It automatically creates backups of my files, don't know how to deactivate the option
from a Safety-First point of view
From standards-first point of view, please name any Notepad++ competitor that have this feature enabled by default.
This ‘bak’ feature was popular in the DOS era for Borland IDEs when 40MB hard disks were considered cutting edge technology and source control management was science fiction. It since disappeared for good reasons.
it was very poor judgement to enable it because of a single forum post from a single cry baby user.
Agree with you.
Power users won’t hesitate to know where to look, set their options, RTFM. Not all users using “Free” software bother to RTFM, experiment, etc. So if NPP is to only be a power users club application (unlikely) it will still be used by neophytes who don’t RTFM and be questioned either way.
What’s involved in turning off the option, searching for *.bak and deleteing the files. It only takes once for a neophyte to lose all their stuff because it didn’t have a basic backup option working to lose a potential user, and if I remember right, that crybaby, as someone else posts, was a seasoned programmer who was confused by the way the dialogs option work. He clicked what he thought was the proper way to set up the back up feature, only to realize it wasn’t set and brought that to your attention that it’s clumsy. He admitted it was his fault for not RTFMing, but suggested the auto on option because of the clumsy way it looked or would look to neophyte users with even less knowledge than him. I agree. I’m a neophyte to NPP’s more intrinsic options, but nonetheless, I was also kind of dumb struck to the confusing setup in the dialog that led you to believe by clicking that option, you were creating backup files.
Just my $0.02 worth…hope it doesn’t offend, but at the least brings a little appreciation for the broader view of the breadth of users and the needs of those users also, as opposed to just those of the elite. :)
It only takes once for a neophyte to lose all their stuff
It is actually not that trivial.
Because no one, not even a neophyte, is using Notepad++ to delete the stuff he has been working on for hours, then saves, then closes the file (to lose the undo buffer), and finally runs to look for an automatic backup.
To lose your stuff, as the cry baby did, you need to drag and drop files, externally from Notepad++ in order to overrun your file with a garbage copy that has the same name.
It is not Notepad++ job to save you from that.
Searching for bak files when you hop from folder to folder, possibly polluting file systems shared by others is not that easy as well.
Unfortunately, or fortunately for me, sharing my system with others is not a problem I have to worry about. Doing dumb things, as I try to do things quickly, etc…however, is something I do want to be saved from. Ever drop an app or file into another folder or group by accident and then have to search for it? Stuff happens. What he pointed out, that I took note of, was that the backup was already happening, per the original setting, which it wasn’t. It wasn’t making a permanent backup, it was making a temporary backup in the NPP directories, rather than making a backup of the original file on save if I read that right. As this screenshot shows:
Most of my programs, dBASE for example, whenever a file is changed and saved, it saves a backup in that directory in case you continue to edit and catastrophically lose any changes due to power outage, etc. You have a backup file as change, that is permanent. The default does that…which is what the original setting seems to indicate it does under the Session…but to someone thinking they’re being backed up… and didn’t RTFM to realize that it is only for a Session instead of just backing it up permanently they wouldn’t know. The New default, makes that clear as shown, in the second boxed options:
This is, what anyone not reading the manual, and thinking they were setup to backup, would expect. I’m just stating from my point of view, and don’t expect you to necessarily agree, but I’m guessing for the vast majority that aren’t super users… they have no clue right now, they aren’t backing up. I’ve heard only about 8 people on these forums post an opinion about the option, but many of the users of NPP are not forum dwellers, either.
Alan Kilborn last edited by Alan Kilborn
I think you may have hit on it, maybe without explicitly coming out and saying it: the way N++ uses the term “backup” (as in “periodic backup”) may not be the best nomenclature. And no, I don’t have a suggestion for better naming.
Thanks Alan, you nailed my point of view. Yes, problems are easy to find, solutions…eh…not so much. :)
Perhaps, “Session snapshot and periodic temporary update” and renaming the “Backup on save” to “Permanent Backup Options” would be better verbiage?
artie-finkelstein last edited by
@alan-kilborn - I agree.
I find myself periodically reminding myself that the author and principle developer is French and French <-> English translations are not always one to one, i.e., the words can be context sensitive and do not always ‘survive’ an encounter with Google Translate.
I prefer to think of it as
Session Snapshotand ignore all uses of the word ‘backup’ in the upper box, and I think of the lower box as
File Backupand ignore references to ‘save’ (as it seems redundant). I have no idea how this plays out in the vast multitude of localizations Notepad++ has.
Just my $/50: I hate ‘droppings’ left willy nilly in directories and I also figure any user (developer or neophyte) that wants to move beyond ‘Notepad’ AND doesn’t at least skim the manual for setup options gets what they deserve in the end.
Doing dumb things, … , is something I do want to be saved from
Nothing will consistently save you from doing dumb things. You may be saved once or twice, but eventually you will lose your “stuff” at the worst possible moment. Users best interest is to pay a small fee for doing dumb things and learn to stop doing them.
The session snapshot is an amazing example of how a feature that seems to be safety-first is actually hurting neophyte users. Instead of educating users that they MUST save their changes or lose them it tells them “trust me”. But once shit hits the fan users are completely helpless because they “trusted you” instead of taking care of themselves. Me and other forum dwellers are also convinced that this feature is the cause of the infamous NUL file bug. This feature should be disabled by default. Obviously, I always disable it.
Different applications have different goals. Notepad++ is not a competitor to OneNote (or a very poor competitor). It is not designed to “take notes”. Users who try to use it as such always lose their notes eventually. On the other hand OneNote cannot edit files and you would never drag and drop files into OneNote folder.
I can appreciate your point of view, I really do. I’m not that neophyte, I usually save my files on multiple thumb drives etc, but the problem for me is when I get in the “zone” and start making changes willy nilly to try and get something to work. Surprizingly, it works for me, unsurprizingly, I lose my stuff that I want to go back in those sessions. Backups help me from doing that. In dBASE, one of the problems is when the IDE designers get testy, you sometimes need to go back to that last saved (.bak) file, because it ate your latest changes and did something that doesn’t allow you to bring the file back up in the designer. That’s when if you can’t figure out the problem in the file which can occasionally be a file corrupted, it’s always nice to have that .bak file on hand to rename and soldier on. It’s just the tools I work with and since my prime is well past me and although I’m not a neophyte, I’m also not a professional…so take my points with a grain of salt and realize it’s just where I’m coming from. Take care. :)
I have no idea what DBASE is, but it doesn’t seem that different from all kind of programming, so you definitely cannot allow yourself to be neophyte.
No matter how “in the zone” are you, git is your friend. It costs you nothing to save as many dirty snapshots as you want and organize them later before the “push”. Sure we developers tend to skip it, optimistically modifying the code, but that is exactly the small fee that you should pay once to improve your process rather than rely on tools you don’t understand.
Nobody asks to remove the .bak feature. It just shouldn’t be enabled by default!!!.
pnedev last edited by
My personal preference is like @gstavi 's.
The backup option is not much of a security (it does not save you from file write problems, disk failures or power loss unless you choose ‘Verbose backup’ in the Settings and give a different place for your backups) but makes a copy of the file contents before you save so it is kind of “permanent” undo of your changes before the save. Thus it is useful in very few and specific use-cases.
Looking at different user complains about loss of data it seems to me that for most people backup is kind of misleading. What I mean is that it gives them a ‘false’ feeling of security like it is some magical thing keeping them safe from loosing their information in all cases. And while it provides a very handy functionality it is not meant to be ‘relied on’ as a secure protection against ‘bad’ events. For example people decide that it is not necessary anymore to power down their computers save their session manually or make sure they have their sensitive data protected in other ways (outside of Notepad++ that is).
So maybe it is a good idea (as stated by @artie-finkelstein and others) to slightly change the terminology in the Backup Settings. Maybe change ‘Backup on save’ to ‘Make copy of the file before saving’ (long, I know but more clear IMO).
Periodic backup in the session section is actually quite accurate because it is the ‘real’ backup that might be ON by default as @Resonant-Mind requested. It is the ‘real’ backup because it DOES NOT make unnecessary copy of the original file in the same folder on save BUT periodically saves temporary copy of the UNSAVED file in the chosen directory so if something happens and Notepad++ is closed on its next start and restore of the session the temporary file content is restored thus you don’t loose your unsaved changes. That works great actually in a normal situation (if you close Notepad++ for instance before you save your files) BUT the Windows automatic updates and restart is causing problems and they are not directly related to the current backup approach and default settings BUT to disk caching functionality.
Resonant Mind last edited by Resonant Mind
Oh no, people are going to come on the forum to ask how to disable auto-backup.
Isn’t this proof in itself, that people don’t RTFM if they need to come ask how to disable auto-.baks and that they weren’t even aware that NotePad++ contains a backup system that can work as such?
I guess that’s a second positive to it being enabled by default - it makes the user aware of its existence and thus allows them to learn about an important aspect of the software they might otherwise never know about.
In response to the one reasonable, rational, and logical user in this thread - @Lycan-Thrope , I’m actually not a coder. I needed to edit my primary software settings beyond what is offered in the program which is done by editing some .xmls - the size of the .xmls was crashing Windows Notepad so I did a quick search for a free line code editor, found NotePad++, and immediately began the work I needed to do as I didn’t have time to RTFM
It wasn’t mission critical work, just some nerdy pass time diy tweaking. If it was mission critical, or a client project… more care would have been taken. So, it was only a small nuisance that was easy to do over though did take some time I would have rather spent reading a new book before bed.
Coming from numerous modern currently developed professional softwares, that do have an auto-.bak protocol enabled by default, I was interested that the software didn’t have the option enabled by default - what is the point of a backup system that is not enabled?
I made a more in-depth post here, don’t mind the tonality - it’s directed at the cry babies crying about a “cry baby”:
The only reasonable thing stated in that linked thread, is that their should be a ‘limit’ feature, that limits that amount of .baks per project. This is how it works in the other professional software I use, I think the default is 5 or 10, but the user can change it.