Succession planning

As a rule i prefer all my suppliers to be younger than me. Even so, that doesn’t mean they never quit first! And now that I am getting older, 72 now, with just 44 years off my target adieu, I am trying to consolidate my data for one more burst of efficiency in the hope of accelerate my slowing output and productivity. The nature of the work I do is extremely time-consuming, a single paragraph in a email can for example take half day to research and write. I am weary, suffering puppyitis. (I invented the ailment puppyitis as a medical condition, to enable my masseur to treat me during lockdown which would otherwise have not been allowed.)

Software is constantly evolving and it is job at least for me to keep up. Much of the terminology is now beyond me. New products launched at such a pace that one wonders, at least i do, why the developers and financial backers seriously think it is worth trying to reinvent the wheel which let’s face it is really all that’s on offer, after the hype is stripped away. Not only developers but Apple also, constantly releasing yet another OS as if each new latest is somehow so much better. it is job to keep up especially if like me you have apps that are not compatible with the latest OS. I have this week for example updated Safari to v14 having become fed up with browser ‘cloud-apps’ not working as well as they used to because the cloud-folk decided to update their end and assume all customers would follow suit. I have got as far as Mojave because to go further would cost me in updating the numerous incompatible apps.

DT3 and its predecessors have stood the test of time but I am concerned that one day there might not be a DEVONtechnologies because as an indie developer ‘you’ve’ retired or sold out. Long ago, whilst a Windows user, i invested a gamut of time and effort into using Cardbox, a flat file database which suited my needs admirably, The Cardbox developer retired or died and his successors called it a day and that was that.

Any comments?

I hesitated asking this for a very very long time.

However I‘m pretty sure DEVONtech will not let its users down when the time for such decisions comes :slight_smile:

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I have no concerns for my data
protected by backups which include a weekly export
(File > Export > Files and Folders)

I don’t need Devonthink to access my data

Thank you very much, @mog, for bringing this important topic up.

While we cannot, of course, comment on what might be and predictions are especially unreliable when dealing with the future, we currently have no plans to abandon ship :slightly_smiling_face:

But should the day ever come that our company closes its doors we will, of course, make sure that you all know how to bring your data over to the next app, platform, or whatever it is called then. DEVONthink is known for its good export mechanism so even should we be long gone you can always export your data. Even even if DEVONthink itself no longer works, all files are stored in their original format inside the database packages, ready for you to move them out to a new location.


As a retired merchant mariner I am still working with El Capitan and an iMac 2009. Let’s call it loyalty.
Are there any near future plans to lift DEVONthink into realms where these old but still well oiled tools are too shorthanded to cope with the future ?

In the end. there is no real security in any answer from any company I guess, other than what was mentioned about the data which is stored in an open format (i.e. it’s not stored using some proprietary method, but all documents are stored as originals).

Keep in mind that digital legacy is a concept that is very comparable to a backup strategy and archives can be difficult to be truly accessible in the future. I stumbled across an interview with the curator of some national archive once, who explained the difficulties they are confronted with to store information for future reference. Let’s just say there are very few people that still use 8mm film and thus digitizing it requires specialized equipment or (if you can find one) a projector and a steady hand holding a smartphone perhaps :grinning:

And file format is just one thing. As is the case with backups, the medium you’re storing information on for example are subject to decay similar to 8mm film. Due to entropy, nature will destroy most if not all information in the end, and thus it requires energy for it to be maintained in a form you want.

Personally speaking, I would say it’s up to a next generation to maintain the archive after one passes away as it’s obviously impossible to fully predict future developments regarding information storage.

There are some steps you can take however to facilitate that, such as storing data in PDF/A, as that format is specifically developed to be accessible in the future (the A supposedly stands for ‘archive’). But as mentioned, archiving information is considered a science and it might very well be PDF/A is no longer the best way to store information in the long term currently. ‘Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac’ written by @joekissell (who also wrote the Take Control of DEVONThink ebook) is not only a good reference for backups, but also describes various media you might consider to store information.

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As Apple advances their technology in operating systems (whether we agree with some changes or not), older versions fall out of support. At the moment, El Capitan is the minimum OS, so I’d say you’re on the cusp. However, I can’t say for sure when it will be deprecated. Just something to be aware of.

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you didn’t actually give me the creeps but I started to worry. So I upgraded to an iMAC Retina 2019 with
BigSur and hope to use your beautiful app for some more years and participate in this fine user community at least as a beneficial member for as long as I am not becoming a senescent old codger playing Klondike on his meal tray ;-)) — Cheers