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BeTheSync

Impression On The Btsync Update From 1.3 To 1.4

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Hi all,

I wanted this in the 1.4-forum, but its password locked.

Also, I think, it can be useful for users, which not have updated yet (and if I knew what I know now, I hadn't updated too, but waited 5 fixes)

 

So here it comes, my very personal reaction/impression:

(btw: limiting uploaded images here in the forum to only 76.8KB is quite oldschool and does not help in reporting accurately)

 

Not the worst "update" I have seen, but definately it has a place in the top 5.

After updating btsync on win7 with newest hotfixes and IE 11, it took the program about 30 mintutes to show the configured folders from 1.3.
HALF AN HOUR! No popup, no instruction, that the fine little program was actually doing something. 

click

(some screenshots are from the MAC, while I talk about Win and vice versa. I made the shots later as I installed it on several Computers...)
 

User could think: oh my god, the update just nuked all my shared folders and panic. (Just beause of the “get started”-tooltip)
click
Same on Mac OSX Mavericks: 
(I had a CPU load of only 13%, but the Program was not responding (beachball of death), so I guessed, it is hard working…)

click

 

The User get the information, that he must start from scratch! "Oh my goodness, what a *#§$ mess” was my first impression.


Again, no Popup is telling the poor little user, that the piece of software, he just updated is “converting” all his old btsync-config-files to newer ones (so that maybe his written scripts will not work anymore, because of the circumstances that there will be no file like .SyncID, .SyncIgnore anymore, but a binary identical file called ID inside a .sync folder. Which is, IMHO a care- and characterless new name, which not indicates to the sourceprogram btsync. I have seen other sync-clients, which used the same naming scheme and hopefully, I will not install them again on the same folders!) 

My second impression:
The GUI had changed to address the less technical users (which is not a bad thing at all), but this means, all important informations is kept from the users which are interested in whats happening and keep them from simply know/see whats happening with their data at the moment. thats a trend, I can witness nowadays more and more. make things look easy, so users think everything might be good. but the software core gets complicater and confusingly and not even remotely comprehensible.
Developers are forced to do things they can't (like GUI programming) and therefore they can't do good core-code anymore...

well then...
As usual with any big update of btsync, it crashes (Win7) on big folders a lot of times, while indexing. User (me) needs to restart btsync about a dozen times so btsync fortunately continues indexing again. 
Sometimes it crashes with the "microsoft runtime error", sometimes, btsync catches the crash offering to restart the programm or sent a (non anonymous, and offering a lot of very private or company related data) log file to the staff (which is mostly not sent because of some http error it reports). click,
click, click

The GUIs usability is....very improvable and should IMHO never relay on the systems browser, but on its own.
For windows, I guess, u will earn all kinds of errors related to IE instead of btsync, like: click

 

(means: a script is taking too long, skip or continue its execution)

Also, I read in the forums, that users should reset their IE settings or secure zones to default to have the GUI work properly. ... seriously? Loose important configs just to have a independend GUI -maybe- work? hmmm. Sounds like we're back to windows98. "try to reinstall windows to use our great product and all the features will work then. we promise"

Also the useful information, which file is tranfered atm is lost (or I didn't find it) but the unspecific information how long a folder transfer will take pops up, hovering over a folder in the new gui. Very useless information IMHO, because the transferes will never stop here and -as usual with any remaining time calculation-, its just wrong. Also, its very unkind to hide information off the user.
(A lot of times, I need a special file transfered/synced quickly, but now I can’t even see if its in the queue or not, so I can just sit there dumb)

On Mac I was aked this:
click

 

but not in *nix, neither on the Windows Platform. So I guess, I have not accepted your privacy policy on those platforms.


The columns of the GUI are not really rezizable. Or even movable. 
It feels like a crappy implementation of something, nobody has ever tested. (no offence! but it feels so.)

There are no seperators (or a very very lightly colour is used) a user needs to move the columns to the size it really makes sense for him to see important information all at once. 
User can move, or better rezize the columnheaders, but in a very crippled way. I seems, there was no usability in mind, when this kind of "toolbar" was invented.

Also, no sorting of a column is possible. Could be very useful too.

On Win7, resizing the btsync main window just gives me a black or blank window. When I rezize it back to its (way too small for any information shown) default size, I can see the (way too less) information again. 
Same on maximizing the main window. It keeps blank or black after an hour of waiting.

Sometimes, after some crashes of btsync, it works, but then it looks like this: (over an hour waiting again)

click

Although its a good thing user can change the textsize (on Win, not on Mac) with the CTRL+NUM+ or CTRL+NUM- Keys, line spacing is too big.

click

 

Also the rezizing of the colums does not work with smaller textsize and still looks crappy and keeps important information off the user.

The GUI behaves very very laggy (hopefuly only while indexing…). 
It feels like a VNC remote session back in the 90s: Klick - wait - wait - action. Klick - wait - action. Klick - wait - wait - wait - action.

 

When the User has made some changes to the GUI that he can actually use, all the changings are lost via a new start of the GUI. thats sad. Every item is on its default position. Even the window size. very very sad.

For the WebGUI on *nix system I can tell almost the same. It has glitches like closing the "view keys" section when clicking on the checkbox "Use predefined hosts". 
Also I just don't find a way see/generate a nicely QR-Code. Could be useful.

 

The version 1.3 took about 1.8GB of the RAM of my *nix machine, it now takes 2.3 GB RAM for the same amount of data.

The Icons for R/O shares look like the share is not accessible, but thats just my view.

 

The History isn't really usable anymore. Its not updating in realtime after some time. It just stucks and most of the time, when the history is opened, btsync crashes. seems to me, the user shall not use the history or the developers never use it, because crashes are easily reproducable here. very easy and quick.

Changes in the folder properties seem to take effect imediately, there is not OK/"Save Changes" button (anymore) in the preferences, which is also a (IMHO not so intelligent) trend (for the not so technically users) where inadvertently changes can break the whole thing without even realising the change at the moment. (but the greatly improven user feedback in the forums will show, that the procuct is widely used :-) )

All the (Web)GUIs on the different OS are lookalike, which is nice, but their behaviour seems very different from each other to me.

 

One identical characteristic is that all GUIs are taking ages to display information:

it seems to me, that information is only shown, if the indexing process (after a start of btsync) is finished.

this leeds to 10-30 minutes of looking at this: click

Anyways, I like the new GUI, but it really really needs some fixes,

but most important for me (or the companies, i’d like to help/support with your software):

I can report, that btsync continues to overwrite new data with old data, if there are several folders with >100.000 files in it and there are more than one machine with a writable secrec/key. So, in this case, btsync can mainly be used for backup or software distribution solution, but not as a data syncing tool for productive users/companies.
This is mainly the most important thing, I would consider, but it seems, to have a nicely looking GUI seems more attractive to get more and more users (and helping them to erase their important data…*I am cynical atm*)

 

The iPhone App:

my old settings had the camera roll (photo) backup activated. the new version deactivated it for unknown reasons. When I try to switch it on, it crashes (no Jaillbreak, normal newst IOS 7)

 

 

 

But, I found good things too: turning on debuging on *nix systems it now available via the webgui. no creepy terminal sessions anymore. 

eerm. thats all.

 

(finally, lets not forget: this software is freely available, which means, we are the alpha/beta testers and have to spend our free (or even paid) time/life and our data to improve this product for future use. Also the developers and the forum-supporters did and do a great job fixing bugs and helping users (like me) out of their unlucky situations with a software product, written by humans like ourselfs. If we could do it better, we should!)

 

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I fully agree with you.

 

And the GUI should be far more confortable, customisable and more colorfull (or a standard one, with allowing changing of colors, etc).

 

Then, if no machine connected, it show "No friends", or in german "keine Kolegen", but, i do not share my files with "friends" or "Kolegen", i share with my own machines, PC's, and Servers. It would be better to change this "friends" and "Kolegen" to somthing else, like "Devices" or german "Geräten".

 

To team: Thank you, and please, look what the people says, need, want, and ask for.

To Advanced Member: "If we could do it better, we should!" - maybe, you take a look at:

 

Clearskies_core or Clearskies

and

Syncthing or Syncthing.net

 

Thanks

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