Synchronization not working in DTP2?

I imported data freshly after installing the PB and if I add to the folder, it will not synch to DTP2. Is synch not working?



My own databases use the Import capture mode to add files from the Finder to a database. I want my databases to be self-contained, so that I can move them among my computers, or run them from an external hard drive without data loss. In other words, I don’t want their content to have any relationship to the content of files and folders external to the database, unless I specifically define such relationships from within a database.

I always avoided using the File > Synchronize command on groups that I had Import-captured into a DEVONthink 1.x database, for these reasons:

  1. Unlike the behavior of the Synchronize command on an Index-captured group, synchronizaton of an Import-captured group does not apply in the case of modifications made to files in the corresponding Finder folder. So invoking Synchronize on an Import-captured group will bring into the database new content that has been added to the external Finder folder since synchronization was last performed, but will not reflect any changes that were made to the existing files, e.g., by edits to them. So the content of the files in the external folder and its corresponding group can diverge as edits are made to the files in the external folder and also in the database group. This opens potentials for user confusion and mistakes.

  2. Synchronization of a group (whether captured by Import or Index) introduces complexities and confusion and restricts my freedom to change the organizational structure of content in my databases. Suppose, for example, that I’ve edited a database document that had been initially Import-captured, then moved it into a new group that I’ve created. That document is no longer contained in the group that had been originally Imported. Next, I apply the Synchronize command to the originally Imported group. What happens? Now the document I had edited and moved is added back into the original group in its original form. I’ve got two differing versions of it, in different database locations. I don’t like or want that behavior; it I didn’t know it was going to happen, I would become very confused. In fact, even if I’m aware of this behavior it can bite me in the future if I forget which version of a document is which.

DEVONthink 2 no longer retains the Path of an Import-captured group, so that the Synchronize command can no longer be applied to an external Finder folder. IMHO that’s a positive step. The largest souce of potential errors in any operation is an erroneous preconception about what will happen. Synchronization of an Import-captured group doesn NOT do the same operation as it does on an Index-captured group.

Bottom line: There are much better ways of capturing new content to an Import-captured database than by using Synchronize to a Finder folder. One way is to save new files in the Finder to a folder to which the Folder Action script for Import is attached (Folder Action scripts are included in the Extras folder, in the download disk image). Or use the floating Groups panel (Tools > Show Groups) to drag new files to any desired location in any desired database. Or use the Sorter (but the Global Inbox isn’t active in DEVONthink 2 public beta 1) – when fully implemented, the Sorter will allow one to send new content to a DEVONthink Pro/Office database even when DEVONthink Pro isn’t running.


thanks for the explanation… it is appreciated. I can see the logic of many of your work habits. Some of them mirror mine, and some do not.

While there would indeed be confusion with synching if it were not in total, I do not understand why this could not be implemented. The one difference in our work habits is that I do not edit, nor create documents within DT.

Because of this, I would benefit by total synching (both changes and new) within DT. It seems contradictory now that Indexing seems to be the best way to keep documents up-to-date within DTP, but at odds with keeping a database transportable.

I definitely would not like different/many version of any one document on my computer (unless a work in progress of course) and for this I see what you are saying.

In my case, I can not even get newly added documents to synch so that is another drawback with the change it seems. Old, work habits are hard to break, and the repository “only” use of DTP for documents and the ease of adding new documents once sorted into my folder system on the hard drive had been made much more cumbersome it appears based on your explanation.


You could attach the “Action Import.scpt” as a folder action.