Help/Show Documents Folder opens empty folder

Graham Norris's Avatar

Graham Norris

03 Jul, 2022 08:41 AM

I know this hasn't always been the case, but I don't often do this, so I have no idea how long the problem has existed: could even be years! (Currently running 2022.4 (4087).)

  1. 1 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 03 Jul, 2022 09:31 AM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    So what do you actually see?

    Works for me.

    Where is your dataset located?

    Can you post help/Console window here?

  2. 2 Posted by Graham Norris on 03 Jul, 2022 10:10 AM

    Graham Norris's Avatar

    Well, I see an Explorer window for a directory where there are no files.

    FWIW, Toolbox knows where my data files live - which isn't where Moneydance opens when Show Documents Folder is used.

    It looks like Moneydance is opening the folder which would be the default location for a new install, instead of where the data actually lives. It opens what Toolbox probably calls "MD System Roor Directory" but Explorer doesn't show the actual path, just something in Quick Access.

    Help/Show Backup Folder *does* show the correct directory - which is probably not the clean install default backup directory, but since I've not clean installed for years, I do not know for sure. (Toolbox gets this right too.)

  3. 3 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 03 Jul, 2022 10:40 AM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    OK, so 'Help/Show Documents Folder' opens the default internal storage directory, not where your files actually live... It's always been that way. The developers WANT users to always put their data in this hidden Mac location where no-one can find it.. I personally disagree and users (who know what they are doing) should be able to put it anywhere they want, in a much more easy fashion.... (I've had the 'debate')....

  4. 4 Posted by Graham Norris on 03 Jul, 2022 11:27 AM

    Graham Norris's Avatar

    While I'm not convinced MD never got this right, I certainly agree about keeping my data organised where I want to, not in some semi-random location as chosen by 101 different application developers - and most definitely not on the Windows C: drive!

  5. 5 Posted by dwg on 03 Jul, 2022 11:51 AM

    dwg's Avatar

    I do not recall Moneydance ever showing anything other than the default document location. With the current setup I do not think there is a viable alternative, the location of the currently open Data set may not be appropriate either. I think for any change there would need to be a user specified default location in preferences in the same way that there is a user defined backup location.

    As it currently stands I think you could, if you wanted, use a sym link or junction point to point the default location to where you have your files stored.

  6. Support Staff 6 Posted by Ethan on 03 Jul, 2022 09:04 PM

    Ethan's Avatar

    For the record, we were pretty much forced into choosing this kind of default location for data files to meet Apple's sandboxing requirements to be able to sell Moneydance on the Mac App Store. We tried several ways to get around that, and the program updates were rejected for that reason each time.

    The above comments are correct that the Help -> Show Documents Folder has only ever opened this default file location. Personally I've thought a Show File Location option would be better, but I've also lost that debate. (So far!)

    The other side of this issue is the enormous number of people who used to move or delete their data files by accident, even though the old default used to be the system's home or documents folder, which you'd think people would be careful with. It's surprising how many people still don't understand the differences between a program and data files, thinking that their information is somehow stored 'in the app.' We've tried to strike a balance between these folks, and those who understand things like data files and can move them wherever they want.

    Infinite Kind Support

  7. 7 Posted by Graham Norris on 03 Jul, 2022 09:26 PM

    Graham Norris's Avatar

    ** Reply to message from Ethan <[email blocked]> on Sun, 03 Jul 2022
    21:04:36 +0000 (UTC)

    How does a Mac Store requirement affect Windows?

    In any case, having a "Help" option which is unreliable and confusing is just plain ...
    I'll not mince my words ... stupid.

    As for people who move their data files and lose them, how on earth does it help if the
    location the program shows them, is where they'd have moved them *FROM*?

    (I do note that Toolboox has an option to hunt for the files, but are there really that
    many people who manage to lose them? I've never used a Mac (IBM mainframes, DEC VAX,
    Netware, PC's with CP/M, OS/2, Windows and Linux though) but is it really so easy to
    accidentally move and lose your data files on a Mac?)

    Also, how come Help/Show Backup Folder gets the backup location right? Lack of
    consistency is another very unhelpful quality!


  8. 8 Posted by DavidRoss on 13 Jul, 2022 06:19 AM

    DavidRoss's Avatar

    I do understand the sandboxing requirements. Since 100's of other developers (not you) drop lots of junk in the user directory tree, it is really useless as a place to organize files and folders of user data that is to be mirrored, encrypted, and backed up regularly.

    For that reason, I have my moneydance data files and archives in a different directory tree (but not a remote/network location because the MD help clearly says not to do that). There is no way to change the \Users\<user>\.moneydance location. But can we be assured that if we have a hard drive failure, we can get back to work if we have a backup of the data file and are able to reinstall MD? Or are some of the files essential and need to be specially backed up? conflict.dict and errlog seem to be generated fresh each time the program is run, so loss of those doesn't seem to be a big deal and encryption doesn't seem to be necessary.

  9. 9 Posted by dwg on 13 Jul, 2022 06:47 AM

    dwg's Avatar

    I'm a fellow user.

    A backup of your data files is all that you need to restore the data.

    The error log is recreated each time you start Moneydance. The config.dict file is permanent, it contains your preferences, if it does not exist it will be created with default values.

    The various files and folders in the default location relate to the specific user they do not relate to a specific data set, you could have one data set you could have many, a Moneydance backup is of the one specific data set and only that.

  10. 10 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 13 Jul, 2022 07:40 AM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    Unless you are Apple AppStore sandboxed, then you can put your dataset wherever you want (except NOT on a cloud folder). A backup (File / Export Backup), as dwg says, is all you really need. The only other thing you need is your license key from config.dict, but that can be recovered from IK.

    Note: encryption is ALWAYS on. If you don’t set a password, then an internal default secret is used.

  11. System closed this discussion on 12 Oct, 2022 07:50 AM.

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