Yojimbo Sync FAQ

Since the release of Yojimbo 4.0, we've gotten some questions and feedback about its syncing support. This FAQ is the definitive collection of answers.


Does syncing work?

Yes! Most of the work that went into Yojimbo 4.0 was to reimplement support for syncing multiple Macs, and to remove support for the no-longer-available MobileMe.


Does syncing use iCloud?

Yojimbo 4.0’s synchronization does not use iCloud; the reasons why are outlined here. Instead, we’ve partnered with Wasabi World Wide Heavy Industries to provide synchronization services for Yojimbo customers.


Does it cost money to sync?

Yes; Yojimbo syncing is provided as a subscription service. The first 30 days are free, and the subscription charge is US$2.99 per month thereafter. You may cancel your subscription at any time; if you do, Yojimbo will simply stop synchronizing your data between your Macs — you won’t lose any of your stored information.


Why charge for sync at all? Shouldn't it be free?

Even when sync services appear to be “free”, you’re paying for them. For example, iCloud is “free,” in that there is no direct charge for basic usage; but it is paid for with revenue from other sources, such as hardware sales and App Store content.

In some cases, sync services are provided on a “freemium” basis, in which limited use of the service is free; but you have to pay for additional capacity, or access, or other services; or you are required to suffer through advertising as the price of “free”.

We considered these matters when determining pricing for Yojimbo sync. We concluded that there is no possible way we could have charged enough up front for a Yojimbo license to sustain a free-for-all model.

In the case of “freemium”, we discarded this model for two reasons: first, and simplest, it’s unfair to the paying customers, who end up subsidizing the non-paying customers.

Our second reason for discarding “freemium” sync pricing is out of respect for our customers. As a paying customer, you will never need to question our motivations in providing a “free” service. As a paying customer, you will never have to worry that your data is being aggregated, or analyzed for advertising, or sold to some third party, or otherwise being misused for gain in order to support a “free” product or service.

Sync services for Yojimbo are value added to the product. We provide that value at a fair and reasonable price to support the ongoing operation of the infrastructure and the livelihoods of the people who stand behind it.


Why does it cost so much? I heard somewhere that it only cost you $0.005 per month.

Some folks have found the Wasabi Sync developer price chart, which contains the basic pricing structure for services to developers — not the entire cost of providing sync to end-users. That rate structure does not include data storage and transfer charges, and other special services that we require for Yojimbo syncing.

And, of course, there’s more to providing a sync service than just moving the bits around. There’s customer service for folks who need help with their subscriptions; there’s technical support for customers when they encounter difficulty; coordinating with the sync service provider as necessary; and those are all services that we provide, which require staff and resources.


Will you start using iCloud again some day?

It cost us a great deal of time and expense to try to make iCloud syncing work in Yojimbo. When we concluded that iCloud syncing was not going to work, we put forth our best effort into selecting and implementing a syncing system that would work; and we undertook to deliver it to our customers with the level of simplicity and reliability that is one of the hallmarks of Yojimbo itself.

Thus, the current syncing implementation is not a patch, nor a band-aid, nor a stopgap, nor a temporary fix — it is what we have decided on and committed to for Yojimbo sync. Thus, we have no plans to pursue the use of iCloud for syncing within the foreseeable future. Should we choose to reconsider the issue, Yojimbo is designed in such a way that we can readily adapt it.


Now that iCloud is fixed in Mavericks, will you add support for it?

We have not yet ascertained whether iCloud in Mavericks is suitable for Yojimbo's needs, and prefer to focus our efforts on moving the product forward using our current sync solution. (Please also see "Will you start using iCloud again some day?".)


Why didn't you use Dropbox for syncing? I'm already a Dropbox customer.

Dropbox is a fine service for sharing files between multiple computers. However, Dropbox is not suitable for synchronizing between Core Data applications; you can’t just dump your database in a Dropbox and have it work reliably. (There does exist a way to place your Yojimbo data in Dropbox and have it sort of work; but this is a complicated process, with stringent restrictions. Most importantly, using Dropbox to share a Yojimbo datastore can risk data loss due to the potential for conflicts between multiple computers.)

The Dropbox Datastore API is intended to provide a database-appropriate fit for syncing. However, at this writing the Datastore API is only available for iOS, and remains unavailable for OS X; and it does not provide a suitable interface to the OS-provided data storage system that Yojimbo uses.


What happens to my data if there's an outage, or if Wasabi Sync gets out of the business?

Absolutely nothing happens to your data. Because of the way Yojimbo works, your data is stored locally on your computer, and the sync service is simply a conduit for moving your items back and forth to keep all of your computers up to date. If the sync service stops working, the only thing that happens is that items aren’t moved between your computers. You won’t lose anything.

The hypothetical situation would be similar to what happened after MobileMe shut down: sync simply stops happening, but your Yojimbo data will remain unaffected on all of your computers.


What assurance do I have that you or Wasabi won't abandon this?

We have a twenty-plus-year history of shipping and standing behind products with lifespans that have far exceeded the industry norms. We can't guarantee anything, but we will always put forth our best efforts to serve and support our customers. The reliability and sustainability of Wasabi Sync operations is a first-order consideration not only for Wasabi World Wide Heavy Industries, but for us as well. We have every confidence that WHI has a principled interest in the success of Wasabi Sync — if we didn't, we wouldn't have worked with them to provide our sync services.

We are also in a position to make whatever changes to our products that circumstance may require. After all, we've just done so, out of necessity after Apple abandoned MobileMe and iCloud proved to be unworkable.


Have there been any changes to the way Yojimbo syncs with the companion iPad app?

Not as of Yojimbo 4.0. We focused our efforts on making multi-computer sync work again on OS X for this release. Yojimbo for iPad continues to sync with a single selected Mac over Wi-fi.


Will you support syncing with Yojimbo on iOS some day?

As a rule, we do not pre-announce product releases, nor do we make forward-looking statements about our product plans. However, we note without further comment that the Wasabi Sync system does include support for iOS clients, and that support was a factor in our decision to adopt that service.


How secure is my data with Wasabi Sync?

At least as secure as it was with MobileMe. Data transfer is done over SSL (using https), which is securely encrypted so that your data cannot be observed in transit. Items are stored on the server in the same state of encryption that they are stored on your machine: passwords, as well as items that you explicitly encrypt, remain encrypted; all others are stored unencrypted.