Why so much criticism of Dropbox?

Copy that. I misunderstood, thanks for clarifying!

Only thing I used Dropbox for is for Alfred sync. Would also prefer to move away from it but Alfred needs it…

I’m trying to sync Alfred with iCloud despite the warnings. So far so good. Of course I will be careful to let one machine sync before starting the other, like in the good old days of cloud sync.

I interchange between 2 macs very often, so better stick to DB since Alfred developers strongly advice against iCloud :smirk:

1 Like

Careful with Alfred and iCloud. I won’t say it won’t work, but when i tried it I noticed as you did the warning. Then I found that all my snippets were GONE. iCloud? Dunno. Whatever.

I was able to jump through the hoops and get them back and move Alfred sync folder to Dropbox. It’s small.

Although I’m a long time Dropbox customer and don’t have many misgivings, I do like their features. but it’s just too expensive given the minimum is 2tb which I don’t need 90% of that. I’m working to migrate to Google Drive and iCloud. Neither does everything I’ve grown used to with Dropbox, but I’m going to give it a couple of months to see if me (and those I share files with) can live with where we move to. I’ll end up with both, I think, with a “free” Dropbox account for things like Alfred and Scrivener which I don’t want to try to bend them to my will to make work elsewhere. Life’s too short.

1 Like

Thank you and thanks @rms. I know I’m living on the edge here :sweat_smile: and I have been warned. Thing is, I want to leave Dropbox for good and especially not install their client on my Macs.

If iCloud bites me with Alfred, I’d sooner set up a direct sync solution (Chronosync, Resilio and the likes) than resort to Dropbox. Which should be possible I guess.

1 Like

FWIW, I’ve been syncing Alfred (and Keyboard Maestro, and Hazel, and Typinator, and more…) using Resilio Sync for several years and it has worked flawlessly for me.


The company that develops Resilio Sync appears to be either MIA or DOA. There hasn’t been an update since July 2020 and it was a long time between that one and the previous, too. There are no responses from any staff on their forums, and many of their forum users appear to have switched over to Syncthing.

(I’m looking at doing the same, just haven’t had time to really look at it, and, since RS is still working fine, even under Rosetta, I’m not in too much of a rush.)


Hmm. I’ve been meaning to give Resilio a try for a while now, but it sounds like now might not be a great time to get into it. Hadn’t heard of Syncthing before.

1 Like

I’ve actually decided that today is the day that I set up a folder with it and sync it between my Mini and MacBook Air.

1 Like

Thanks for the experience and the pointer towards Syncthing. I actually have other stuff (music libraries) I would need to sync at some point using such a solution so it looks like the way to go! Maybe I’ll chicken out and move Alfred’s preferences out of iCloud before anything breaks. :sweat_smile:

FWIW, Resilio Sync for iOS appears to have been updated very recently.

Resilio seems to be focusing on the enterprise, so that might account for their lack of response.

Syncthing is open source (available on GitHub), which is good, but there’s no iOS version.


And one of the reasons we keep advocating shorter names with safe punctuation and no emoji.
Thanks for sharing the experience @ryanjamurphy :slight_smile:

Are there really people who put emoji in their filenames!?

1 Like

They aren’t technically emoji, but I use the following symbols in filenames as prefixes to denote certain types of notes:

  • ᐤ := open
  • • := closed
  • ∵ := responsibility
  • ᠅ := role
  • △ := project
  • ⟁ := subject
  • ⧉ := inbox
  • ☰ := wayfinder
  • ∎ := summary
  • ꆜ := Person

It provides me with a visual grammar, and allows me to quickly filter notes via autocomplete functions.

I dunno if I recommend that anyone else do it, but it works for me. To invoke another emoji: :man_shrugging:

1 Like

We don’t see it a ton, but yes we see filenames and database names with emoji in them. I had a ticket with emoji in a database name a few days ago. It wasn’t the cause of an issue in this case, but I still cautioned him to be aware of potential issues.

1 Like

I’m still mad that when Apple created APFS it kept the restriction to prevent : in filenames!

I understand restricting / as a Unix path indicator, but : shouldn’t have been a restriction in Mac OS X except for the fact that people were still using Classic and HFS+.

But now I’m guessing the : restriction will probably outlive me. Because if they didn’t change it now, I can’t imagine they ever will.

1 Like

When Apple abandoned the Xserve they left medium to large businesses with no choice other than move to Windows or Linux servers. And Windows servers as well as Linux/Samba servers both restrict certain special characters.

Is it possible Apple may have restricted some of these characters to head off known problems for these users?

1 Like

DB has served me well since dude came up with it.

maybe I don’t know better.

Absolutely. I use them all the time as markers of ideas, hypotheses and constructs in fiction writing. Allows me to see immediately what is under construction and what has been built.

That’s a reasonable thought, but if they were concerned with that, I think there are other characters that at least Windows doesn’t like in filenames.

OTOH, if you were backing up an APFS drive to HFS drive, having different “allowed” characters, could be a problem, so if I had to guess, Apple probably kept it for HFS compatibility more than Windows/Linux.

Dropbox has an article Naming Dropbox Files and Folders which includes this warning:

To ensure the best experience with Dropbox across all platforms and operating systems, we recommend following these guidelines when naming files and folders in your Dropbox account. This includes Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, iPad, and Linux. Each operating system has its own file and folder name limitations, but the recommendations below cover all of them.

Even if you don’t get an error message when you name a file on your operating system, if you don’t follow the guidelines below, it could cause a problem when you try to open or sync the file on another operating system.

It goes on to recommend avoiding all of these:

/ (forward slash)
\ (backslash)
< (less than)
> (greater than)
: (colon)
" (double quote)
| (vertical bar or pipe)
? (question mark)
* (asterisk)
. (period)
emojis or emoticons