When an Automatic Backup Isn't Automatic

Am I correct in noting that in the Tools/Options/Backup dialog, if the user selects Turn on automatic backups, but selects none of the three checkboxes below that, then no automatic backups are done?

If so, you need to reorganize that part of the dialog so that the user won’t believe he’s protected when he’s not.


Delete this: [] Turn on automatic backups

Back up Automatically
[] On project open
[] On project close
[] On save

Interesting question. The manual (Sec B11) explains that automatic backups may not be desirable when working in a security-conscious environment, and tight control of where & when backups occur may be needed. Also there’s mention that if the “automatic backup” box is enabled, then the backup actions found under the main File menu (File–>Back Up–>Back Up To / Back Up Now / Exclude from Automatic Backups) are enabled. (I’m running Scriv v2.5, older Mac)

Anyway, there seems to be sufficient flexibility of choices to satisfy most anybody. My biggest puzzlement has always been how many, and where to make 'em.

there seems to be sufficient flexibility of choices to satisfy most anybody.

True, but the problem occurs when a novice user checks “Turn on automatic backups” and none of the options below. She will be disgruntled to find that the backups she assumed were being made, in fact, did not exist.

One thing that is nice about the universal checkbox at the top is that it lets you temporarily work “offline” if need be. Perhaps you ordinarily prefer a very safe route of backing things up when you open and close, but you need to rifle through a bunch of projects for a bit, perhaps doing some consolidation or maintenance, or just browse through old backups trying to find something you know you wrote a year ago in some project unknown, but have since deleted. In these cases it can be nice to just check a box off and not worry about proliferating a bunch of useless backups (and maybe even rolling off crucial backups from the list), and when you’re done, turn it all back on and every setting will be as you left it.

Another thing to consider is that even if you disable all of the checkboxes, the system still functions as you left it, in that you can manually click the backup button in the application toolbar, or use the File/Back Up/Back Up Now menu command. For some, choosing when to back up is the best solution, and they will ordinarily want to have all of the automatic triggers disabled.