Dropbox export is fine but import is empty

William Alba's Avatar

William Alba

22 Sep, 2012 02:47 PM

I am mystified by troubles with Dropbox import.

If I use Dropbox to export and import an individual Note, the import has the name "Dropbox import of -.txt" -- it's not simply the text of the original Note.

When I export Pages and Books, I can view and edit them on my Mac. However, when I import a Page or Book, it is has a similar name as above. This is true even if I simply export a Page or Book to Dropbox and immediately import it (without touching the file on the Mac), and even with default files such as "ThinkBook Manual."

The only thing that gets imported are the titles (with the extra surrounding text). Any Pages and Books are always empty.

Am I misunderstanding some fundamental process, or is this a bug?

  1. 1 Posted by William Alba on 23 Sep, 2012 02:30 AM

    William Alba's Avatar

    OK, I have resolved this issue.

    First, my own files that had been causing troubles contained characters such as multiple dashes, square brackets, and angle brackets. When I removed these characters, I was now able to import them as non-blank files. I strongly recommend that a complete list of problematic characters be prominently displayed within Help for the ThinkBook app.

    Second, it took me a while to understand the distinction between "Get text from Dropbox" (accessible by double-tapping on the left of an entry) and "Read .txt from Dropbox" (accessible from the Gear icon in the lower left of the menubar). I think much of my confusion was caused by mixing-and-matching the first method for sending and receiving text files with the second method. So if a user double-taps ThinkBook Manual to "Send text to Dropbox" and then uses the Gear icon to "Read .txt from Dropbox", the result is a single-line entry with no contents. This is definitely confusing, because it seems to me the user is expected to remember forever which of these two methods was used to generate every .txt files in the ThinkBook folder on Dropbox.

    In summary, my problems were resolved by eliminating certain characters from my file (and it sure would be great to have a comprehensive and easily accessible list of offending characters), and by more carefully keeping track of the two methods to send plaintext files to Dropbox (but there has to be some way to flag this difference better to the user).

  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by emolina on 02 Oct, 2012 10:42 PM

    emolina's Avatar

    William, I thought most of the encoding issues were fixed. Are you sure you are running the most recent version of TB?

    When you select 'read txt from dropbox', don't you have to select which file you read in?

  3. 3 Posted by Oliver Matthews on 08 Nov, 2012 06:29 AM

    Oliver Matthews's Avatar

    I can confirm this on the latest version.

    Steps to recreate:

    1. Create a new note, enter text using multiple [[,]] pairs (for instance 'Kat walked to the [[Anchor Pub]] to speak to [[David Trench]].'
    2. Send text to dropbox
    3. Get Text from Dropbox

    Expected result: Step 3 has no effect
    Actual result: Text is truncated to ']] to speak to [[David Trench]].'

    I get the same using write to / read from dropbox and selecting the file. I can confirm the file is written correctly - it is the import that is causing problems.

  4. 4 Posted by Oliver Matthews on 09 Nov, 2012 09:49 AM

    Oliver Matthews's Avatar

    Single [,] pairs can also cause it. Adding this line:
    -- [ Hello ] To a file is enough to stop it importing.

  5. 5 Posted by Oliver Matthews on 09 Nov, 2012 09:59 AM

    Oliver Matthews's Avatar

    Additional comment (last for now, I think, honest). These bugs only seem to occur on files that are being imported as thinkbook format - the plain text importer doesn't have the problems, so I'm pretty sure its the parser code.

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