Friday, September 13, 2013

How about using Dropbox or iCloud for sync in Snippets?

Periodically I am asked the same question about using Dropbox or iCloud for sync in Snippets. I decided to give an answer to this question in this blog, so, I can just refer to it when someone asks again.

The short answer is: we are building a product with many benefits for users instead of just an application that can store some bytes of data and sync it between computers.

Now let me explain.

Sync is just one of the benefits of using Snippets. If we had chosen Dropbox or iCloud for sync we would be in the following situation:
  • We would need to sell an app to be able to support further development, because we would have no other way to make money from it. Instead we can give an app for free, have more people using it and make money by charging for the advanced premium features.
  • There are many features that will not be possible when using Dropbox or iCloud for sync. For example, web application, private and public sharing, changes history, access level management, search by publicly shared snippets, open repository of snippets and some other ideas that we don't want to share yet.
Those are limitations from product point of view, and they are the most critical ones. Also, there are many technical limitations that stop us from using these services with Snippets:
  • iCloud is available only for applications that are distributed via Mac App Store. This may be another subject for a discussion, however, Snippets won't be MAC-only.
  • Obviously, iCloud is not available on Windows.
  • I still have doubts about Apple's ability to build viable universal sync service. They failed with such products in the past and they did it multiple times, it's extremely hard to implement universal sync service. 
  • iCloud as well as Dropbox was designed to sync files (Apple likes to call it Documents) which is not a good fit for Snippets. I know there are some workarounds, but workaround is bad by definition.
So, the answer is NO, we won't use either iCloud or Dropbox for synchronization in Snippets.

If you still have any related question, you are welcome to ask them in comments.

24 comments:

  1. Hi,
    is it possible to select a custom location for the database? Because I'm using a different cloud service and with this feature I could sync the database without Dropbox.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, you can't change the location of the database file. Also, if database files changes externally Snippets will not reload it. So, you are in the risk of loosing data. I recommend you to use Snippets.me account to sync data.

      Delete
  2. The really question is not if there will be dropbox sync or not, but when there will be a production ready version of snippets.me with a working importer of the older Snippets! :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are currently working on it and we expect to release it in November.

      Delete
  3. How about Simplenote app integration for sync?
    http://simplenoteapp.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The answer is NO, but it's interesting, why would we integrate with other app to provide sync capability if 1) this app is designed for different kind of data and workflows 2) we have our own sync service with additional specific to our app functionality?

      Delete
  4. just a short question:
    when i write in the editor, i experience a offset of cursor and where "the cursor actually is". so I see the cursor say at the beginning of "see" in a line. but when I actually enter text, it appears like 5-20 positons earlier (at the "*"). is this usual? a bug with mavericks?

    texttxtxtxt * lskjdfh "see"

    the further I move down a line, the longer the offset will get...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. love the functionality so far!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the report. This is an issue with ACE Editor https://github.com/ajaxorg/ace/issues/1534. It seems it is already fixed, so, we will release an update soon that will fix this problem.

      Delete
    3. if this is just temporary (and (fingers crossed) I get this to run @ home on my linux stuff (via wine or whatnot)) and you actually do implement the sync functionality i might have found what I have been searching for quite some time. because except the reported issue, what you deliver there looks great. good job!

      Delete
  5. Thought I would leave this here. I was able to get it to sync with Dropbox. With this method, you should actually be able to sync with anything (Google Drive, Box, etc), in theory. I created a smybolic link to the "Snippets" directory which contained the database files. The source being in the dropbox folder, and the link being in the replacement of the original database folder. On Windows 7, it's located under "C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Snippets". This works great, just don't open the application in two places at once and you should be fine. I was able to open my Snippets database on my laptop and my desktop without issue.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because what you described in this comment is not officially supported way of using our apps and will lead to the data corruption and inconsistency and possibly crashes. Databases on Mac and Windows are not compatible.

      Delete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How do you know this better than the developers?

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How do you know this better than the developers?

      Delete
    2. Because I am a software developer, and I know how to debug software. Yes I know you should know more since you developed it, but I compared the 2 databased, and they their schemas matched 100%.

      (Sorry for the deletes/re-posting, just fixing spelling mistakes)

      They are compatible, as I compared their schemas, they are 100 percent compatible, it is just the Windows version is not safe guarded against a wrongly formatted date and time. I know this from the error message I get when I try to open the Mac database on Windows. Once I fixed that, it worked perfectly. I never mentioned that that I was in anyway associated with Snippets. This was just a comment made by someone trying to help other people with the same issue.

      Too bad that you cannot see that. You could have at least replied to it and said that this is not officially supported, rather than deleting it.

      Lastly, Christopher Erk comment similar to mine, just mine went the extra mile.

      Delete
    3. 1) Equal schema now does not mean that it will be equal in the future.
      2) Equal schema does not mean that it will contain equally formatted data. Date is just one example that you found, but there are some other pieced of data stored in the database and formatted differently on Mac and Windows.
      3) What is the problem syncing the data using internal sync functionality?

      Delete
    4. 1,2) Well, fair enough, and I never said it will be future proof, nor I claimed to be associated with Snippets, but I just wanted to help anyone that's having the same problem.

      3) It's still in beta, and it has been for a long time. I think syncing over OneDrive, Dropbox, or any other cloud service is already possible, once taken care of few issues. Also, there is always a risk when using a Beta for your main work.

      The best option really is to wait for your final version.

      Delete
  9. Any idea when/if sync will be available? I really like Snippets but without sync, it's not very useful.

    ReplyDelete
  10. iCloud is developed by the Apple Inc. It offers you to share photos, data and contacts with your friends without any troubles. Each of users get 5 GB free storage to back up your important files.
    extract emails

    ReplyDelete

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