DEVONtech_storage files

I’m pretty new to DTP2. I’ve begun experimenting around with exporting my files and folders. When I export a file I also get a DEVONtech_storage document. When I export a folder I get a folder containing the materials plus a DEVONtech_storage file inside the folder, and another outside (one level up) the folder.

This seems to be strange behavior. I don’t know if this is a bug or just a quirk. If it’s intentional, then is there some way to turn off the exporting of these DEVONtech_storage files? It’s kind of crazy making. If it’s a bug, well,then I understand it will get fixed in time.

Thanks for any insights people can provide.

I see the same behavior, FWIW.

I’m bumping this topic. Is the observed behavior a bug that will be fixed or some weirdness purposely built into DTP2?

Those DEVONtech_storage files contain metadata about files exported from DEVONthink, e.g., by using the File > Export > Files & Folders command.

They are important if one imports the exported material into another database. Some users export a database in this way as a form of backup, so that the material can be imported and the database recreated, if necessary.

Exporting is also often used to “equalize” a database that’s hosted on two computers. New content can be exported from one computer, then imported into another.

So it’s not a bug, and isn’t particularly weird. :slight_smile:

To avoid scattering these files around on your computer, it’s best to create new ‘target’ folders for exports.

Bill: Thanks very much for the explanation. I’d still say it’s far from “intuitive,” but I understand what you’re describing and on a practical level it just means (in most cases) I’d go in and get rid of these extra files. So it’s an easy enough adaptation.

Sometime in the future, though, it might be cleaner to have an option button of some sort for “including metadata files” or not when one chooses the Export function, instead of having to clean up afterwards.

The problem with some options is that humans are fallible, and the consequences of mistaken use of options should be considered.

Suppose there’s an option to turn off export of the metadata files. What are the consequences of using the option the wrong way?

  1. I meant to turn off metadata file export, but didn’t and exported files out to the Finder. Consequence: I’ve got some unwanted files to clean up.

  2. I meant to turn on metadata file export, but forgot to, and exported my database to a folder in the Finder with the intent of reimporting them into a database at a later time. Consequence: I’ve lost metadata — much more serious than having to do a bit of file cleanup.

Despite Bill’s concern of undesirable consequences I wouldn’t mind an “Include metadata files” checkbox at the bottom of the export dialog, enabled by default (preserving current behavior). And disabling it could even bring up a “Do you really want to do this?” warning (and relevant help) before proceeding, hopefully reducing the risk of unintentionally doing it without understanding the consequences. Most people would probably ignore the checkbox anyway.

I’m curious about the choice of making DEVONtech_storage files visible instead of using a dot-prefixed name to hide them by default, similar to Finder’s .DS_Store files. Consequence: more people ask what they are instead of them being benignly ignorable. :slight_smile: