Large number of Conflicts when syncing a folder that used to be synced RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • So i used to have live mesh, and was using it to sync, for instance, my My Pictures folder between my laptop and desktop. But i stopped using it because the sync algo was terrible and it didn't understand 'updated' files or whatever. Now i've heard that its much better, so i've installed it again on both computers, and have chosen My Pictures to sync. But now i have an insane number of conflicts, between files that are the same, but have mondified times that are like 12 minutes apart... it'll say 50 conflicts, i say 'Keep this one' (bottom one) and 'do for next 49 conflicts' and then it pops right back up with another batch of 50... You'd think that it'd see that these are *the same file*....

    I did some googling (im sorry, their search algos are just better... plus 'googling' has become a verb, you cant say 'i've been doing some live-searching, it just doesnt flow.. =p) and found this review of 'syncplicity'. While i have no interest in the product, the author did put his idea 'conflict management' at the bottom, and i agree fully:

    Ideally, what I would like to see out of a conflict management tool is something like this:

    System Tray Notification:
    There are 1863 file conflicts that need your attention. Click the bubble to view them.

    When you click the notification a dialogue box pops up with a table of all conflicts. You then scroll through the list and select what you want to do with each conflict and then hit the “resolve” button and let the application process the results in the background.

    The list should be a simple, interactive interface.

    At the end of the background task, you would get another system tray notification telling you the task was complete and offering a report. This would show any failures or unresolvable conflicts for you to follow-up manually, but should result in the bulk (if not all) of the conflicts being resolved and allowing the user to get on with working and not lose hours to resolving conflicts one by one (as I have so far and will continue to do until I clear the backlog).

    The difference engine in the synchronisation tool should be intelligent enough to check file contents and determine if there are any byte differences or if the files are exact copies. Conflicts that are only a difference in the date stamp on the file could be auto-selected to “keep latest” in the initial table of conflicts, while others that have differences would be left to the user to decide.

    The synchronisation tool could be configurable to allow the user to select their own visual difference tool - I use the excellent open source WinMerge - so that they could view differences between files to make a decision and manage how to proceed. The sync tool could also have its own in-built basic visual difference tool for users who don’t use their own. This is OK for ASCII files, but more complex for binary files (although not insurmountable).

    Taken from:

    Cheers, and thanks for reading.
    I really do think live mesh has the potential to absolutely takeover the whole synchroised-cloud computing and data realm, an area that microsoft REALLY has an absolute DIRE need to takeover, in order to stand a chance against Google and its webapps. Mesh already offers much of what i'd consider a perfect client, but guarenteed success will only come by quickly and efficiently taking common user suggestions, and implementing them well.

    Thursday, April 16, 2009 10:27 AM

All replies

  • Thanks for the post and your comments which I know many agree with. :-)

    It would great if you could go to Connect and vote for the various Sync suggestions that have already been filed, addressing many of the concerns you've raised regarding conflict resolution and synchronization in general.
    See this post for how to do that:

    Live Mesh Beta: Suggestions - Go cast your vote!


    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare & Live Mesh Forum Moderator
    Thursday, April 16, 2009 1:21 PM