From: Dom Lachowicz (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Mar 12 2002 - 17:08:11 GMT
On Tue, 2002-03-12 at 11:36, Virgil Arrington Jr. wrote:
> Dom wrote:
> >In my opinion, the folder to save bacup files to should not be
> I'm not sure this makes sense to me. Shouldn't a user be able to choose
> where to keep backup files, say in folder called "Backups?"
Unfortunately, this behavior doesn't make sense to me but please file it
as a RFE.
> >However, AbiWord should delete backup files after the main
> >document has been saved.
> This behavior seems a little strange to me, too. I've used .bak files to
> restore an old version of a document where, for whatever reason, I decided I
> didn't like the changes I made during the current editing session. If my
> backup is deleted once the main document is saved, then I lost my
> old-version security blanket. I'm not sure this is "standard" behavior
> among word processors. I always thought a .bak file would be created when a
> file was opened for a new editing session and then the .bak file would
> remain on the disk until the main document was saved, closed, and reopened
> at a later time, at which time a new .bak file would be created.
You see, I always saw the behavior of the .bak file as a way to protect
yourself every N minutes in case the program crashed, your mom tripped
on the power cord, cat fell through the monitor, ... You'd lose less
work because you had a safe backup of your data lying around. In this
scenario, the backup file becomes useless once you exit the program or
save your working document, until N minutes later when another .bak file
is created. I *hate* the idea of using .bak files to do what you
suggest, simply because you never know which version or time they are
from. The granularity and control simply isn't there. Instead you're
*hoping* and not absolutely sure that the backup file represents a
version of the document that you're "happy with." This is a lousy
solution, in my opinion, and I strongly suggest that people do not
follow this course of action. Instead I prefer:
Revision controlled documents (ala CVS or SourceSafe, Lotus Notes,
"Save As/Export" whenever I hit what I believe to be a milestone. You
might say "'Save As' will switch the working document's name" - but
that's precisely why I added the Import & Export menu choices.
For those of you without CVS, ... you have the export button
conveniently at your disposal. Sure, it requires a bit of work on your
part, but the whole process SHOULD involve some thought and work on your
part. You easily know what version of a document is good and should be
preserved as a milestone. AbiWord does not and cannot.
> Francisco's recent requests (auto-cap sentences; no path in title bar;
> autosave preferences) really drives home to me how differently we all work
> and how important it is that a program be flexible in allowing a wide
> variety of preferences. One of the oft-heard criticisms of Word is that it
> requires us to work the way Redmond dictates (no path in title bar; no
> on-screen indication that a file has been modified; lists being
> automatically generated when all I wanted was to put a "1." at the beginning
> of a paragraph; the list goes on.) I would hate to see Abi be worthy of the
> same criticism because its developers were unwilling to allow a modification
> of easily changeable preferences.
Francisco's recent requests have been useful, which is why I've asked
him to file RFEs for the things that he wants in bugzilla. Just because
I don't want to implement something for whatever my reasons are (and
yes, I always have *really good* reasons for doing or not doing
something), no matter how trivial it may seem, does not mean that this
bars their inclusion into the AbiWord program.
The things that Francisco and others may well be worthy of inclusion
into AbiWord. This is a good example of one that might be a good RFE, as
well as the title-bar suggestion. Then again, we might have some really
good reasons to keep it out, like we do for auto-cap sentences.
Right now, my motivation for keeping the 2 most recently requested
things is the upcoming 1.0 release. These 2 things are new features, and
to be usable require additional strings and changes to the preferences
dialog. These are 2 MAJOR no-no's at the moment. These become
permissable in another few weeks after the 1.0 release. But chances are
that I and other developers might forget about them by then (those
chances are *quite* good), and then you just have a bunch of angry users
screaming that their feature wasn't included and developers getting
disgruntled and yelling back at the users. This is to be avoided.
Secondly, not all of your "easily tunable" features are so easy to do.
From a user's perspective, sure it should be easy. Then you go and dig
down through the code and... ooops, not so easy to implement. For
instance, auto caps is astoundingly hard to do. The other "easy"
features you've suggested require hours of time to do. Add to this that
this is a mostly thankless job, and you can see my disgruntlement.
I don't want AbiWord to become so stupid and inflexible that you insult
it as being just another MSWord. However, I'm not an elephant so I do
forget things, and my time isn't boundless, so oftentimes I'd rather
work on things I find important or interesting, as opposed to any other
person's wishes. I'm not inflexible, however.
Posting on the mailing list is nice. I'd much rather that you follow
this process instead:
1) File a new entry in bugzilla as a RFE. Mark its milestone as "Future"
2) Post a quick message to the abiword-dev or abiword-user mailing list
to stimulate some discussion on your RFE
3) Vote for the bug. Or comment against the bug in the bugzilla comments
page. I really wish that bugzilla had a 'votes against' feature as well
as its "votes for" feature, but I digress...
Your votes in bugzilla will probably capture someone's attention.
Hopefully a developer will see it. These last 2 RFEs would be perfect
low-hanging fruit for a new developer. *Please help them help you*
If you don't file things in bugzilla, they get lost. People forget about
them. People forget how much it meant to you. This sucks for you. This
sucks for a new developer looking for something of easy/medium
Follow the proper procedure and things will get accomplished. If you
just keep posting RFE emails to abiword-users, you could be listened to,
ignored, killfiled, and ultimately forgotten about.
Follow the magic formula I've just outlined and everyone will be
happier. You'll get your features and enhancements. The developers will
be saner. Win-win.
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