After seeing a number of topics on this in the past few days I’m actually really concerned about this change in the maintenance routines. First of all I don’t agree that this is an overall improvement. Zero-byte files are first-class citizens and aren’t by themselves a cause for concern. In some cases are actually needed for certain applications.
As I understand it the reason for the change was that zero-byte files turned out to be a by product of a recent bug in DT/DTTG. In this situation it makes sense why you would disable sync in order to prevent the issue from spreading, but to me this feels like quite a desperate and dangerous solution. While it might improve the situation for the people that was affected by the sync bug, I can’t see how it could be an overall improvement of the software in it’s current form. In fact I’ll argue it’s the opposite.
The main problem is that this breaks sync silently for a number of people that haven’t had sync issues before with zero-byte files. Even if you decide to open up the log you’ll only be presented with “validation failed” errors. Nothing about sync not working. The only way to tell that something is wrong is by either noticing that notes are missing from synced databases, or by manually inspecting the time of the last sync.
I’ll be the first to forgive bugs in software, but I think in this particular case the user should have been better equipped to handle the issue. Rather than having to struggle to figure out why their sync stopped working, we should have been guided towards the problem and solution with proper help from the UI.
I really hoping the developers are on top of this, as I fear there might be a lot of unknowing users out there with non-functioning sync at the moment.