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Never save files again

What's the point of the save button when computers have so much hard drive space they could save every version of everything we create?
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(+3, -6)
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Right - there was a time when you had to choose when to save your Word file, because if you saved every version you might run out of disc space. And maybe you didn't like your changes - you could just close without saving. But now the whole business of clicking on that save button seems old fashioned. A user should just be able to open up a program (Word, Photoshop, a movie editor) and close it and open it, and maybe add a file name along the way (the default file name could be the date and use a preview icon). And never explicitly save the file! The computer would save every action you take, and you could rewind the file to any previous date (or a user could flag important versions). We have the hard drive space to do this now - why don't we do it?
rpcxdr, Oct 17 2007

Time Machine. http://www.apple.co...es/timemachine.html
if only you had a Macintosh.... [xenzag, Oct 17 2007]

Acronis True Image http://www.amazon.c...d=1193140301&sr=1-1
[DrBob, Oct 23 2007]


       ...but is flagging (and naming) important versions of my Word file which I want to be able to return to any easier than saving successive versions of my file?
hippo, Oct 17 2007

       Whore's handbag syndrome.
4whom, Oct 17 2007

       I think you're either overestimating the amount of hard drive space available in the average machine, or badly underestimating some of the sizes of working files that would be involved in this. I currently have a 3 Mb file that is on version 5453 (the software in question indexes alterations, but does not save them, and it doesn't even take into account simple things with like viewpoint shifts) This would be over 15 Gb of storage used for one file. You're going to eat through Terabytes of storage pretty quick with that, and even Petabytes aren't going to last a real long time.
MechE, Oct 17 2007

       So, how did Apple do it ? - see link.
xenzag, Oct 17 2007

       "How did Apple do it?"
Took a bite from the forbidden fruit, innit?
4whom, Oct 17 2007

       That is actually a very different system. It is identical in function to a tape backup, and is simply keeping a series of snapshots of your computer, hourly for one day, daily for one week, monthly for a while, and then clearing them. This is very different from tracking every single change and saving copies of all of these changes.
MechE, Oct 17 2007

       * Big files issues (what if you work with video files?)   

       * Security issues (what's once written to HDD is hard to delete)
Inyuki, Oct 17 2007

       This might work for the few people that hardly ever use their computers, and when they do they only save relatively small files. I think most people are addicted to saving things on their computers, a lot of people save things without even realizing it just because they use their computers so much.
BJS, Oct 17 2007

       hippo: yes - you would only need to flag a version when there is some important change you want to highlight. You might never add a flag, and only set a file name once. Contrast this with now, when you have to save all the time.   

       MechE and Inyuki: You could just save user inputs or file differences. Even if you are doing large video edits, you are only adding in a tiny number of bytes of mouse clicks and key strokes. Click a key, and it is immediately saved to disk. No need to save the whole file. Even if you don't do auto-saves of large media files, there are plenty of smaller files this could be used on, like Microsoft's Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.   

       BJS: The system would only auto-save things if there were changes. So if you just save a bunch of files without changing them, there would be no difference than how things happen now.   

       For most programs, that save button simply doesn't need to be there.
rpcxdr, Oct 18 2007

       [xenzag], Mac OS X Leopard, I hasten to add.
theleopard, Oct 18 2007

       //Even if you are doing large video edits, you are only adding in a tiny number of bytes of mouse clicks and key strokes.// That's true, but it doesn't necessarily help. Suppose I have a video file, and I do three simple operations (select and delete a segment; add lens-flare; and apply a fade-in). What gets stored? If you store the modified file, you eat disc space. If you instead store a pointer to the original file plus a record of the changes made, then the modified file can only be recreated by having the editing software repeat the recorded set of operations.   

       In other words, what you have stored is effectively a macro describing the tasks in question. Now, the video editing software has to be able to read the "macro", and then has to recapitulate your actions. This is going to be slow: suppose I applied an effect which took a couple of seconds to select, but several hours to execute (not uncommon for video on a laptop)?   

       Also, you lose the ability to port files between applications: a different editing programme is not going to be able to understand and recapitulate the actions I took with the first editor.   

       I don't know how Leopard works, but if it works for all applications, it can't work by just recording the keystrokes and mouse moves.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 18 2007

       When I bought a 80 GB hard disk a few years back it was full within 3 months. It kept running out of space even though I constantly deleted stuff. When I recently bought a 500 GB hard disk I thought that my storage problems were finally solved. But what happened? Within three months it was full again. One of the laws of nature in computing is that you will always run out of disk space.   

       This idea could only work for text files.
kinemojo, Oct 19 2007

       I've often wished you could save your whole computer--sometimes everything's working perfectly and you want to be able to remember this day. Pressing Ctrl-S while not in any application (e.g. desktop is showing) would save everything in all applications, remember all settings and options in every program, and also automatically create a System Restore point.
phundug, Oct 22 2007

       phundug, get yourself a copy of Acronis True Image (linky). Remarkably quick system imaging tool.
DrBob, Oct 23 2007

       This has been baked, almost exactly as described, in OS X Lion. [rpcxdr] was truly before his time.
ytk, Jun 13 2012

       baked loooong before "OS X Lion" in VMS.
FlyingToaster, Jun 13 2012

       This is one of my favorite Apple perks - never having to hit save/are you sure?/yes
DIYMatt, Jun 13 2012

       Working in a busy office of predominantly Macs, I hear expletives uttered several times a day by people who just lost an hour's work.   

       MS Office has done a pretty decent job of autosaving for years. It's very rare that I lose more than a minute's work when it crashes.   

       For video editing, the save file is always just a set of actions and filters, then you render the final video. So timestamping each action would allow you to go to any point in the history of the file.   

       For other programs, I wonder how much space the undo information takes. Saving that would be really useful, because it often happens that I want to go to something in Photoshop that was done between 2 saved versions. It's clearly possible because you can create and save macros for commonly performed tasks, which essentially amounts to the same thing.
marklar, Jun 13 2012


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