PieceWorx Writing Studio v1.0 www.PieceWorx.com

Backup Settings

PieceWorx Writing Studio includes the ability to automatically save backup copies of your notebook. This is desirable when you want to consult an old version for information which may have been removed since.

Backups, of course, also safe guard your work in the event your working copy of the notebook is corrupted, overwritten or damaged for some reason.

An ideal scenario would be to maintain your notebook in a folder associated with one of the many free, online storage solutions like Microsoft SkyDrive, DropBox, or Google Drive.

Backup folder

The backup folder location is automatically determined and cannot be changed. A subfolder is created in the same folder as your notebook file using the same name as your notebook file. All backup copies are stored in this folder. If you change the name of your notebook file, then the new backups will start being stored in a new backup folder. The old backups will remain in the old backup folder.

The reason the backup location cannot be changed is primarily to support working on your notebook across many devices. Suppose you work on your desktop computer at home and work on your laptop at the coffee shop. In order to support sharing the same notebook you store your notebook file in a folder that Dropbox syncs to the cloud. Whether you close your session on your desktop or your laptop, all backup files get saved to the same backup folder and sync'd by Dropbox.

We may consider more options for the backup folder for the future, but this provides an effective, simple backup solution that works across multiple computers.

General Settings

Backup can be turned off completed by unchecking the box next to Enable Automatic Backup.
If you want to perform an on-demand backup just click the Backup Now button. If you have unsaved changes you will be prompted to save your changes and continue with the backup. Note that the on demand backup behaves exactly as the automated backups. It will still evaluate and apply your retention policies.
You could also cancel the backup and click the Open Backup Folder button to explore all of your backup files in the backup folder.

In the following screen capture you can see the modified file names. A series of numbers have been appended to each filename. These numbers represent the date and time when the backup was created. This number is needed to prevent filename collisions. The format of the number is quite simple. Take the first file below, for example, Test2_20140107151540.nbook. The number is simply the concatenation of the date and time fields beginning with the largest value first:

   Year (2014) + Month (01) + Day (07) + Hour/24 (15) + Minute (15) + Second (40)

So you can see in the screen capture below that this corresponds to the time stamp on the file as well:

   January 7, 2014 at 3:15 PM and the 40th second.

Backup Frequency

If automatic backup is enabled you must choose a backup frequency. The options are If you choose to backup every time the notebook is saved, then a backup copy will also be made in the backup folder. The down side of this option is that you could end up with a lot of backup files in your backup folder because I'm sure you save your work frequently.

If you choose to backup when the program is closed, then, of course, you will probably have fewer backups.

PieceWorx Writing Studio is designed with the idea that you will close the program at the end of each writing session. Layout settings, preferences and the current notebook file are remembered from the previous session and are restored when the program is started. If you follow the practice of opening the program at the beginning of each writing session and closing it at the end, then choosing to create a backup each time the program is closed will ensure a backup for each writing session.

This is also a good practice if you work on multiple computers and share the notebook via SkyDrive, Dropbox or some other cloud based file syncing service.

Backup Retention

In addition to specifying the backup frequency you also have a choice about which backups are retained and for how long.

There are three retention modes:

Keep All

Saving all copies of old notebook backup files means that none will ever be removed automatically.

If you want to remove old copies you can still do so manually in the file system. Use this mode when you have plenty of hard drive space and want to be sure you can always look at all old versions of your notebook.

Keep Last N

Choosing to save a certain number of recent backups will ensure that no more than the specified number will be retained. Be sure this number is high enough for your preference.

Use this mode when you want to limit the amount of hard drive space used and are not concerned about retaining old copies of your notebook.

Keep For and Per

Saving all recent copies while retaining only a limited number of older copies balances notebook retention and hard drive space.

For example, suppose it is January 1st and you've been writing every day for two months. Suppose your backup settings are configured to backup every time you close the program and to save all backups for one month but only one backup per week for anything older. The result of this backup strategy will be that you retain all backups for the month of December and one backup per week for the month of November.

Use this method when you want all recent copies and at least some older copies while limiting the amount of hard drive space consumed.

Prompt Before Deleting

Finally, if you check the box next to Prompt before deleting any backup files, then no backup files will ever be deleted without you first confirming it.

Each time a backup is performed, the retention policy is evaluated. If it is determined that some backups need to be deleted to comply with the retention policy, then the program will look to see if you want to be notified first. If so, you will see a popup window like the following screen capture.

The delete prompt shows you exactly which files will be retained and which will be deleted if you choose to continue with the delete operation. You can also choose to keep all files. However, if you don't change your backup settings, you will be prompted again the next time the retention policy is evaluated.