Inconsistent sync

Hi,
I really love Agenda and want to use it as my main organization tool. But, syncing has been giving me a hard time lately, and this gives me pause. Please note that the issue(s) I’m listing here wouldn’t be nearly as serious if we had a way to see the history of notes and revert to older/other versions.

What I did: Edited & created some notes on my iPhone and iPad while my Mac was turned off for a bit. Then I restarted my Mac and opened Agenda to let it sync (without doing any modification in it)

What happened: Syncing got inconsistent: it mostly imported the new state, but on a specific note, it “forced” it back to the state it was in before I turned off the Mac. This is now the new state of this note: both iPad & iPhone now show the (backward) “changes” performed by the Mac
correction: it seems to have done some kind of merge between the old state of the note and the new one: the new elements seem to all be here, but some of the deletions were not propagated (and thus “reverted” by the Mac sync)

What I expected: to get everything in the new state. Agenda should not make changes when I don’t do any myself, when it’s merely syncing

Things that might be helpful to know (Agenda version, OS and model, etc): latest (stable) version for everything (OS and Agenda)

I also had an issue earlier where I opened Agenda on my Mac (after doing some changes on iOS) and started editing a note right away; the note ended up scrambled with a bunch of new changes discarded. That was presumably my fault for not making sure syncing was complete first (I thus don’t consider it a bug), but the lack of a revision history feature really bugged me then.

All in all, this is more of a feature request than a bug report. Syncing is a hard thing to get right, and with heavy use of the app, issues are bound to happen — including mistakes made by the user. Having access to the history is a considerable safety net in this context. Speaking personally, I can’t completely commit to Agenda until I know that, unless an earthquake happens, it’s always possible to go back in time if a problem happens.

So please consider implementing this feature. Especially given you already have the necessary data (I know it, I’ve had to dig it up myself :upside_down_face:).
Thanks!

PS: otherwise, as said earlier I’m really pleased with the app. Please keep up the good work!

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Thanks for the feedback.

The sync issues you describe sound like perhaps certain changes hadn’t fully propagated over to the other machine. Eg. a deletion. Sometimes this can be helped by restarting the devices, and just letting Agenda run for a bit. (The problem can be that one device has not uploaded the changes, or the other has not downloaded them, so you really need both devices.)

My advice for getting back old data for now would be to use Time Machine or a similar backup solution. It does exactly what you want.

We could consider adding some sort of history in future, but it is not a feature I have seen in any other note taking apps. Will have to think about that.

In any case, thanks for the feedback, and sorry you experienced issues.

Kind regards,
Drew

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Ulysses has a very clean and usable Time Machine-like history browser. It also handles sync conflicts in a very clear way and lets you compare versions.

That’s probably because Ulysses is more targeted at long form writing. I assume the feature is designed to go back and check your changes over time, such as when writing a novel.

Not sure if such a feature fits that well with Agenda. We build time in in a very different way, ie, with a project time line. In theory, you can see earlier revisions, because they are notes further back in the timeline.

I think the two apps have a very different focus. Not sure it makes sense for our app.

Thanks for your reply!

For the sync issue, do I understand correctly that if I were to restart all machines and wait, the deletions that were rolled back could possibly be reinstated?

Side curiosity note: does the syncing work (roughly) like the following? When the Mac starts up and rejoins the “network” (of my Agenda instances), if it fails to download and acknowledge a set of changes C, this set gets rolled back everywhere? On other instances, C is still stored somewhere, but not currently applied because there is now a machine (the Mac) that didn’t acknowledged C yet? I might be vastly off, but I’m just curious :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks for suggesting time machine, I’ve never used it yet (I’m fairly new to the Apple ecosystem), but I’m going to try it. Is it possible to use it selectively — eg only for Agenda?

Thanks again for your help, and for this great app!
Antoine

The changes should never get rolled back across devices, no. Even if a set of changes fails to download, it won’t affect other devices, and it should “catch up” the next time the download is tried.

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