Syncing attachments

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We believe that we have fixed a problem with the sync servers that cause some users not to be able to download some attachments.  If you were having this problem, you might want to read on, but no action is required; the fix was entirely at the server end.

For the past month or so we have had several reports of errors downloading attachments.  The symptoms were that Sente would show a message about the file possibly having been deleted.  We tracked this down to a particular query on the server that sometimes took so long to run that Sente gave up.  This was a relatively rare event, but users who saw the problem tended to see it frequently.

It is worth noting that all attachments were stored fine on the server; the problem was simply getting them back from the server in all cases.  

So, if you were seeing this problem, you should now be able to obtain the files by clicking on the link in the error message.  If this is not the case, please open a support thread and tell us about what you are seeing.

Coming Changes to Sync

I will also take this opportunity to tell everyone that we are actively working on extensive changes to our sync server design.  While we are, in general, very pleased with the way sync has been working, there are a few aspects that we have wanted to improve for a while.  For example, we would like to:

  • Remove the size cap on attachment size.  Currently we cannot sync attachments over 20MB.  This works for most attachments, but there are more and more files over this size that people want to sync.
  • Switch from using port 993 to standard HTTP ports so people who are behind very restrictive firewalls can still sync.
  • Improve performance and reliability.  Our current sync engine relies on a third-party tool that works pretty well, but not perfectly and we wanted more control over this key part of the Sente ecosystem.  The new version will be entirely under our control.
These are the issues that drove us to redesign the backend, but while we are at it we plan on adding some enhancements that we think people will like.  I will write more about this project in the coming weeks and explain the changes in more detail.

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