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Multiple Notes Autosaved


DigiShadRob

Idea

When creating notes on the web app, I often find that by the time I'm saving my note the web app has created multiple notes.

I'm using the app in Firefox through a VM.

Steps to recreate

- Create note

- Add text

- Wait 5 minutes

- Save note

Observed outcome - Multiple notes, seemingly saved with partial content as the note is created. Note 1 has 1st 2mins of note taking, Note 2 has 2nd 2mins + original 2mins, and so on.

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5 replies to this idea

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Hi.  I've said many times before - taking notes into a web browser is not a god idea,  especially if there's a slow or intermittent connection - and I'd guess adding VPN encryption to the mix does something similar too...

A browser is not designed to have any sort of a text buffer or save content that isn't immediately sent to the remote server,  and if that server doesn't receive the continuous flow of data that it's expecting,  there's no way to know if the sender has logged off,  the connection was dropped,  or whether there's data missing from what has been sent.  So Evernote goes into full panic mode and keeps copies of everything,  whether they're necessary or not.

Best advice,  especially for long notes,  is to use another word processor that saves locally,  so the content can't be lost or corrupted.  Make your note using the local service,  then copy and paste the content into your note in one operation - and also attach the local file from your wp app if you want to open it from the note on this or any other device that supports the software.

Delete the local file(s) if necessary,  for security - and empty the trash folder too.

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I have seen this behaviour a large number of times with the web client as well, and there's not a great workaround because I'm running Linux. 

On 9/2/2017 at 11:50 AM, gazumped said:

Hi.  I've said many times before - taking notes into a web browser is not a god idea,  especially if there's a slow or intermittent connection - and I'd guess adding VPN encryption to the mix does something similar too...

A browser is not designed to have any sort of a text buffer or save content that isn't immediately sent to the remote server,  and if that server doesn't receive the continuous flow of data that it's expecting,  there's no way to know if the sender has logged off,  the connection was dropped,  or whether there's data missing from what has been sent.  So Evernote goes into full panic mode and keeps copies of everything,  whether they're necessary or not.

This behaviour appears incorrect to me. The correct approach would be to assign each note a local ID prefixed by hostname (or some other machine identifier) and timestamp it. When an update is pushed to the server, only keep the note for the ID with the latest timestamp.  The ID assignment and push can be easily done in javascript, requiring only the server to preserve state. If some updates can't reach the server, you get the latest version of what you could push --- which is as useful as keeping everything that made it there --- and I also don't have to delete a bunch of duplicate notes afterwards. Unless you are editing a note on multiple devices simultaneously, this should address the problem.

While you can bypass this problem by using a local text editor, the correct behaviour is to have the online editor do the "right" thing. It reduces the usability of the Evernote product, and feels like a bug to me.

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On 06/09/2017 at 9:33 PM, bglasber said:

When an update is pushed to the server, only keep the note for the ID with the latest timestamp.

I'd guess the folks at Evernote will have thought of that sort of process (they are reasonably smart) but they also have the problem that users will set something up on the web and then switch to their phone or desktop to edit,  with more than one access open at the same time.  If one app sends a routine timestamped update of an older version of the note while you're typing more details on another,  does it's update trump whatever detail you managed to upload so far?

Not saying the current behaviour could not be a bug,  just that I don't know the background,  just how things work in practice.

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46 minutes ago, gazumped said:

but they also have the problem that users will set something up on the web and then switch to their phone or desktop to edit,  with more than one access open at the same time

You'd have to switch immediately, a few seconds would overcome most time skew across devices.

I completely agree that Evernote likely thought of this solution and had their own reasons not to choose it. I just wanted to point out that there are ways to address this issue; it's not tied to limitations of the web interface.

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