Is OmniPresence actually present?


#1

Having bought OmniFocus and being happy with the sync there, I am looking at the trial of OmniOutliner, which brings OmniPresence als sync programme with it.

I found the installation a little unnerving - as soon as I put my account name in, the UI disappeared - presumably it picked up my password from the keychain, but I would have liked to have seen some kind of confirmation. It seems a little strange that when I allowed the programme to create the OmniPresence folder, this had no write permission.

In general, the documentation seems a little inadequate, in particular I would like to know if any file locking is incorporated.
My main problem is however that syncing doesn’t work for me, at least not between mx MBA and my iMac - I won’t be buying the iPad version until I am certain that the Mac trial meets my needs.
I have a file on the MBA which stubbornly stays there with no sync happening (we are talking about hours later here).

OP is visible in the Activity Monitor on both machines, so what can have gone wrong here?


#2

No, OmniPresence does not do any file locking.

If you click the OmniPresence icon in your menu bar, what value is listed for “Last sync”?

If you cannot find the OmniPresence icon in your menu bar, then OmniPresence is not running.


#3

I’ve not tried syncing between 2 computer but i’ve found syncing between mac and omnioutliner to ALWAYS be brilliant/instant. I constantly jump between both apps for many tasks during the day and my files are always available. There is also a ‘pause’ button in the omnipresence menu item that when toggled could initiate a sync. I’m not sure whether that would help.


#4

I have managed to solve the main question myself, after starting a programme with hardly any menu entries - only then is the menu entry for OP visible; syncing now works. I do find the installation procedure somewhat arcane.

Curiously, OP required that it be allowed to create a second OmniPresence folder, and this time it had write permission. Not sure what I make of that.

After usage:
Omnipresence creates a number of conflict copies, although I have not opened anything. This is extremely annoying, as it does not leave a basis file which one can use, and I am going to send it to the trash can and use my NAS for syncing


#5

Hmm… sounds like something went wrong. If you haven’t given up on OmniPresence, please contact omnifocus@omnigroup.com so we can help you get it working smoothly again, and maybe fix this bug for other folks as well.


#6

I have been wondering about the possible causes of the conflict copies. The OmniPresence folder is in /owner/Documents/ which is itself synced over the NAS. This could possibly have led to the conflicts. I stumbled over the idiosyncratic art of the program for the second time, however, when I moved the OmniPresence folder to /Owner/ and wanted to tell it where to find its sync directory. That doesn’t work, it must create its own, so I now have /owner/OmniPresence/OmniPresence/

I will sort all this out, but my experience with OmniPresence is:

that the documentation desperately needs improving, completing
the install programme is not up to modern standards
you cannot assume that an entry on the menu bar is visible
it is in my opinion not good practice to force folder creation, that should be left to the person installing the programme.

I will experiment a bit and report back here.


#7

Yes, syncing via both OmniPresence and the NAS could quite likely be the cause of the conflicts.

This forum is intended primarily for discussion between users. I hope that when you have the results of your experiments, you’ll email our Support Humans directly, so that they can ensure any bugs or concerns you have are properly tracked in our development database.


#8

The NAS-sync was the cause of the conflict versions mentioned above, so no fault with OmniPresence there. I stand by my remarks about the install process, this needs attention. Indeed, had the documentation been complete, I would probably not have had the troubles I did.

I am unable to understand why there is no file locking - admittedly the Omni-Programmes are not alone in this, Filemaker drives me crazy too.


#9

The simplest reason is that UNIX systems don’t have any standard for file locking—much less distributed file locking.

The POSIX standard does specify a standard for advisory file locks, but even if OmniPresence were to implement a distributed locking system atop that (which would be an incredibly difficult task!), other applications are perfectly free to ignore them. And then you have to worry about locking entire directories, which can’t be done atomically.

edit: As Ken describes below, we do use File Coordination to synchronize with other apps on the same system, which can also be considered a form of file locking. Turns out file locking is a broad concept!


#10

OmniPresence supports OS X’s file coordination to ensure that it only copies files when they’re in a consistent, saved state—and to let your apps know when they need to refresh their open documents.

This means that if you’re using an app which supports file coordination (any app which supports the Auto Save and Versions features introduced in Lion), then any edits which are saved on one device will trigger an immediate sync to the server. It will also broadcast a notification on the local network so that any other local devices will immediately see those changes and refresh any of those documents which they might have open.

Hope this helps explain what’s going on behind the scenes! If there’s something else you were wanting from file locking, please let us know what that would be.