January 18, 2018

Revisions relies heavily on the API (Application Programming Interface) that Dropbox provides. This interface is the mechanism by which Revisions connects to Dropbox servers and finds out what files exist in your Dropbox account, and when they were created, modified, and deleted.

Dropbox is currently transitioning from the original version of the API (version 1), used in all existing versions of Revisions (Revisions 1.0 up to 2.3), to a new interface (API version 2) with quite significant changes to the ways that apps connect to and access files on Dropbox. The old API is already deprecated, but Revisions has an extension for its use until January 31st, 2018. From February 1st onwards, all existing versions of Revisions (up to and including version 2.3) will cease to function, as they will not be able to connect with the Dropbox servers anymore.

Thus, a new version of Revisions is needed. As the changes under the hood are quite substantial, the new version is called Revisions 3.0, and is now available for download from the Mac App Store and from the Revisions website. While the changes in the Dropbox API were substantial, almost all functionality inherent in Revisions 2.3 could be brought over to Revisions 3.0. However, as described below, there are some degradations in the information available in the API.

The following are the main changes from 2.3 to 3.0, from the user's perspective:

1. Revisions 3.0 now requires OS X 10.10 or higher. (More precisely, Revisions version 3.0 should work on OS X 10.10 "Yosemite", OS X 10.11 "El Capitan", macOS 10.12 "Sierra", and macOS 10.13 "High Sierra". Hopefully also on later versions of macOS, but at the time of writing this is naturally not yet known with certainty.)

2. I was not able to, with a reasonable effort, make the Dropbox API version transition completely seamless; unfortunately, a re-linking and re-index of the full Dropbox account is necessary. I understand that for those of you with large accounts and a long version history, this is a significant undertaking, but I could not easily avoid this. Please keep in mind that there is always the option of specifying "no indexing", i.e. to just start following along the changes in your Dropbox account from "now" on.

3. When a file is deleted in a shared folder, the new version of the Dropbox API no longer provides information specifying who (which user) deleted the file. In such cases, Revisions simply indicates that the user who deleted is "Unknown". Unfortunately, nothing can be done about this unless Dropbox fixes this problem in their API. If it is crucial to know who deleted a file in a shared folder, I believe the Dropbox website still displays this.

4. When a file is deleted and later restored (or, more precisely, a file exists again with the same name at the same path as the deleted file) then the fact that the file was ever deleted no longer shows up in the new version of the Dropbox API. If Revisions has been running when the file was deleted this is not a problem, but if the deletion happened while Revisions was not running then if the file reappears before Revisions has an opportunity to index then Revisions will not know that the file was ever deleted. This is probably not a very big deal in most circumstances, but it may be good to keep in mind. For example, when restoring or downloading a folder to some earlier timepoint, some files that were actually deleted at that timepoint may not be deleted in the result, as Revisions does not know they should be deleted. Again, unfortunately, nothing can be done about this unless Dropbox fixes this issue in their API.

5. The maximum number of file versions that the Dropbox API provides, for any given file, is now 100. This number used to be 1000 in the previous version of the Dropbox API. In most cases, 100 versions should be enough, but if some file changes very often, then when doing the initial index Revisions may not see all previous versions of a file.

I believe the above list of caveats are the main issues concerning updating from Revisions 2.3 to Revisions 3.0. In all other respects, the new version of Revisions should function precisely like the old version; please let me know if it does not!


April 23, 2017

One of the most frequently requested feature is to allow Revisions to connect to more than just one Dropbox account. In particular, many users have a work account in addition to a personal account, and want to use Revisions with both accounts.

Unfortunately, the way the app was designed and implemented, it would be difficult to implement a change that would allow multiple accounts. Thus, as a simple solution, I am releasing an "alternative" version of the app, which is essentially a copy of the app which can be run alongside the main version. This makes it possible to connect to two accounts simultaneously.

The downside of the approach is of course that there are then two icons in the (possibly already crowded) menu bar. Also, you'll need to set your desired preferences twice (though of course it can be seen as a good thing that you can tailor the preferences to the two accounts separately).

See the releases page for the download link!

If you have any questions or comments, email me.


March 26, 2017

Starting today, with the release of Revisions 2.3, all features of the app are available free of charge. The app asks only that you share your opinion of the app to unlock the full feature set.

To those of you who have previously purchased a Premium license, I am extremely grateful. I will continue to provide high-quality, priority support to each and every one of you. I'll also continue to provide best-effort support to other users, to the extent my time permits.

Why the change? The main reason is that, unfortunately, lately I have not been able to find the time needed to add new features to the app, and this situation looks unlikely to change in the near future. I don't feel comfortable accepting your hard-earned money for software that I am not able to properly develop at this time.

However, I'll continue working to ensure that the existing features of the app function correctly, and fixing any bugs as they are discovered. I am committed to keeping the app alive and well, and hope that I'll be able to develop the app further, at some later point in time.

As always, if you have any questions, just email me.