Plugins are slow to reload from iCloud Drive

Not sure if there’s anything to be done about this, but it’s been frustrating me and I’ve just discovered what’s happening, so I’ll at least put it here for others to find.

I noticed that when I was working on a plugin, my changes wouldn’t be reflected in OF for a bit of time, sometimes >1m, which made iterating and trying things out super hard. I’ve heard others describe the same problem, but also others have no idea what we were talking about.

This morning, that got me to thinking: is it because I’m syncing my plugins through iCloud Drive? I reproduced the problem with a new simple plugin, and then tried moving that plugin to a regular folder on my drive, and voila! Instant updates in OmniFocus.

Some notes:

  • This happens to plugins in the built-in OmniFocus Plugins iCloud directory and in a custom folder in iCloud Drive (which is where mine usually live).

  • It doesn’t happen in folders not managed by iCloud at all.

  • I’m making the updates on the same machine where I’m seeing the delay, so there’s no inherent reason for the delay (that is, it’s not waiting for the changes to actually arrive), it’s just slower to notice changes on the local disk. I’m guessing the OS handles file system notifications differently for iCloud Drive files.

  • It’s hard to say, but I feel like there are ways to force OF to notice the changes when the plugin is in iCloud. In particular, opening the Automation menu feels like it forces OF to check the plugins and pick up changes. But it still doesn’t take effect immediately, and it’s always a different amount of time anyway, so I could be completely wrong and it may be doing nothing. If it is doing something, though, maybe there’s hope that OF could do something to get the changes earlier. If not, it may be entirely at the mercy of the OS.