MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
53,519
15,250



syncconflict.jpg


MobileMe's sync conflict resolver. Via BusySync
When it runs into conflicting data, Apple's upcoming iCloud service will automatically determine which is the correct one without bringing the user into it, according to Daring Fireball's John Gruber. Speaking on The Talk Show with Dan Benjamin, Gruber lays out what he believes to be iCloud's course of action in dealing with sync conflicts: (via MacStories)
In iCloud, I believe you will never be presented with [a sync conflict] dialog, no matter how much has changed in one of the instances while it was "offline". The server-side iCloud, when there seemingly is a conflict, will make a decision and it will decide which one is the best (in Apple’s terms the "truth"). That is what Steve Jobs means when he says "The Truth is in the Cloud." iTunes will decide which one is right and that's it. iCloud will push that right one to any device that has this account that has a different version.

But, here's the trick – what happens if it's not the right one? On the server side, it will remember all of the other ones, almost like versioning. There will be some sort of interface like "go and look at your contacts." There will be some sort of way to say "show me previous versions and let me pick the one that is right". You pick it and push it back up into the cloud and tell it "that's the truth" and Apple will push it out.
Currently, MobileMe pops up a dialog box (shown above) forcing users to resolve conflicts, before a sync can continue.

Apple hasn't officially revealed many details about exactly how its new services are going to work, iTunes Match nor the other various bits of iCloud. Gruber claims this isn't just a theory, that he knows is sure this is how iCloud will work. We'll know more when iCloud launches this fall.

Article Link: iCloud to Auto-Resolve Sync Conflicts
 

res1233

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2008
1,127
0
Brooklyn, NY
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Not such a bad idea. I'd decide it based on date modified if that's possible. Odds are the most recent change is the right one.
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,934
1,263
Washington DC
Although they seem to be dabbling in guesswork I have to imagine that they're right. I can't imagine that Apple would come up with file-versioning in Lion and somehow ignore such features on the cloud side.
 

cmaier

macrumors Core
Jul 25, 2007
22,958
27,882
California
Not quite true, if you read the iOS developer guidelines for using iCloud storage. (It may well be that all the built-in apps work this way, though).
 

adam1185

macrumors regular
Apr 30, 2004
217
0
He also pointed out that iBooks page syncing is an example of iCloud syncing in action. If you have two devices and take them both offline and then flip to a different page on each device....which page is going to be the 'truth' once both devices go back online?
 

cmaier

macrumors Core
Jul 25, 2007
22,958
27,882
California
He also pointed out that iBooks page syncing is an example of iCloud syncing in action. If you have two devices and take them both offline and then flip to a different page on each device....which page is going to be the 'truth' once both devices go back online?

Whichever one was changed last in time? Whichever one is the highest page number? Either choice would make sense.
 

caspersoong

macrumors 6502a
Feb 27, 2011
604
30
I wonder how it will decide. I have too many services using the same calendar so I hope iOS 5 will not mess it up.
 

HelveticaNeue

macrumors 6502a
Apr 24, 2010
639
44
I think this is fantastic. I hate seeing those MobileMe conflict windows. It makes me doubt myself every time.

Now if only we could somehow get versions or Time Machine for iPad to restore former documents.
 

kingsmuse

macrumors newbie
Dec 8, 2010
19
0
I`m not digging this.

iCloud canot possibly know how to mesh any conflicts in my syncing better than I do.

In fact the more I read about Lion and iCloud the more I want to hang onto Snow Leopard.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
Cool—just like iOS spell-checking: most of the time you DO want the auto-correction, so that’s a sensible default. But you can then revert easily if it turns out to be wrong.
 

tigress666

macrumors 68040
Apr 14, 2010
3,288
17
Washington State
I`m not digging this.

iCloud canot possibly know how to mesh any conflicts in my syncing better than I do.

In fact the more I read about Lion and iCloud the more I want to hang onto Snow Leopard.

It sounds like you still get the option to choose. Except now it will finish the rest of the synch and then ask you which to keep so you don't have to answer right away before the synch will finish so you can feel a little freer to really look and decide.
 

pavinder

macrumors regular
Jan 16, 2009
119
54
It sounds like you still get the option to choose. Except now it will finish the rest of the synch and then ask you which to keep so you don't have to answer right away before the synch will finish so you can feel a little freer to really look and decide.

Exactly this point.

The old problem was simply that the entire sync was put on hold until decisions were made.

As long as you have a way to check what conflicts were encountered (a simple list of flagged items) and choose which version to use, this looks like a perfect solution to me.
 

ARobinson

macrumors member
Jun 15, 2011
38
0
Los Angeles, CA
The way they laid out the post is very confusing. If this is how iCloud will work, the path of correction will be very simple. The cloud won't tell the user he is wrong.

Gruber said this: "It will act like a “black box”. Most cases it will go by the most recently implemented change — it will be undefined. The key is that if there is a conflict, they will remember the different conflicting versions. If it picks the “wrong truth” it will be able to go back and get the right one. That’s what I mean when I say no more merging or conflicts. iCloud will make its best guess at merging & conflicts other than having you pick it."

The cloud will make the best educated guess that you will ultimately have control over. Only if, of course, Gruber's theories prove factual.
 

wonderspark

macrumors 68040
Feb 4, 2010
3,048
102
Oregon
If my secretary adds an appointment to my calendar (remotely via the office) after I've already booked something myself, it's likely her newer entry will not be "the truth" at all, and my prior appointment will be written over. I could then miss my proper appointment because I didn't "verify" it prior, and that would suck.

It would need to be an option, or I'd have to fire people with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my appointments. And they will KNOW my name is The...

...sorry, got carried away there.
 

richard.mac

macrumors 603
Feb 2, 2007
6,292
3
51.50024, -0.12662
if iCloud automatically picks the conflict that has more details and a more recent modified date then i have no problem with this. also good that it will have a manual conflict selector.
 

JackieTreehorn

macrumors 6502
May 22, 2005
460
396
Amsterdam
Hopefully this will also fix the 'new activity' issue where a new appointment named 'new activity' gets pushed to MobileMe without ever being renamed. I have ended up with numerous 'new activity' in my calendars with only one Mac holding the correct appointment (i.e. tennis with Leon).

Most, most annoying.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.