
Fourthly and finally, I think the instructions could also be a little clearer about, once you’ve set up Dropbox syncing on one Mac, how to “receive” that database on another Mac. I worked out, that in DEVONthink, you have to go to Preferences > Sync and click on the “Import Database…” button and go from there.
Like I say, I wasn’t in on the beta use, so perhaps many people will already know about all these things, but coming straight to it on the release version, none of all this was exactly clear to me, and it would be great if these above points could be confirmed, clarified or corrected by those in the know.