Author Topic: A proposal for lost projects to crashes  (Read 193 times)

Offline WASasquatch

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A proposal for lost projects to crashes
« on: November 08, 2018, 08:17:10 AM »
Today, I haven't been feeling well. I've had a terrible migraine and really weak today. I started a really amazing project and had a great setup for a procedural river setup, suitable for mountainous areas or flats with it's masking/displacement setup. I spent 3 hours on it playing around with different methods of creating the river system based on a single SSS. When I got to beautification process I decided to use DK's Classic Erosion to really make the scene pop by eroding the Alpine mountains to the masking of the river valley... and, when alas, when I was playing with masking inputs, TG crashed to desktop... As it crashed I noticed something that made my heart sink in the status window "Terragen 4  *".

I hadn't saved that entire time, and I usually save so much it's ridiculous (an hour's work can yield 100+ series of XMLs).

So I decided I'd write a little program to remind me to save my projects! It's a simple task, only interrupts me momentarily and really can save from absolute disaster... However, because this was an external program, it popped up while I was working, and in this case, right as DK::CE was switching from Sampling to Erosion, and it caused TG to CTD anyway, so as TG froze, and CTD it was replaced with my lovely prompt window to save... Yeesh.

---- The Idea ----

My proposal is to add a "Save Handicap" feature.

What this feature does, is simply create a prompt window with simply two buttons "Save As..." and "OK". With a kind message about this project not being saved in X minutes (Configurable in TG settings). This little feature for some of us, can literally save us our sanity in my opinion. Being a simple setting. Those that have no issue with project management, and super computers, can simply not enable the feature.

This feature need only monitor time and reset when a save occurs (or clicking OK). The intervals value input in the settings could be minutes and configurable. 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 30, and so one. Whatever the user wants. Beyond being a good method to ensure projects preserved in the event of crashes, it also can help create good habit to save your projects in general, coupled with incremental saving, a good history of your project (which is definitely invaluable in a lot of instances; like reverting to a seed you preferred earlier in development).

Edit: To prevent interference it may also probably "pause" when TG is doing any sort of processing, eg, heigtmap generation, erosion, object loading, populating, etc.

I would LOVE this feature in Terragen, Matt!

Thanks for taking the time to read about tonight's shenanigans and this idea.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 01:10:58 AM by WASasquatch »
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Offline Matt

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Re: A proposal for lost projects to crashes
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2018, 11:59:08 PM »
Ah that sucks.

This wouldnít be hard to implement. None of the complications of auto-save. Some people donít like windows popping up uninvited, so I might need to take care about what the user is doing in TG before opening the window.
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Offline WASasquatch

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Re: A proposal for lost projects to crashes
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2018, 01:10:00 AM »
Ah that sucks.

This wouldnít be hard to implement. None of the complications of auto-save. Some people donít like windows popping up uninvited, so I might need to take care about what the user is doing in TG before opening the window.

Yeah that's the only concern I had, what processes/things were happening that would suspend the prompt until finished. And than altogether if it's not someone's cup of tea they can just uncheck the feature all together from settings, which is probably best left disable by default.
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Offline Dune

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Re: A proposal for lost projects to crashes
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2018, 07:37:51 AM »
Not needed for me; I just save very often. You need to have that in your system, just CTRL+S all the time  ;)

Offline KlausK

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Re: A proposal for lost projects to crashes
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2018, 10:42:57 AM »
Oh no! Don`t! Please! That would be quite annoying to me personally.
How hard is it to simply do a Ctrl+s every now and then?
And if you do please, let me - aka "the User" - choose wether I want that on my screen or not.
Please...
Cheers, Klaus...( remind myself to do a :o Ctrl+a and Ctrl+c on this reply before it gets lost.... :o )
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Offline Hannes

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Re: A proposal for lost projects to crashes
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2018, 12:33:38 PM »
Although it happened to me occasionally that things got lost before I had saved my work, I'd say, I don't need that information window, since I learned from these moments and use to save my work quite often. But why not implement this for those who want it, but with the possibility to set the intervals value to "never", so that everyone can decide, if he wants this feature or not.
Anyway, good idea, Jordan.

Offline WASasquatch

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Re: A proposal for lost projects to crashes
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2018, 12:15:56 AM »
As I've mentioned I think twice, it'd be a simple toggle feature, and disabled by default, as why introduce a handicap feature as general use. I'd imagine there'd be a simple checkbox to enable it coupled by an interval.

I save a lot. That instance was me under the weather and just not in a right mind, and unfortunately, this will probably happen more and more as my brain continues to rot away. But in general sometimes I don't save for awhile while working on single PF fiddling values and just watching the preview window, and than have a crash from excessive value inputs or whatever the heck happens, to go back to the project and not even have the PF configured. Usually I save once I have "finished" a task, such as closing out of a PF window I've setup.

There's been some comments I've noticed from new users about backups and their saves, over the years, including me, and nothing has ever been done, while the program itself is considered unstable imo (for the system requirements recommended). Which, by the way, I understand why, as the way TG saves really just doesn't practically allow a backup system. But this seems like a really good trade off. It's no different than a program telling you your project isn't saved when you exit, but creating a habit for those unfamiliar with the quirks of TG and the node tree while working.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 12:21:27 AM by WASasquatch »
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Offline Matt

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Re: A proposal for lost projects to crashes
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2018, 02:58:04 AM »
Oh no! Don`t! Please! That would be quite annoying to me personally.
How hard is it to simply do a Ctrl+s every now and then?
And if you do please, let me - aka "the User" - choose wether I want that on my screen or not.
Please...
Cheers, Klaus...( remind myself to do a :o Ctrl+a and Ctrl+c on this reply before it gets lost.... :o )

How often do you save? If the default time is long enough, maybe you'll never see the message :)
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Offline cyphyr

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Re: A proposal for lost projects to crashes
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2018, 11:53:15 AM »
Couldn't it just quietly save to incremental .bac files every (user set but maybe 5 min) without any user interruption. The bac files are then removed on user initiated saves and a new set of auto bac files started.
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Offline WASasquatch

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Re: A proposal for lost projects to crashes
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2018, 06:13:12 PM »
Couldn't it just quietly save to incremental .bac files every (user set but maybe 5 min) without any user interruption. The bac files are then removed on user initiated saves and a new set of auto bac files started.

The issue with that is the rogue lockups creating new save files, for some reason, that can last minutes. So it could create, especially for someone like me, even more of an interruption than me manually choosing to do so with a simple reminder.
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