@DrJJWMac My impression is that the Archive feature was built around the use case of clearing out old completed items with minimum effort, with the assumption that you will rarely refer to them again. I think this is very reasonable for a large majority of OF users and this has always worked reliably. For the first time in ages I just took a peek at my archive and everything is as I would expect, with the projects inside the same folders they were in when they were completed. Even more delightful, I cannot find any duplicated projects even though I suspect I moved some of them between folders in between archiving runs, so there is probably something clever being done by the software.
I guess your problems start when you move projects manually to the archive. Maybe it would have been better to never have shipped this capability in the first place ;)
OG has always been receptive to input from their customers and power users, so maybe there are not a lot of people desiring (spontaneously or when asked) for fine manual control of the archive. A way I can see to address your use case is to add a ‘Include when archiving’ checkbox setting to each project. There are some improvement requests near to my heart which I have sent in to OG (including two which I consider bugs) and have not made it into the product so far; I have learned to work around them and make best use of the considerable capabilities in the product. In your position I would consider using templates, TaskPaper representations of the projects you want to keep in whole form, or a scripting solution with the upcoming OmniJS automation (eg. before running archiving, a script removes ‘completed’ status from actions in your selected projects and puts it back afterwards).
In terms of shiny baubles, in the past years OG has shipped improvements which include making use of all relevant new platform capabilities on Mac and iOS, multiple tags (while continuing to support tag hierarchies and tag-related behaviours), arbitrarily complex custom perspective rules, and soon extensive cross-platform scripting capabilities. Those and others strike me as a pretty good choice of priorities for both power users and more casual users. In particular the automation will enable solutions to be built for a whole class of edge case requests which it would not be possible or beneficial to add to the product.
@johnbeales In your situation, unless those projects are very large and degrading sync performance, I would put them in a ‘Abandoned’ folder at the very bottom of your hierarchy. Out of sight, out of mind…