Normal Behaviour for DT TG? Used up 30GB, only 18 files downloaded

Hi,

I was under the impression that syncing a database would give the index position of the file without download the whole contents of the file?

I recently put my groups within the Global inbox and did away with sub-databases to only deal with 1 database (the global). I’m syncing the global database between all my devices (iPhone, iPad, Mac) and am finding its occupying near 30GB whereas there only are ~20 items download plainly listed in DDTG.

Disk usage:

I have my sync settings sliders set to Keep 100 only. I see no purge option anywhere in the user interface at all. I once read elsewhere in an outdated thread that the global inbox can’t be managed via sync rules. I dearly hope this is untrue.

I do not want to have to manage databases other than the single one already given, the global. Every time I ShareSheet an item to DDTG I do not want to have to scroll to a DB other than the one selected by default (global), I am already inclined to do my work from a single DB so please make it the Global one!

I’m on a mission to eliminate as much friction as possible in my workflows and this extra user input on every single clip is absolutely superfluous. I’m now having to scroll wheel to a separate, single, database (other than the global!) to clip all items on every single instance of invoking the ShareSheet functionality - for the sole reason that the Global inbox defies expected behaviour. I have smart rules. I have groups. The databases all have inboxes. The global inbox demands tuning!

See page 25 of the DTTG manual

The Help dialog of the app does not function via page numbers, I can not query ‘page 25’ of the Help dialog.

Nonetheless I did navigate to the link to manually download a PDF of the help and it doesn’t answer my question:

Does the Global Database behave and comply to the expectations of User-Created Databases?

I wish to use a single database and I do not wish to, on every instance of interacting with DTTGo (possibly hundreds of times a day if busy) have to manually instruct the app to put my files, in my singular database, a database other than the global.

Either the Global ought to conform to the behaviour of user-created databases, or it ought to be permanently deletable, or the app ought to have settings for the setting of an alternate, default database on the scroll wheel.

Seeing, as when the other day, I attempted to make this transition, I was unable to control the sync behaviour as it was downloading the entirety of every file within the global database, rather than solely the metadata - forcing me to revert to have multiple databases whose behaviour I could control.

The Global Database behaviour is completely outside of user control. I can not control which files sync, or whether only their metadata or complete contents sync. It will force-sync everything.

This is my first-hand experience and I think it is correct.

Neither can I mitigate the effects of this behaviour by deleting entirely the Global because this action is impossible. Nor can I mitigate this behaviour by disabling the sync as this will only accomplish in me having three separate instances of the Global, one across each device, which I will still have to manually instruct DTTG to archive a file by manually scrolling to an alternate database which on every interaction with the app - because I can’t delete it either or set a default.

That’s probably why @Cambrian put the link to the manual in his post. The page numbers in the PDF are fine.

2 Likes

Thanks. I edited my reply to include more information of the desired action. Unfortunately the manual isn’t explicit in this aspect, hence asking. I wish to use the Global Database as my only database - but it seems I can not control the sync behaviour of the global database.

Control the sync behavior how?

Hi, thanks for writing. I meant specifically control sync through the means provided for user-creatable databases, ie on-demand, keep 100/200/etc., group-specific sync-settings etc.

I attempted to transition to a single DB the other day, to the global, and ended up with 30GB downloaded. Henceforth the question that arose, “Is this the expected behaviour of the global?” was posit, because this led me to conclude that the global force-syncs the entire contents - whereas when I used the non-global I had success in controlling the sync to metadata-only and contents-on-demand.

What I’m trying to get at is either a confirmation of what I experienced through the question I ask “Is this the expected behaviour of the global, for it to force-sync everything?” which an authoritative answer would either illuminate some error on my part (highly possible, I am a very new user), or a bug in my instance of the app - or that what I am trying to accomplish is impossible with the current design (which is to use a singular database, and enjoy a more streamlined workflow in its utilisation - namely by reducing the number of discrete steps required on part of the user when entering documents into it - specifically not having to interact with the scroll-wheel to select a database when importing items - since it would be the only one within the wheel.)

Have you set the Download Files option to On demand on the Global Inbox?

Oh Sh-t. I see! I see what you mean! When I tap the Global Inbox, on the bottom of the screen, if I then again tap the Information Bubble (circle with letter i enclosed) there are further sync settings in the dialog box which appear on the screen!

I was completely un-aware there were sync settings outside of the home-page of DDTG when tapping on the “sliders” next to the Question Mark Bubble (? enclosed in a circle)

The picture illustrates where I have been adjusting my sync settings.

I will have to test and confirm the behaviour of the global after changing the settings found here:

I presume then that the sync settings on the 1st pic are “global settings” of the entire app (and not of the global database) and that any database-specific sync settings I choose override the global sync settings?

I’m testing it now. On my Mac, on the DTPO I clicked “Move to” on all the Groups I had inside my “Fusion” Database to a new group I created inside the Global Database and have set my DDTG devices to On-Demand sync.

It seems I have to wait for the “Move to” command to be uploaded to iCloud first though, as DTPO says in the activity it’s uploading. The files are the same, but I’ve changed their location within DTPO to the global from their original DB.

I think it’s working now. But I’m unsure how to best proceed now. here’s what I’ve done:

I disabled iCloud sync on all my DTGO devices. Right now, the Mac DTPO is uploading ~4000 changes to iCloud.

I enabled incoming connections on Mac DTPO and connected my iDevices to it and synced the Global. This successfully populated the Global DB on my iDevices with the file index - but not the contents as I switched the DB specific sync setting from within the DB on the iDevice.

Should I keep iCloud sync on my iDevice DDTG off until the Mac DTPO finishes uploading to iCloud? Should I revert my Global DB iDevice Bojnour sync when Mac DTPO iCloud is finished to then turn on iCloud sync on DTGO to avoid conflicts?

Edit:

Everything seems successful at time of writing. I had to change a setting of the global database which was accessible from within the database - I was mistakenly changing the app sync setting expecting this to change the database setting! This was a mistake of my poor familiarity DDTG

I presume then that the sync settings on the 1st pic are “global settings” of the entire app (and not of the global database) and that any database-specific sync settings I choose override the global sync settings?

If you set a sync location to Download FIles: On demand, databases imported from or synced with this location can also use that option individually. If a database is set to On demand, you can individually set groups to Download Files: Always.

Should I keep iCloud sync on my iDevice DDTG off until the Mac DTPO finishes uploading to iCloud?

It isn’t necessary but it’s not a bad idea.

Should I revert my Global DB iDevice Bojnour sync when Mac DTPO iCloud is finished to then turn on iCloud sync on DTGO to avoid conflicts?

DEVONthink and DEVONthink To Go support having more than one sync method active. However, we do suggest you use it when needed, not just because you can. (For example, I sometime have 10 locations active for support purposes but we don’t advocate that for all of you.)