Questions regarding odrive badging and placeholder files/folders

In response to this this video here:
I liked this format, by the way. It allowed me to clearly understand your questions.

The questions can be boiled down to the following:
How are the odrive badges determined?
How do placeholder files and folders function?

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odrive’s progressive sync engine introduces a unique concept in syncing. It is not the binary state system that other sync engines have in which the objects in a folder either exist locally, or they don’t. With that type of system a green checkmark on parent folders is easily determined. If all of the objects within the parent folder - which can be files and folders with many levels - are downloaded locally, then the folder is checked green and deemed to be in sync.

With the view of the odrive client, you can have a structure that is:

  • not exposed (a cloudf placeholder file)
  • partially exposed (certain sections of the folder are exposed, but other are not and nothing has been locally cached),
  • fully exposed (the entire structure is visible, but nothing is locally cached. i.e. you can see everything, but all files are still placeholder .cloud files, taking up no space)
  • partially cached (partially/fully exposed, with files/folders are cached locally, to some degree)
  • fully exposed and locally cached (everything in the folder is local. This is akin to what you would see in a “synced” folder for a standard sync engine like Dropbox).

When badging comes into play with odrive, it presents some challenges for representing these different states, specifically when viewing the “roll-up” badges on parent folders. How do you represent the partial states of the underlying structure?

Our stance is that the badging should represent the intention of the user. This means that a green badge can be shown on a top-level folder, if all of the items the user wished to sync are now in sync.

So, for example, if you are looking at a placeholder folder (.cloudf file), this will not be badged. It is in a clear state of being “unsynced”, taking up no space and exposing nothing of its structure. The same goes for a placeholder file (.cloud file). Since the user has not chosen to sync the file or folder, in any way, they are left unbadged.

Now, if you double-click a placeholder folder, the folder will “expand” and the underlying structure will be exposed. Some, or all, of files inside could be downloaded at this point, depending on the auto download limit that is set: In any case, once the action is completed, the folder will be marked with a green badge, indicating that the items you wanted synced inside, as per your explicit actions and your configured settings, are now synced. In other words, the folder is synced within your specific context. If you choose to sync a placeholder file inside this folder, the folder will have its green badge removed until the action is completed, then it will be reapplied, indicating, again, that everything inside has been synced according to your wishes.

This level of customization and flexibility can be confusing when you don’t know what to expect, especially when coming from the traditional sync engine model.

For further information, I would like to point to a few specific sections of the usage guide:
A walkthrough of placeholder files -
Sync all -
Folder sync rules -
Unsync -

I suspect that I may not have addressed everything, so let me know what is still outstanding.

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Hi Tony, thanks for taking the time to provide a lengthy response. I’m still confused on some things, just not as confused. One question I thought of right now is how you mentioned that a folder can have a green badge. This green badge indicates that all the items are now in sync. However, I don’t see that. At least with one specific folder. Maybe it’s because on Windows it shows the badge blue instead of green?

That folder doesn’t have any badge and it resides on the Desktop. I don’t know if it helps to mention I have hundreds of Desktop icons and folders, knowing how buggy Windows can be with the Desktop.

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Yeah, sorry for the confusion. It’s more of a turquoise (bluish-green) than green. When a folder does not have a badge and it is not a placeholder, it generally indicates that it has a changed that needs to be pushed to the cloud.

Do you have anything in waiting? Do you have the right-click odrive options on that folder?
As you said, it is also possible that Windows is just not drawing the badge on the Desktop, which I have seen happen sometimes, along with drawing random badges instead of the proper ones… although a F5 refresh usually corrects that.

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Nothing was in wait, and it looks like it syncs perfectly. Hitting F5 and doing a PC restart does nothing. Having the icon indicator would be really nice.

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I have to ask, why not offer different icons? A green icon for full synchronization (On Windows it is light blue, not even blue-ish green, and I’m seeing that on two monitors), one for yellow where it is a combination of different synchronization levels (some folders are synced, some are un-synced).

I can understand ODrive has a different method or philosophy with the icons, but no matter how many times I’ve been looking at my ODrive folder; I still think everything with a check mark is in-sync (but some are placeholder files, I can’t mentally keep track of which folders have placeholder files or full blown files after just taking a peak at the contents of the parent folder).

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Appreciate the feedback Chris and I understand your point of view. It is something that has been discussed internally, as well.

There is a possibility of changes in the future and there have been recent discussions in this area, but nothing solid yet.

For now, does the behavior make sense, even if it may lack the precision you would prefer?

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Looks to me that the definition of “Sync” is not the same across different users. So, there should be different a feature for types of “Sync” which is defining how you are syncing or un-syncing.

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