KevinFu

How Are People Using Sync 1.4?

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Guest idef1x

The web UI might be a bit buggy from time to time, but still prefer it compared to the 1.3 version. At least you can see now a history and which files got stuck in the transfer instead of searching for .!sync files or so. But in the end how often do you use the GUI any way? Once it's set up to your liking, you don't have to use it anymore, besided maybe checking once and a while if everything is still in sync.

 

Anyway I am using it to sync my photos accross several machines (all Linux). For backup (RO keys) and the workstations I use to work with the Pictures (RW keys). Furthermore I also sync my Music collection, backups and software, so I have it on at lease 2 locations

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My family and extended family had been using btsync as an encrypted distributed backup system. It was working flawlessly up through version 1.3.109. Each of us had a local backup folder and we distributed the read only encrypted backup key to the other members of the family. Everyone had an encrypted copy of everyone else's data but had no direct access to the data as we each kept our own Master Key a secret. It worked perfectly on Windows 7, Window 8, and a Synology Diskstation for nearly a year. Version 1.4 Broke everything. All the folders report the wrong size, the machines no longer sync, the number of peers is wrong, the software is not downgradeable, and it's generally been frustrating in every way. I would like to help fix this problem, because I really liked the idea of btsync and it's potential, but the list of bugs is so long that I don't even know what to email support about. I don't even know where to start. I hope this is not the direction of btsync in the future. I for one won't be a user much longer if things continue down this path. Thanks for all the hard work, but please reconsider the direction this program is headed. Have you considered open sourcing the code and allowing community contributions?

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I stopped using Sync with the release of 1.4.

 

I used Sync for over a year to sync everything from my phone to 50GB of remote server files. I was dumbfounded by the simplicity of the setup. I was ready to hand someone money. I became a preacher for the product. The release of 1.4 has forced me to stop using it due to reliability problems and constant frustration and confusion with the UI. I’m not a very critical person at all, but the UI is really bad. I have hope, however. I’ll keep checking back.

 

IMHO, this is what needs to come back:

  • Bullet proof sync
  • Indexing that doesn’t take weeks on a 32GB RAM/8 core/SSD computer.
  • A spot to enter the key during initial folder connection on the other computers.
  • During initial folder connection, use the folder I selected. Don’t create a folder for me inside that folder just because it wasn’t empty.
  • Don’t make your users search for invisible folder share and settings buttons. If using a touch screen, they would never find them. At least let them right click. Sharing is the whole freaking point of the software, why would one hide the button to do that?

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I stopped using Sync with the release of 1.4.

 

I used Sync for over a year to sync everything from my phone to 50GB of remote server files. I was dumbfounded by the simplicity of the setup. I was ready to hand someone money. I became a preacher for the product. The release of 1.4 has forced me to stop using it due to reliability problems and constant frustration and confusion with the UI. I’m not a very critical person at all, but the UI is really bad. I have hope, however. I’ll keep checking back.

 

IMHO, this is what needs to come back:

  • Bullet proof sync
  • Indexing that doesn’t take weeks on a 32GB RAM/8 core/SSD computer.
  • A spot to enter the key during initial folder connection on the other computers.
  • During initial folder connection, use the folder I selected. Don’t create a folder for me inside that folder just because it wasn’t empty.
  • Don’t make your users search for invisible folder share and settings buttons. If using a touch screen, they would never find them. At least let them right click. Sharing is the whole freaking point of the software, why would one hide the button to do that?

 

I agree with all of this. If syncthing (pulse) or something open source implemented untrusted encrypted nodes, I would gladly switch. I talked my family and friends into using btsync for distributed backups and now I feel like an idiot for leading them down the path of 1.4. Please don't treat your user base this way or you will lose it.

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sfmcnally: "I talked my family and friends into using btsync for distributed backups and now I feel like an idiot for leading them down the path of 1.4."

I did the same thing, and feel exactly the same way!

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I did the same thing as well, along with my boss and others .. now it's a timebomb. 

 

What happened to sync keys? Can't I just share a key anymore? What's with this getsync.com link that doesn't do anything except tell me to wait. I used 1.3 quite well for about a year .. now I have no idea what's going on and I avoid all updates and changes .. I expect that one of these days I'm going to end up ripping out all the work and find another solution .. but right now, 1.3 is in place..fingers crossed. 

 

Between 1.3 and 1.4 it's not even the same product as far as I'm concerned. I'd prefer there be some version of 1.3 continued where I generate a key and share a KEY, not a link. 

 

By the way I came across THIS  thread today by googling "btsync sucks now" 

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What happened to sync keys? Can't I just share a key anymore?

Yes, you can still share and use keys (formally secrets) in 1.4

Go to Options (cog icon) -> Advanced -> Show "Copy Key":

Show_Copy_Key.png

 

On each folder's Preferences menu, there will then be "Copy Read Only Key" and "Copy Read & Write Key":

Copy_Keys.png

 

...and these respective keys can be viewed by opening that folder's preferences dialog:

View_Key1.png

To add a new folder to Sync using a Key, click Options (the cog icon) and select "Enter a Key":

Enter_AKey.png

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Yes, you can still share and use keys (formally secrets) in 1.4

Ok .. this is somewhat encouraging .. however, how do I get a key out of my Android "backup Folder" program .. all it allows me to send is getsync.com links .. Email/Copy/QR .. no keys. 

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Ok .. this is somewhat encouraging .. however, how do I get a key out of my Android "backup Folder" program .. all it allows me to send is getsync.com links .. Email/Copy/QR .. no keys. 

 

Menu -> Settings -> Advanced -> Use key

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itsjustmatt: "Sharing is the whole freaking point of the software, why would one hide the button to do that?"

 

GreatMarko: "Menu -> Settings -> Advanced -> Use key"

 

Me: QED


GreatMarko, to be fair, what if I am given - say 10k - to consult about a radically new GUI technique similar to the following screenshot? ;-)

 

 

http://s4.postimg.org/yh99su8rx/bts_startup_question.png

 

 

IMHO, that should make quite happy both parties, Metro lovers, and KISS adepts.

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itsjustmatt: "Sharing is the whole freaking point of the software, why would one hide the button to do that?"

 

GreatMarko: "Menu -> Settings -> Advanced -> Use key"

 

Me: QED

My comment was not in response to itsjustmatt - You've taken it completely out of context.

 

itsjustmatt was commenting his views on the desktop app. My response which you've quoted was in fact not in response to that, it was in response to jpf321's separate query about turning on the sharing of keys instead of links in the Android app.

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Yes, you can still share and use keys (formally secrets) in 1.4

Go to Options (cog icon) -> Advanced -> Show "Copy Key":

Show_Copy_Key.png

 

On each folder's Preferences menu, there will then be "Copy Read Only Key" and "Copy Read & Write Key":

Copy_Keys.png

 

...and these respective keys can be viewed by opening that folder's preferences dialog:

View_Key1.png

To add a new folder to Sync using a Key, click Options (the cog icon) and select "Enter a Key":

Enter_AKey.png

While this is a ridiculous process for what used to be one step, that is not the material issue. If the sync engine worked at all and the UI was confusing, people would complain for about 10 minutes until they figured it out and then you'd never hear from them again. The issue is that Bittorrent released a broken version of the sync engine. It just doesn't work since 1.4. Layered on top of the broken software was a new UI whose merits can be debated, but I think you guys are trying to change too much at  once. Here's what confuses me: What was added to the sync engine that wasn't in 1.3? Near as I can tell, there are no new features in 1.4, so why would the sync engine suddenly be so broken? Tinker with the UI all you want, but the engine has to be rock solid. This is software that people use for important things. I know that it's "Beta" now, but the beta was stable for years and so people started using it for important data. Now it's not the least bit stable. I'm currently a profoundly disappointed user. Open source this free software and let the community help squish some of the bugs in the sync engine.

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I agree with sfmcnally. The UI is just an annoyance that could be gotten use to. The broken sync engine was the real reason I left and stopped promoting the product. I have high hopes that it gets the attention it deserves. I truely want this product to work again.

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My comment was not in response to itsjustmatt - You've taken it completely out of context.

 

itsjustmatt was commenting his views on the desktop app. My response which you've quoted was in fact not in response to that, it was in response to jpf321's separate query about turning on the sharing of keys instead of links in the Android app.

Sorry, GreatMarko. My comment was neither in response to yours, nor to itsjustmatt's one. Intentionally not using automatic quotation, out of context, philosophic, and ironic. By means of juxtaposition of a question about HCI and an apparent double indirection, mathematical lingo, a smiley...). Damn serious was instead my suggestion about asking the user, at first run, about her/his skills: primer or advanced? Please, pass it to your usability/HCI team. Regards.

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Wishlist: my use of Sync would be a ton more worth if I could sync single files.

I'd love to sync my OSMAnd favourites between my devices

 

Please keep your comments on-topic - You'll find the Feature Request forum here.

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I can't use it day to day because I misses file changes. Expiring a bunch of images into a synced folder the app puts them in a .tmp folder until done and then moves them out, the app can't move the files because they are accessed by sync so I'm less with bad files structures.

 

Sync is a long way from a 1.0 product, oh wait its 1.4... I can see why beta was added back on in 1.4.

 

Real Use: I have have a nightly backup 'synced' to our file server and off site backup. The whole backup is 10gb and it rotates. Ex. Backup3 is deleted, Backup2 moves to 3, 1 to 2 etc. However due to the inability of Sync to move files it ended up re-syncing 40gb every night causing time and extra network congestion.

Edited by scotepi

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@scotepi

Sync designed to detect file movements (rotations in your case) within the boundaries of a single sync folder. Do I understand correctly that it fails to detect file movements within one folder?

 

If yes - can I plz get your debug logs? I would be really happy to catch this issue!

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the software is not downgradeable

 

Sure it is, just uninstall, but remember to ditch the settings, too. You'll have to set up your folder(s) in 1.3, but so long as you have the keys, it's not much work.

 

And, you'll get a version that actually works for you.

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You guys should listen to this guy quoted below -- He makes sense and his thing about users actually willing to send money your way is not far off.

 

And sheesh ... what happened to 'easy' -- How do I make an encrypted read only secret again?? (without some complicated API)

 

You want to make money, make it easy. The whole secrets sharing thing got exponentially complicated and burdensome in the latest versions.

 

Just let me know when you set up that bitcoin account so that I can send you some money. Thanks :)

 

 

Agree. The Android update ruined it and the windows update UI is buggy. Also, I get lots of peers showing with the same name. This was not tested as much as it should have been. Everything was running very smoothly for quite some time until the latest version. My Android devices, I just removed it because it was not working properly. Sucks to say, but you had a good product before the new version and you made too many changes at once with the new release. Go, get a fresh coffee for the head developer and tell him/her to get it all working again. Thanks!!

 

OH, and here is what you don't realize ... 

 

I don't mind paying even for BTSYNC!!! It is that useful and I would gladly pay a small fee each year or make a donation. I have no idea how you plan to monetize this, but you can if you ask people, and then make it a better product with the funds. 

 

Maybe you guys should think of making a public BitCoin account for receiving donations.

 

 

But don't release shoddy versions and then ruin a fanbase that was getting quite pleased with the way things were working.

 

My 2cents :)

 

'cause I'll gladly send you $10 if you promise to test better next time :)

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Sure it is, just uninstall, but remember to ditch the settings, too. You'll have to set up your folder(s) in 1.3, but so long as you have the keys, it's not much work.

 

And, you'll get a version that actually works for you.

That is hardly a workable solution going forward. Add to that the fact that on NAS packages, there is often no easy way to downgrade and you have a really nice mess on your hands. Obviously I could have stuck with 1.3 forever, but that's the same as saying "I give up on future btsync development." I didn't want to do that.

 

On another note, I'm happy to report that after re-transmitting all my data from my RW nodes to empty folders on my encrypted RO nodes, everything seems to be humming along nicely in 1.4.103. So, it would appear that btsync is once again a working solution for distributed backup on untrusted nodes. Sadly, I don't think that data from version 1.3 is ever going to sucessfully sync with a 1.4 node, but that's just my opinion from the many trials I did to attempt to avoid resending hundreds of gigs of data. Thanks to the devs for the excellent software and please pay more attention to testing upgrades and downgrades in the future.

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@sfmcnally

Looks like you've got a ticket with our support - how is it progressing? We'll be happy to resolve the issue with your NAS so you won't need to downgrade to 1.3

 

@wimbit

The way encrypted secrets were created in 1.3 is still available in 1.4. There were some issues with read-only encrypted keys in pre-1.4.103, but latest version should fix it. Is it something new?

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I just want to say 'well done' to the team. You guys are starting to get this stable and you're hitting some home runs again :) There are a few things I'd like to see, but it's getting better and more usable.

Keep going :)

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