Jump to content
PeteyPabPro

Changes getting overwritten when switching between browser and mobile

Recommended Posts

I use the browser and mobile versions of Evernote. Say I have a note open in the browser, and I make an update to it on mobile. If I go back to the note in the browser and update it, the changes from the mobile update will be overwritten, WITHOUT WARNING. I've lost several notes this way, and it's incredibly frustrating, so much so that I'm considering switching to a different app.

Has anyone else had this experience? Why doesn't Evernote fix it? It would be so simple! If the version of the note you are editing has not been updated, show a note telling me to refresh to get the latest version!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/21/2018 at 11:36 AM, PeteyPabPro said:

Say I have a note open in the browser, and I make an update to it on mobile. If I go back to the note in the browser and update it, the changes from the mobile update will be overwritten

It's a good idea to sync/refresh your data when switching  device/platforms.

Share this post


Link to post

That's ridiculous! That shouldn't be the job of the user. It's a change that a engineer could make in a day. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/26/2018 at 11:09 AM, PeteyPabPro said:

That's ridiculous! That shouldn't be the job of the user. It's a change that a engineer could make in a day. 

Well, ridiculousness is in the eye of the beholder. It seems perfectly natural to me that it should be my job to make sure I've done a basic sync before editing anything. Especially if I've found that I get problems when I don't. There are always ways in which we have to adapt to the way a piece of software works. Different people just have different points at which a particular adaptation seems intolerable. Which is why I don't expect this to seem convincing to you, since you've hit a point of intolerability for you. Me, I wish when I clicked on a link to an Evernote note in Google Calendar it would open in the Evernote app,  or at least the EN Web interface, rather than in a very dumb read-only browser tab.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Dave, 

It's ridiculous because it 1) makes the user do something that can be done by software, which is the whole point of software, 2) is incredibly easy to fix, and 3) has no downside - there is no good reason why anyone should prefer the current behavior over my proposal or something similar. 

Last night I lost a very important note to this issue. I'm going to be switching to just using a Google doc and advocating on social media that others do the same, because Evernote does not seem to care about their user's experience. 

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, PeteyPabPro said:

is incredibly easy to fix

So how do you effectively sync changes made off line, in conjunction with changes made on line?

Share this post


Link to post

It's versioning 101. Every time a note is saved to the system, it gets a timestamp. When you load a note to edit, the system notes the timestamp. When you save your updates, the system checks that the load timestamp is later than the most recently saved one. If so, the save proceeds, if not, it warns the user and tells them to manually refresh. 

The point is that's it's an absolute no-no in software design to do a destructive action (in this case, overwriting another version of a note) without warning the user. If this is a bug, it should be fixed. If not, the product manager should be fired. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I thought that this was the point of note conflicts in Evernote. The service notes that a note was modified in two different devices, and since it can't necessarily decide who's the winner, it marks the not as conflicted, and retains both copies. It's rare that I get them, so I don't know if this behavior is changed. I'll agree that if the previous version was lost, then it's a bug. 

BTW, so-called "versioning 101" isn't guaranteed to work. If you're working with a note offline, you may very well not be able to tell that there's a previously edited version on the service. You make a change, and you have a conflict. At that point, you're in a merge situation, either manual or automatic. Neither is foolproof. Hence -- or so I thought -- Evernote's note conflicts. Moreover, the scenario as presented is problematic: by the time you've made your updates locally, you're already in conflict, so a manual refresh doesn't really help: what should it do, discard your changes?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

@jefito

Quote

what should it do, discard your changes?

No, as I said, it should warn the user. This gives the user to then do whatever they need to to back up their changes before refreshing. There are of course ways to deal with conflicts (for example, how Git does it), but I'm not saying we need to solve that problem. All I'm asking for is a warning - such a solution would be much better than nothing at all.

 

12 minutes ago, jefito said:

BTW, so-called "versioning 101" isn't guaranteed to work. If you're working with a note offline, you may very well not be able to tell that there's a previously edited version on the service.

I agree that when you are editing it you may not know this, but my point is that upon saving the note, the system can detect this, and not just blindly overwrite the note.

Finally, as far as the "note conflicts" thing, that would be fine (although inferior to the warning, IMO), but it doesn't seem to work, at least in the browser edition.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, PeteyPabPro said:

Dave, 

It's ridiculous because it 1) makes the user do something that can be done by software, which is the whole point of software, 2) is incredibly easy to fix, and 3) has no downside - there is no good reason why anyone should prefer the current behavior over my proposal or something similar. 

Last night I lost a very important note to this issue. I'm going to be switching to just using a Google doc and advocating on social media that others do the same, because Evernote does not seem to care about their user's experience. 

Well, I don't know if we can be sure there's no downside, as @CalS's and @jefito's points about offline editing suggest. I truly am sorry that you lost that note; but if you knew this is how the system works, the loss could have been avoided, it seems to me. Nevertheless, thanks very much for deciding, on the basis of limited experience, how everything should work for everyone--a terrible burden, but someone must shoulder it. :blink:

Share this post


Link to post

@Dave-in-Decatur

Not sure you're following here. @CalS and @jefito's points about offline editing in no way invalidate my point. As I said to jefito, the point is that whether or not you are editing the note offline, once you go to sync it, you are by definition online, so the system can then tell whether you are updating a stale note. I'm not trying to completely solve the problem of managing conflicts, I'm just saying there 100% is no reason not to have a warning in place.

For comparison, here is what onenote does:

image.thumb.png.27b0237a4d0b432e44ada00fd0dc7230.png

It clearly tells you that the note can't be merged, and helps you manually resolve the conflicts.

(Also, not sure why there is the need for sarcasm here. I'm a user venting a frustrating and making a suggestion, which is exactly what these forums are for. I'm not "deciding" anything; I'm expressing an opinion.) 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
10 hours ago, PeteyPabPro said:

is incredibly easy to fix,

8 hours ago, CalS said:

So how do you effectively sync changes made off line, in conjunction with changes made on line?

My comment, admittedly somewhat tongue in cheek, had to do with the effort level.  It's a bit like name that tune.  IAC, this work is supposed to have been done by EN such that if one loses updates versus getting a conflict note when syncing uncovers an issue, a bug report is in order.  I'd file one.

And, point of reference, the browser version does not sync, it updates the actual mother ship data base.  So like most browser things, hitting the refresh button on an existing screen to get current alleviates the problem and the potential problem of having to resolve a conflict.  IAC, maybe EN hasn't addressed notes held in a browser whilst a platform makes a change conflicts.

Share this post


Link to post

It's probably the case that they just don't really care about browser users. But since my work computer is Linux I have no other choice. I would open a bug report but iirc you need to be a premium member to do that, which I am not. 

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, PeteyPabPro said:

It's probably the case that they just don't really care about browser users. But since my work computer is Linux I have no other choice. I would open a bug report but iirc you need to be a premium member to do that, which I am not. 

Can't speak as whether they care/don't care about browser users.  A new browser release is on it's way if that indicate anything.  Though the proof will be in how well it works I suppose.  And yes, one needs to be a premium member to file a ticket.  But anyone can contact EN support via twitter.

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah sadly their Twitter account seems to ignore me, perhaps because they sense my fury. 

Share this post


Link to post
18 hours ago, PeteyPabPro said:

@Dave-in-Decatur

Not sure you're following here. @CalS and @jefito's points about offline editing in no way invalidate my point. As I said to jefito, the point is that whether or not you are editing the note offline, once you go to sync it, you are by definition online, so the system can then tell whether you are updating a stale note. I'm not trying to completely solve the problem of managing conflicts, I'm just saying there 100% is no reason not to have a warning in place.

For comparison, here is what onenote does:

image.thumb.png.27b0237a4d0b432e44ada00fd0dc7230.png

It clearly tells you that the note can't be merged, and helps you manually resolve the conflicts.

(Also, not sure why there is the need for sarcasm here. I'm a user venting a frustrating and making a suggestion, which is exactly what these forums are for. I'm not "deciding" anything; I'm expressing an opinion.) 

I do take your point about a warning to users about changed versions. Even with that, though, it seems that one will still end up comparing versions, as in Evernote's Conflicting Changes feature. It's that latter that should have been triggered in your situation--if you had synced the changes from the mobile version, and that's where the disagreement about whether users should have to do this at all enters in. Not trying to re-litigate that.

As for my sarcastic "Nevertheless, thanks very much for deciding, on the basis of limited experience, how everything should work for everyone--a terrible burden, but someone must shoulder it. :blink:" ... That was in response to:

On 7/2/2018 at 7:54 AM, PeteyPabPro said:

.... I'm going to be switching to just using a Google doc and advocating on social media that others do the same, because Evernote does not seem to care about their user's experience. 

You had this glitch or bug or whatever happen to you, and so you want to warn everyone that Evernote is unusable. Perhaps I was trying to read your mind in saying that you were "deciding ... how everything should work for everyone." Sort of as if someone should say "Evernote does not seem to care about their user's experience." Or:

18 hours ago, PeteyPabPro said:

It's probably the case that they just don't really care about browser users....

Or:

15 hours ago, PeteyPabPro said:

Yeah sadly their Twitter account seems to ignore me, perhaps because they sense my fury. 

Frankly, you've been raining sarcasm all over Evernote, or at least making confident statements about their motivations and mental state. I let it get the better of me, I'm afraid.

I'm for a truce here. You and I both have better ways to use our time than lob water balloons at each other. ? ✌️ ☮️

WRT to Twitter, in connection with an unrelated thread I looked at the Evernote Help/Support pages this morning, both logged in as Premium user and logged out, and I don't see any reference to Twitter at all. Did they take it down? Hope not.

Share this post


Link to post

@Dave-in-Decatur The Twitter handle @EvernoteHelps  is what I was referring to. 

36 minutes ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

It's that latter that should have been triggered in your situation--if you had synced the changes from the mobile version, and that's where the disagreement about whether users should have to do this at all enters in

Maybe I'm missing something? How would this have been triggered in my situation. If I refreshed the browser before making new edits, there would not have been a conflict at all, because it would have just pulled in the latest changes from my mobile. I'd be really curious if you could find a way to get EN to generate the Conflicting Changes Feature with the browser. 

My statements above are lobbed at the Evernote Product Team, not you. I find that threatening to take other users with you if you leave is usually a good way to get someones attention. 

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, PeteyPabPro said:

@Dave-in-Decatur The Twitter handle @EvernoteHelps  is what I was referring to. 

Maybe I'm missing something? How would this have been triggered in my situation. If I refreshed the browser before making new edits, there would not have been a conflict at all, because it would have just pulled in the latest changes from my mobile. I'd be really curious if you could find a way to get EN to generate the Conflicting Changes Feature with the browser. 

My statements above are lobbed at the Evernote Product Team, not you. I find that threatening to take other users with you if you leave is usually a good way to get someones attention. 

OK, maybe I misunderstood or just lost track of your original situation. Sorry.

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, PeteyPabPro said:

If I refreshed the browser before making new edits, there would not have been a conflict at all, because it would have just pulled in the latest changes from my mobile.

Only if the mobile had synced prior to your browser refresh, to be precise. 

Share this post


Link to post

I just came to this forum to make THIS EXACT POST. This needs to be fixed. DTLow saying "It's a good idea to sync/refresh your data when switching  device/platforms" Is an insulting response. A simple ETag/If-Match implementation can save OP, me, and everyone else who will inevitably run into this a huge headache. 

Share this post


Link to post

If you edit your notes at work or on your phone then come home to a stale Chrome tab and make another change without thinking, everything earlier in the day will be lost. I came to this forum to bring this up, and noticed another post referencing this same issue has already been gaining traction. I replied to that, but decided a second thread is worth posting. This is not an acceptable behavior from the Evernote API. I can give you a suggestion on how to fix this that I personally implemented on my own REST server if anyone from the Evernote team wants to hear it. Please prioritize this change. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Would a premium member mind opening up a ticket with EN on our behalf about this? Seems to be a common issue. I would but I'd rather not shell out the $60 just to open a bug report. As noted above, this situation should be triggering the Conflicting Changes flow.

Share this post


Link to post

FWIW, @PeteyPabPro, it's possible to subscribe as Premium for just 1 month, and then you'd have support access. I agree that the full year's cost would be too much just to report a bug.

Share this post


Link to post
On 7/2/2018 at 12:54 PM, PeteyPabPro said:

I'm going to be switching to just using a Google doc and advocating on social media that others do the same, because Evernote does not seem to care about their user's experience. 

I love this stuff. I'm sure all your followers who are also Evernote users will have jumped to Google docs by the weekend. Lolz.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

FWIW, @PeteyPabPro, it's possible to subscribe as Premium for just 1 month, and then you'd have support access. I agree that the full year's cost would be too much just to report a bug.

Ah, thanks, didn't realize that, might give that a try. 

9 minutes ago, Metrodon said:

I love this stuff. I'm sure all your followers who are also Evernote users will have jumped to Google docs by the weekend. Lolz.

Lol yeah that doesn't sound like much of a threat in retrospect. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 7/3/2018 at 9:57 PM, Shadoninja said:

A simple ETag/If-Match implementation can save OP, me, and everyone else who will inevitably run into this a huge headache. 

Expand on this, please?

Share this post


Link to post
On 7/3/2018 at 10:01 PM, Shadoninja said:

I came to this forum to bring this up, and noticed another post referencing this same issue has already been gaining traction. I replied to that, but decided a second thread is worth posting.

No, it's not necessary. Really. Much more helpful to other forum-goers keep to fewer topics, so long as they're related/identical (which is the case here). In point of fact, even the other thread isn't the first, but the correct forum search to find related issues (or web search) might not be obvious.

Share this post


Link to post

It is necessary. The more people speak out about serious issues, the faster devs/product owners will prioritize them. This is not a small feature request. This is a gaping hole in the way Evernote works. 

Share this post


Link to post
45 minutes ago, jefito said:

Expand on this, please?

When a browser loads up a note, it will also receive an ETag from the server. This ETag will be a hash of some unique information about the note in Evernote's DB. An example of an ETag would be to hash the note's DateUpdated value and the note's ID. Whenever the browser sends an update request to the server, it sends the most-recently-received ETag with it. The server then recalculates the hash on its own and compares the server-sided ETag with the user-provided ETag. This definitively proves that the browser either did or did not have the most up-to-date information at the time of sending an update request.

For example, if you changed the note on your phone, then hopped back on your computer (which has the tab open to that note from earlier) and tried to edit that note, the server will quickly determine that the browser's update request was out of date. At this point, the devs can do whatever they want: force a refresh of the user's browser, give the user a prompt that asks them if they want to overwrite, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
13 hours ago, PeteyPabPro said:

 

Lol yeah that doesn't sound like much of a threat in retrospect. 

And maybe also some thought....Evernote employs people, it pays their wages which helps to house and feed their families. Just because the app doesn't do something that you feel it should, or you feel it's really easy to do, doesn't feel like enough of a justification to me to suggest that you are going to actively go out and damage their business. Because, if you damage the business, you damage people as well. 

(Don't I sound nauseatingly sanctimonoius?)

Share this post


Link to post

@Metrodon

Yes, you do sound overly sanctimonious, and I disagree wholeheartedly. Evernote is a rich tech company. Their employees are doing just fine. 

If I were to go and sabotage their business by spreading false information, that'd be one thing, but expressing my opinions to friends and family based on my true experience is the cost of doing business. After all, don't these types of apps always ask you to tell your friends if you are enjoying their product? So you think they should be able to enjoy the network effects if people like their product, but not have to deal with their consequences if people don't like them? Further, by not spreading my experience, I'm allowing others to suffer the same frustration that I have, which is a righteous act.

Share this post


Link to post

Not exactly a gaping hole - all you need to do is to sync your note both before and after you make any changes on any platform.  It's good practice and 100% prevents old notes overwriting new changes. 

The editor is subject to a whole list of 'oops' issues - it's possible to accidentally delete all or part of a note while typing it and before anything is synced to Evernote.  If your local version of Undo doesn't work for you,  that content is lost.  Spacing,  styles,  numbering and bullets have a host of issues,  as does cut or copy and paste,  depending on which platform you're on.

I'm pretty sure Evernote have this issue on their fix list,  but if it's not been addressed yet it's either because they're working globally on a host of related features,  or there are other issues with greater priority.

Meantime this is a forum supported (mainly) by users.  Posting issues multiple times is more of a nuisance to us than pressure on Evernote...

Share this post


Link to post

Syncing before and after you make changes to a note is a workaround. And workarounds are a great way to deal with issues until devs get around to a real fix. If free users were allowed to access a note's history, this wouldn't be such a big issue. If free users were allowed to file bugs, posing on this forum would not be the best thing to do. But right now, people are losing data for a reason that should not be happening. This issue needs attention and the users need to speak out about it the best they can. 

Share this post


Link to post

How do you know any of that? They aren't public - they don't release employee salaries. 

"righteous act" - wow....

Tweet away.....

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
14 hours ago, PeteyPabPro said:

Evernote is a rich tech company. Their employees are doing just fine. 

At one time, Evernote was a "rich tech company"; funded by investors.
These days, Evernote is funded by user fees.  It's paying the bills but I wouldn't describe it as rich.
The majority of users pay nothing for using the service.

>>expressing my opinions to friends and family based on my true experience

Based on my true experience, I recommend the Evernote service.
I have over 12,000 notes and have not found a better alternative.

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Metrodon said:

"righteous act" - wow....

That about sums it up...

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...