DTTG files and folders do not appear in the iPad File app

A seemingly arbitrary subset of DTTG files and folders does not appear in the Files app. Strangely enough, they have all been successfully synced from DevonThink to DTTG and can be opened in DTTG without problems.

I am using iCloud (CloudKit) sync.

I am using the latest versions of iPadOS (15.7) and DTTG (3.5.6 (17245)).


Two interesting findings:

  • I was actually able to find the “missing” DTTG content in the iPad Files app, albeit only by searching for it by name using Spotlight.
  • Without a single exception, all “missing” DTTG objects have replicants. This cannot be a coincidence.

It seems Files.app shows a record’s file in the group/folder into which the record was last replicated, i.e. the folder where you’ll find the file in Files.app changes after you’ve created a new replicant.

(As this is the opposite behavior of DEVONthink where there’s always one location that doesn’t change I’m not sure whether the DTTG/Files.app’s behavior is intended)

DEVONthink To Go supports multiple parents for files, i.e., replicants. (Note the Locations field.)

Replicants are not supported by Files.app so this behavior wouldn’t be unexpected. We can’t control that.

it’s quite confusing that a file changes its location in Files.app after a replicant was created in DTTG.

Again, that’s a Files.app behavior not something we control.

Development would have to assess any potential workarounds. It’s actually the first report I’ve ever seen so apparently not a common process.

Of course, only Apple can control the Files.app behavior. This doesn’t exclude the possibility of workarounds, as suggested above. Unfortunately, the onus is on DevonThink to comply with the Files app—not the other way around.

Thank you for filing the bug report, Jim.

AFAICT, a replicant is something like a link (or alias in Apple parlance) to a file. And I doubt that i*OS supports links. So, it is probably not possible to implement the same behavior re replicants on i*OS as on macOS.

As far as I know, the iOS APIs support symlinks. Besides, I’m not even sure the solution needs to use symlinks.

Thanks for identifying the problem

I am curious about your use of the Files app
Personally, I’m content with accessing my data with the DTTG app
Is there a benefit to using the Files app?

My use of the Files app is to send documents to the Inbox database; mostly scanning

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@DTLow I live with my iPad 12 hours a day, and tend to use it as a pencil-equipped laptop replacement.

This involves lots of file-centric, rather than app-centric, workflows. For example, I routinely open Markdown files in the Textastic editor, spreadsheets in Excel, or high-resolution scanned manuscripts in a photo editor. And yet, these are all interconnected research materials in the same DevonThink database.

The relevant Apple APIs are extremely versatile. Look at Secure Shellfish, for example—an iPadOS terminal which maps remote directories into Files.app via SSH. So I would be skeptical towards any claims (made by no one in this discussion) that replicants are impossible to implement in Files app.

Likewise, I use external editors; Textastic, Apple Pages/Numbers, …
However, my access is via the share menu in the Devonthink app

@DTLow doesn’t this simply copy (duplicate) the file in your external app? What I need in most cases is edit the file itself within the DevonThink database, thus a two-way link between DevonThink and the external app.

With the current DTTG version, there is no duplication
Using the share menu, the actual Devonthink file is opened in the external editor