Sunday, August 5, 2012

Data Loss via “Save As” on 10.8

Llyod Chambers:

If one edits a document, then chooses Save As, then BOTH the edited original document and the copy are saved, thus not only saving a new copy, but silently saving the original with the same changes, thus overwriting the original.

Mountain Lion’s document model is an improvement over Lion’s, but this is a pretty serious bug.

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I wonder if they ever fixed the Data Loss via AutoSave on Remote Volumes they introduced in 10.7.

Still lovin' Snowy...

[...] Link. Apple struggling. by jgordon on August 5, 2012  •  Permalink Posted in share Tagged s [...]

The thing that gets me about the Brave New Document Model is that it is totally reliant on Versions to be even minimally justifiable.

And speaking from no experience with post-Snowy Time Machine, I'm assuming that Versions doesn't get backed up. (Though I could be wrong about that.)

So, in the spirit of Goodfellas:

Not paying attention to your Versions and you cycle through? Fuck you, data loss.
Not paying attention to what you do with "Save As"? Fuck you, data loss.
Don't fully understand Versions? Fuck you, data loss.
Saving to a network volume? Fuck you, data loss.
Hard drive goes bad with an unintentional AutoSave? Fuck you, data loss.

@Chucky The nice thing about Mountain Lion (compared with Lion) is that you can tell it to explicitly ask you before overwriting the version on disk. So (it seems) you shouldn’t get into the Lion-type situations where the wrong version was committed and the version you want is hidden away in the temporary Versions storage. And that storage is opaque. So even assuming that you told your backup software to copy the invisible folder, it’s not clear to me how you would restore the version that you want from the backup. Do you have to restore both the wrong version of the document (so you can access its Versions interface) and overwrite the whole hidden Versions folder?

"The nice thing about Mountain Lion (compared with Lion) is that you can tell it to explicitly ask you before overwriting the version on disk."


I more closely read Matt Neuburg's TidBits piece, learned some things I was unaware of, and I think I see what you're getting at.

If you toggle the appropriate settings in the appropriate manner, then whenever you close a dirty document or quit an app with dirty documents, then you get a chance to click the "Revert Changes" button, which then automatically reverts the doc back from AutoSave to your last manually triggered save. Do I have that right?

If so, then we begin to at least approach minimal usability for the Brave New Document Model, even if it's still a downgrade from Snowy. (I find the dirty document indicator provides highly useful info to me on a regular basis.)

But, even if I've got all that right, (and I'd be happy indeed if I am right about that), and we are at least beginning to approach minimal usability, the 'Mandatory AutoSave' bug still leaves someone who is trying to manually commit saves in a lesser version of Goodfellas-land:

Have an app crash or stop responding on you with open dirty documents? Fuck you, data loss.
Have your user session break down thru kernal panic, WindowServer crash, etc, etc with open dirty documents? Fuck you, data loss.

Along with the previously known:

Save to a network volume or non-HFS volume.
Use "Save As".

@Chucky Yes, that’s the gist of it. With the proper settings, you can get full control over when your files are saved and still have autosave to protect you from losing unsaved changes. I think. As Neuburg says, even Siracusa didn’t have it all figured out.

I, too, like the dirty indicator…

"even Siracusa didn’t have it all figured out."



Also, this clears up a bit of my confusion about the "Save As" imbroglio. Not understand Apple's ML hack to at least approach minimal usability for the Brave New Document Model, I was thinking that ML's "Save As" was performing just as should be expected, instead of the mistake it actually performs.

(Matt makes the same point in the MacInTouch ML comments today.)

The following ML command is floating around:

defaults write -g ApplePersistence -bool false

It's rumored to disable the Mandatory AutoSave bug, (as well as the Versions nonsense), thus reverting to the traditional document model. Doesn't seem to be well-tested yet, but I'm eager to see the results once folks start playing with it.

If it performs well, it could provide folks with a means to have control over their data once again.

[...] This is much better than in OS X 10.8.0. [...]

[...] This is better in Mountain Lion. See also: Data Loss via “Save As” on 10.8. [...]

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