I have had this long running problem with IDEA when it comes to detecting external changes to non-VCS files.
My project has a bunch of project related text files on a network filesystem, mostly documentation and configuration fiels. I have these files mounted on my Windows XP desktop as Z:\ drive. These files are under source code control, but using some old RCS crap on a solaris 10 fileserver. So, when I browse to them with IDEA they all appear read only initially. I have to log into the machine in order to check on the files to make them writeable.
The problem I have is that I will log into the remote machine, checkout some of these files, and then switch back to IDEA and press synchronize buton in the toolbar, and sometimes (not often), the files will change from read-only to writeable. It seems to work better if the file is in a tab in the editor pane. It seems to work almost never when the file(s) are a result of some search I did and I haven't loaded them into an editor tab yet;
Sometimes, just by minimizing and maximizing IDEA, IDEA will pickup the change and the file will be writeable. (I don't know why this helps because I have General->Syncrhonize files on frame activation disabled !)
Other times, nothing seems to work, so I have to go back to the remote machine and 'touch' the file to update the file modification timestamp. Sometimes, I have to do this 2 or 3 times in order for IDEA to see the change.
Also, sometimes (not often), IDEA will encounter some problem, and it forgets about the file. The file still exists on the remote machine, and I can see it if I use Windows Explorer to visit the Z:\ drive, but IDEA thinks it's is missing. When this happesn, I haven't found a way to get IDEA to recover. I usually have to restart IDEA.
Since it is on a network filesystem, my first suspiciion was that the machine times were not synchronized, but all our machines clocks are synchronized using a network time protocol. I have manually compared time on the network fileserver and my desktop and they are within milliseconds of each other.
This problem seems to have gotten worse for me in Demetra. One change in behavior is that the synchronize toolbar button seems to return instantly for me, almost like it does nothing. I could have sworn in took 5-10 seconds before when I resynchronized my project which has around 10000 files. Is the synchronize happening in the background now?
Anybody got some insight into this or have seen similar problem, I'd be glad to hear about it. I've been quietly suffering this problem, thinking it was some strange fluke or something, and then I'd forget about it for awhile because I dont' modify these read-only project files that often, but I've seen similar behavior in 4.5, 5.0, and now 6.0.