Hi all,

Just sharing a recent observation/discovery. I'm using TheBrain (service only) on macOS Sierra 10.12.6 and discovered a possible bug, or at least potential source of panic, by accident. 

  • I turned off iCloud Drive for my Desktop and Documents folders.
  • Went back to TB and wanted to sync latest changes. The sync couldn't start (the sync wheel would show up and disappear in less than a second) and shortly afterwards, TB crashed.
  • Since TB had been crashing kinda regularly for me, I didn't think much of it and simply restarted but was stunned to see this:
Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 10.10.58.png
  • I realised that TB files are stored in my Documents folder and realised that my turning off iCloud for my Documents folder may have caused something to break.
  • So turned iCloud Drive back on for Desktop and Documents and restarted TB and was relieved to see everything back to normal—Brains showed up and synced normally.
  • Switching iCloud Drive back on resulted in a duplicate folder being created but I could delete it with no problems:
Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 10.12.06.png  

I suppose it's harmless to have to leave iCloud Drive on but this may be a potential problem for macOS users who want to turn off iCloud Drive for whatever reason? I'm not even sure if TB 9 will work if iCloud Drive was already turned off before installation.

I'm just glad I didn't lose weeks of hard work and lots of important data due to casually switching some setting on or off in my MacBook that I didn't know would impact my TB 9 installation! 

Still in all, an amazing app. New user but already TheBrain feels indispensable for a person like myself who is more interested in the context and relationships between nodes of data, rather than just the points of data in themselves.
Silver Huang

2017 MBA + macOS Mojave 10.14.6 | 8 Plus + iOS 12.4.1
TheBrain |
Ohhh, that's not good. I think it's because of what macOS did by moving stuff around when that happened, but this might be important enough to e-mail support as well. 

If you do want to turn iCloud off, these steps should work (I first typed will, but while I've done the following steps before, I haven't with the iCloud document sync, so only have 98% certainty):

Open TheBrain, and make sure all brains are synchronized.
Make a backup by choosing File > Backup to Brain Archive. Make sure you save them somewhere that isn't affected by turning off iCloud.
Delete the local brains only (DO NOT DELETE the remote brain)
Turn off iCloud document sync. After it's completed making the changes:
Open TheBrain. Restore your Brain archive files (File > Import, browse to the archive file)
Synchronize each database. 

You could do this also by just deleting the local version, and then turning off iCloud and then opening TheBrain and clicking the icons (which will re-download the brain from the cloud), but restoring the archives will be much faster if they are large databases.
macOS 10.14.6
TheBrain 10.0.54
Thanks @zenrain. I wasn't sure whether or not to email support because I had resolved it on my own and I had already put in two other tickets for Google Calendar sync and another bug (when creating Thoughts under Types, selected Tags don't save to Thought), so didn't want to "flood" support, so to speak. 😅

I will probably leave iCloud Drive on just to simplify. My current Brain is so chock full of data that I don't want to risk anything unnecessary! I do sync regularly and will make a habit of making manual backups with Brain Archives too just in case.
Silver Huang

2017 MBA + macOS Mojave 10.14.6 | 8 Plus + iOS 12.4.1
TheBrain |


Can I assume from the above that it is safe to store The Brain data folder in the iCloud Drive folder?

This is something I would like in order to be able to work on The Brain on two Macs but it seems that this is not recommended.

I realize this is an old thread, but just to set the record straight, it is not recommended that you store your Brain data in any directory being synced to iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.  This will result in data corruption.  Here's the explanation behind this recommendation:

A simple file-based sync does not work properly for many reasons. For instance, many large files are modified in small but interdependent ways when the database is changed. Thus, a file-based sync is not only very inefficient, but also prone to corrupting the database. (When for example, the same database file is modified in two different places at once, a file-based sync will have no choice but to ignore one of those changes - likely corrupting the entire database!)

Additionally, there are factors beyond just the visible data that need to be kept in sync, such as index information, internal IDs that are different across machines, and so on.

This is why DropBox and other file-based sync services will work, but cannot be relied on since they tend to lead to corruption as soon as: 1) Changes are made to the data from more than one place at a time or 2) A sync is only partially completed before changes are made at the receiving computer. Worse yet, the database may only become partially corrupted so that you do not find out about the problem until weeks or months later when you cannot easily revert to a backup.

We recommend backing up your Brain on TheBrain Cloud. If syncing to TheBrain Cloud is not an option for you, a Brain Archive (.brz) is the next best thing. BRZ backups, however, need to be created manually.

Dropbox and other file based sync systems are a great service and they have managed to scale it to a huge number of users, however, syncing files and folders is far simpler than syncing Brains. A Brain is a complex, interconnected network of nodes built on a database backend, it's not as simple as syncing individual files. The sync of Brains is a highly specialized piece of engineering that we have literally been working on for well over 10 years.

Thank you,

An old thread indeed but still current. Thanks for the clarification and explanation.


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