[Windows app] Created items disappear after sync :(

Steps to reproduce

Create and edit* documents or folders while offline, then connect to the Internet and try to synchronize the data.

Expected result

Everything to be synchronized.

Actual result

All folders and documents that I created offline immediately disappeared after synchronization (including existing documents that I put inside a newly created folder). Now whatever I create using the desktop app disappears and whatever I create in the web app works fine but doesn’t appear in the desktop app. Changes in existing documents are synchronized between both apps without any issues. Everything works fine in the web app.

Environment

Windows app. Not sure about the previous version since the main issue happened a few days ago, but it’s still happening in version 1.0.14.


Additional information

* By “create and edit” I mean I did pretty much everything you can do in Dynalist (created, renamed, edited, moved and deleted both documents and folders) before synchronizing.

This is what happens:

I’m behind a VPN + firewall, but the problem happens even when they’re disabled.


Additional comments

I haven’t tried reinstalling the app because I hope there may be a backup hidden somewhere or at least some log to help find out what’s going on. I was lucky enough to lose only relatively unimportant documents, but one of them required some hard work and I’ll have to do it all over again :frowning:

I hope this is simple to solve and no one else experiences it in the meantime! Thanks for your support :smiley:

… Can I bump my post?

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Hi Ed, sorry about that. I messaged @Erica with a link to your post (or at least I think I did), but it seems like mentions are the best way so far.

Hi @EdJr,

Sorry for the late reply. We’ve been pretty caught up in a few things recently.

I tried to reproduce your problem a few days but couldn’t, but somehow I forgot to reply to your post.

I’m using flight mode to fake being offline, I think that’s equivalent right?

When I go back online, the newly created files are synced and I can see them on the web version immediately. I’m on version 1.0.15 though.

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No worries! I just thought it would be important to address the issue before it affects other users. But since no one else has complained it must be something on my end. By the way, I’m now on 1.0.16, same problem (and it happens even when I’m online, as soon as it syncs) :frowning:

I still haven’t reinstalled the app. Do you think there’s any way to recover what I lost? The items were previously saved online and I have their IDs in my browser history, but I’m guessing they’re gone for good…

If there’s anything I can do to help find out what’s happening (eg. by sending logs, debugging info…), don’t hesitate to tell me!

If you have their IDs or document titles, we can recover it for you.

So when you checked the web version, they are gone from there as well? Also you said you have their IDs in your browser history, but didn’t you create them in the desktop app which didn’t get to sync to the web?

Sorry I’m a bit confused here, just want to get all the details right before proceeding.

Oops, sorry for not being clear enough.

That’s great! I’ll PM you later.

Exactly!

I’ll use a few images to illustrate more or less what I did. I hope this is easy to understand.

Before the changes:

After the changes, before sync:

After sync:


I’ve just noticed another weird thing! I think the problem has something to do with the “root folder”… I have a few documents and one folder called “Reference” at the root. If I create a new item anywhere (document or folder), the following happens:

  1. Right after the item is created, I can open documents normally.
  2. As soon as the app’s status changes to “Saved”, I can’t open any document at the root anymore. If one of these documents was open, it’s immediately closed (but not if the document is inside “Reference”). I can’t open them anymore by clicking on them and they even disappear from the Ctrl+O list! However, I still can do anything normally in the folder “Reference” (they also don’t disappear from the Ctrl+O list). If I close and reopen the app, I can open these documents again.
  3. As soon as the status changes to “Synced”, newly created items at the root disappear, as I said in the OP. However, items created in “Reference” are successfully saved. More generally, anything I do in “Reference” is successfully synchronized.

As I said before, edits in existing items are synced normally, even at the root.

I hope this isn’t too confusing… I can record a video if you want.


By the way, just out of curiosity, are documents stored in plain text on the server?

Thanks again!

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Yes they are, why ask?

As for the disappeared document, is it called “IMPORTANT”, or was that just an example? PM me the name if it’s confidential, and we’ll see what we can do. Retrieving the document is the most urgent, and we can discuss how to reproduce the issue and fix it later. You should know how to avoid it for now, given the rich information you have. So sorry about that! :frowning:

To be honest, our current reality is making me more and more concerned about privacy, and even though it may not be necessary, it’s always a relief to know that everything is encrypted. So it’s basically curiosity =P

The more important document is called “Disciplinas cursáveis”. I don’t remember what the other one was called, but it wasn’t very important anyway.

Thanks!

I found one that matches the name. The last edit was 2 weeks ago. Is that the one?

I guess so! Yay! :grinning:

We tried to recover it. Can you log in the web version and see if it’s back?

It is! Thank you so much! :smiley:

The weird thing is that the parent folder and the other document are there too, which means they were successfully sent to the server even though they disappeared for me. I wonder if all the other documents and folders I created while troubleshooting (with titles like “Something” and “ffff”) were sent too :stuck_out_tongue:

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@Erica are they encrypted as rest? (Asking so an official answer is in this thread.)

No they are not. They are encrypted in transit though.

Could you expand on this more as to why it isn’t?

@Shida will reply this. I apologize in advance that there are technical details we shouldn’t really talk about in case someone with bad intentions reads it.

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The reason why our data isn’t encrypted at rest is for two major reasons:

First, because of the way our infrastructure is right now, we do not get any additional security from encrypting the data compared to leaving it unencrypted at rest. It merely give us and our users a false sense of security in addition to requiring more work to be done to encrypt and decrypt the data coming in and going out.

We do our best to keep the servers secure using standard industry practices, but if all of our efforts still fail to prevent unauthorized data access, then it’s almost certain that the malicious attacker can easily get access to our encryption key.

The second reason is more future-proofing. In the case we want to preform search operations on the server in the future, encryption will prevent us from being able to do so. It’s fairly common to leave out encryption for this reason, even for a large company like Slack: https://twitter.com/slackhq/status/467476452364279808

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Thanks for the explanation!

So, should I uninstall the app to see if it works again or is it still useful to leave it as it is for debugging? (I don’t mind using just the web app and the Android app for now.)

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You should be able to make it work by deleting everything under %appdata%/Dynalist/dynalist/data, no need to uninstall the app. Just quit app, delete the data files, and restart the app. It will re-pull everything from the server.

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