Re (IRC): 2.2.0 and auto-save

Christian Stimming stimming at
Thu Jul 5 04:44:46 EDT 2007

14:40:57 <warlord> Hmm, are we going to have a 2.1.6?
16:21:25 <andi5> warlord: wrt 2.1.6, if we plan not to revert the  
auto-save feature, we might want to have another test version.... iff  
christian wants to extend / improve it.... if we just change the  
default to disabled auto-save, then i am fine with no 2.1.6 as well...
16:21:52 <warlord> andi5: ok

I don't want to extend/improve the auto-save feature before 2.2.0 (not  
enough time available). For that reason I don't think we need another  
2.1.6 but should plan for 2.2.0 on the weekend July 15th,

It seems to me the "perfect" solution would be to have a separate  
save-to-checkpoint function as opposed to the save-to-working-file,  
with extra auto-restore questions at startup, as outlined here by Eric  
This would require major changes in our saving infrastructure, which  
I'm not going to do in the upcoming 1-3 months.

As an aside, I'd like to point out that the current auto-save  
behaviour represents exactly how gnucash would behave with a  
database-backend currently, as explained here correctly

But for 2.2.0 we have the following choices:

#1: Auto-save-datafile is enabled by default, just with a different  
default value (5 minutes? 10 Minutes?), and the explanation dialog box  
pops up upon the very first auto-save activation. Users would have to  
into the preferences to disable this feature.

#2: Auto-save-datafile will be enabled once, then on the explanation  
dialog box the user is asked whether she/he wants to have this  
enabled: "auto-save ... blabla ... Do you want to enable or disable  
this? [Enable] [Disable]"

#3: Auto-save is disabled by default and users have to find out the  
Option by themselves to enable it. No extra dialog explanation will be  
shown for this option, neither after startup nor at activation time or  
whatever. Using this feature is therefore restricted to those users  
who happen to stumble upon this during browsing through the preferences.

The feedback from gnucash-user clearly points toward #3. However, my  
main intention was to implement a feature that helps "the normal user"  
to decrease the negative outcome of when an error occurs. This boils  
down to the question what behaviour "the normal user" actually expects  
from gnucash. As a programmer I know that my way of understanding  
gnucash is probably rather different from what "the normal user" does.  
However, I'm not so sure whether the gnucash-user feedback talks more  
about "the normal user" expectation than what I would think of,  
because those subscribers are power-users just as we are. (For  
example, my wife says the new auto-save behaviour is just fine and  
understandable, whereas the abovementioned  
"restore-checkpoint-at-startup" behaviour would be utterly confusing  
for her - she never really understands what she is supposed to answer  
when a program asks at startup about "restoring whatever thingy is  
also there". I'm just saying we developers have to find a decision  
which doesn't necessarily conform with the majority of feedback on our  
mailing lists. Neither we ourselves nor even the users of our mailing  
lists might correspond "the normal user" in a representative way.  
Decisions, decisions...

Following this way of thought I would decide for choice #1, leave  
as-is for 2.2.0. What do the other developers say?


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