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Re: Auto-generated backup files: are they useful?
How does the current backup file strategy interact with the autosave feature? If autosave works without it, that might address a lot of these concerns.
> On 29 Jun 2020, at 23:13, hauptmech <hauptmech@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> While I agree that it is not KiCad's job to do archival backups or version control, I do think that KiCad should preserve the integrity of users data through a crash. Even better if the work between the last save and the crash is also preserved and recovered on restart.
> I have had to use the backup files to recover data in the past. I have no idea if that recovery was related to something that is now no longer a possible issue.
> On 6/30/2020 7:23 AM, Jon Evans wrote:
>> Currently, KiCad automatically creates backups of schematic and PCB
>> files when you save a file.
>> The logic for these backups is basically: if a file already exists
>> with the same name as what we are saving, copy that file to a new file
>> and give it the "-bak" suffix on the file extension.
>> These backups are stored next to the original file in the current
>> KiCad codebase. This understandably creates clutter that some people
>> don't like (myself included) so in the project-settings branch that is
>> about ready to be merged, I changed this behavior to place all these
>> backups in a special backups folder for the project.
>> This proved to have some complications around the handling of files
>> outside the project path (which it's possible to have with
>> hierarchical schematic sheets) so I need to do something else.
>> After some thought, I am pretty convinced that the right thing to do
>> is just *remove this backup feature entirely*. Here's why:
>> 1) It's not a very good backup: It just stores the state from the
>> last time you hit "save". If you hit save again, your backup is blown
>> up. So, it's really like a "undo" function, but on disk, and with
>> only one level of undo.
>> 2) Recently I changed how we save schematic and board files to fix
>> some unrelated issues people were seeing with cloud backup services.
>> Before this change, if KiCad crashed or had some other serious error
>> while saving a file, the file would be lost (because we used to delete
>> the old file and then write a new one in its place). After this
>> change, we write the new file to a temporary location, and only if
>> that write succeeds do we copy it on top of the old file. I think
>> this vulnerability to generating corrupt files if we crash was one of
>> the reasons for this backup file system, and that reason is now gone.
>> 3) Because it's not a very good backup, I worry that the fact that
>> "bak" files exist might cause some users to have a false sense of
>> security and not use a true backup system (like a version control
>> system, or some other mechanism that actually backs up files
>> periodically). I want to remove this false sense of security so that
>> it is more clear that users should back up their files in some way if
>> they care about the work.
>> In other words, I don't think this feature actually gives enough value
>> to make it worth the clutter in the project folder and/or the
>> development effort to make it work well with less clutter.
>> So, I'd like to hear from others on this: anyone disagree?
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