Many problems with DEVONthink To Go

A document (‘formatted note’ or RTF) seems like it’s editable the moment you tap it, but really it isn’t. If you tap a document, the virtual keyboard slides up into view, you can select text and appear to edit it (e.g., add to it, change it, change style to bold, etc.), but on going back to the group (via the group name at top left) and then returning to the document, you can see that no edits have in fact been made. So what’s the purpose of the virtual keyboard sliding up, and the availability of the styling popups, etc., etc., when you tap on a document?

To actually edit it, you have to tap the ‘edit’ button at top right. But then, when you try to edit the top line of a document (or select all of the document, so that the top line is also selected), the OS’s “white-text-on-black pop-up” obscures all the icon-commands, so you can’t access them. Can’t those icons inhabit an added sliding row on top of the virtual keyboard, as one sees in many apps?

Also, if you do use the ‘edit’ button at top right, and actually edit it, when you’ve finished (assuming the popup hasn’t obscured the commands that you needed), then, to save your changes, you need to tap a white cross inside a blue circle at top right. Shouldn’t that icon be replaced by “Done”, like any other app? A cross doesn’t imply ‘done’.

Most of the time, DEVONthink callback links don’t work in RTF or 'formatted documents’, neither are they editable. (I set up a load of documents to use their internal links on iPhone, only to find they don’t work!) Very often the links just disappear anyway, the next time you visit the document you inserted a link in. The only time they seem to work, after being inserted, is if you tap the top right ‘edit’ button, then tap the ‘cross in a circle’ icon (thus not actually having edited anything).

For non-downloaded formatted notes, the “Download (N bytes)” info-link on the screen doesn’t work; instead you have to tap the “ellipsis in a circle” icon at bottom left and choose ‘Download’.

Do you use latest version 3.5.4? There was a regression in version 3.5.3 related to editing & saving documents.

We experimented with this but ended up using the top row with submenus as it offers a lot more flexibility for future extensions. Waiting a moment lets the editing menu (as Apple calls it) automatically close. The same should be true, BTW, for all editing menus in all iOS apps as they are a standard feature of text fields and the like and implemented system-wide.

It’s not a Save button per se but a Close button that closes the tool palette. The document is also saved when you simply switch away etc.

Could you explain this a bit more?

That’s the mentioned bug with editing a document without tapping Edit first — which shouldn’t be possible. As mentioned by @cgrunenberg this is a glitch and fixed in 3.5.5.

Now, that would be a bug. What happens when you tap the Download button?

I’m using version 3.5.4 (17234).

No matter how long I wait, the white-text-on-black (“editing menu”?) doesn’t close (and meanwhile there is the expanse of unused grey area on top of the virtual keyboard). I take your point about “flexibility for future extensions” but sometimes this is accomplished pretty well by horizontal sliding of icons. Anyway as I say, it doesn’t close, and leaves me unable to access those icons at the top. (It would be annoying if it did close, in the middle of one’s edits. I’ve never seen it do this anywhere. Are we referring to the same thing? The “Cut Copy Paste BIU Look Up >” black bar?) The only workaround is to temporarily shift the text down (bit bizarre, tbh), then select the text, and then when you’ve edited it, move it back up, which is less than ideal.

I think that this is why “Done” is chosen over “Save”: you’ve ‘done’ whatever you’re doing (in this case, editing. You should know when you’re in an edit mode.
I’m not sure what you mean by ‘switch away’. You can’t ‘switch away’, unless you close the app.

By saying that the callback (x-devonthink-item) links “don’t work” I mean you’re not taken to the other document ! (I see that they are in fact editable - as long as they’re not on the top line, as per the difficulty above.)

I may be coming across as hypercritical :face_with_monocle:, but I might mention that these observations about DEVONthink for iPhone are the result of having assessed all the major apps like DEVONthink for macOS and deciding which one that I will use, because I don’t want to be unnecessarily flipping between apps, wondering where something is.

That assessment, at least for me, has concluded that, for a variety of reasons, DEVONthink is head and shoulders above all the others - for macOS. This being so, it’s disappointing to see these interface peculiarities in DEVONthink for iPhone. The “Keep It” app comes a close second, but it lacks so many of DEVONthink’s functional features, and its CloudKit/FileProvider syncing is so unreliable that I lose my stuff. It’s not comparable, really, I know, but, it does have the edge with the iOS interface. I just wish DEVONthink for iPhone was its equal in terms of interface. I’ve been finding myself using different apps for macOS and iOS (iPhone), which is a pain, causing duplication of documents, etc., etc.

3.5.5 doesn’t appear to be available yet?

If I tap the on-screen ‘Download’ button (looks like a link below the ghost preview) nothing happens. If I tap the “ellipsis in a circle” icon at bottom left and choose ‘Download’, the file downloads.

Now, as we have multiple issues in one thread, we need to split things up:

  1. x-devonthink-item: links are not callbacks but actually just links with a custom URL scheme. x-callback URLs are callbacks and a totally different beast :slightly_smiling_face: Sorry for the bean counting but it’s a huge difference. The target document of these item links in, say, a Markdown document is in the same database? Downloaded?
  2. Version 3.5.5 is not yet available, indeed.
  3. Could you please send me the Console.log file that you find in > On My Device > DEVONthink, best in an IM or email? Thanks.
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@avatar We discussed some of these concerns in the thread Minor UI issue with DEVONthink To Go
As you mentioned it is possible to input text, but it is not retained immediately. It is a glitch because the data may reappear after a short period of time. @eboehnisch is aware of the issue and will fix. As you can see it is all part of a larger discussion of UI and features of DTTG.

From my perspective as a user, I can assure you that the DT development team is very responsive and takes all suggestions and comments of users seriously. Many of the great features and bug fixes that we now take for granted began as discussions on this forum.

Sorry, in haste I got the terms mixed up there. I did mean the x-devonthink-item type links.

Will do.

Sorry, forgot to add that the target items of the links were in the same database and were downloaded.

It occurs to me - if you did make a file immediately editable as soon as its body is tapped, then that might create problems with item links, because every attempt to tap them would presumably evoke an edit instead of activate the link.

I see this behaviour with Keep It (whose documents are editable the moment you tap anywhere inside them): you have to tap ridiculously quickly to activate the link, and most times you still end up editing instead of going to the link’s destination.

So maybe there is something in your (apparent) wish to deliberately invoke an editing mode (separate to a ‘read and tap links’ mode). But there would still be that problem with the obscuring of the top icons if you wanted to edit content that included the topmost line.

That was one of the reasons, correct.