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UI comments

Deipotent :

Jun 01, 2013

1) On the New backup dialog - if the Source folder Edit box has the focus and Tab is pressed, it would be better if focus moved to the Destination edit box rather than the Source Browse... button. So, the Tab order should be:  Source edit box->Dest edit box->Source Browse... button->Dest Browse... button->Review button

Reason is that people who prefer to use the keyboard will type/paste in a source path, and then expect Tab to take them to next edit field, much like username and password login controls on web pages

2) For the Browse dialog, it should default to My Computer (rather than users folder) and have the branch expanded to show all drives.

3) What's the purpose of the "Treat file truncation as deletion" checkbox option ? ie. when would you want to use it ?

4) Also, the Miscellanea section on the New backup dialog has been renamed to More options, but the dialog explaining what a removable storage device is still uses the word "Miscellanea".

5) Holding Ctrl down does not turn the buttons into Go! and Stop!.

6) It would be useful if there was a keyboard shortcut (eg. Shift+Click Go) for forcing the destination to be scanned for "Changes at the source since last backup" jobs

7) One last thing for the moment... the filename of the file currently being copied should be displayed on the right of the backup job list, rather than just saying Backup...

You don't necessarily have to show every file, but could just show the current file on a timer (eg. every 0.5 or 1 second). The name should also be shown for large files.

Deipotent :

Jun 02, 2013

8) Can you add the version number to the tray icon tooltip, so instead of saying "Bvckup", it says "Bvckup 2.0 beta 4" (or when out of beta, "Bvckup 2.0").

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 03, 2013

@Deipotent - I will answer point by point later today. Sorry about the delay.

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 03, 2013

Not to forget, assorted notes -

1. Add a (x) button to the Log panel
2. Add a way to navigate through errors (next/prev) in the Log panel

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 03, 2013

.
3. Add an option to set the order of backups in the main window

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 04, 2013

@Deipotent - alright, so...

1) I completely agree that would make more comfortable to use, but it will also be less logical as Browse buttons will no longer be grouped with respective controls. This also saves an extra Tab press, so I don't think the trade off is justified.

2) OK. I am planning to replace the Browse dialog with a custom version though.

3) This has to do with the case of a (some other) program crashing while saving a file. This would typically result in a file getting truncated, so the idea with this option is to handle these cases and preserve the existing backup copy.

4) Fixed, thanks.

5) That's because I removed that :) It was a bit too fancy for its own good, but I'm thinking of bringing the Ctrl+Stop back, because unlike Ctrl+Go it was actually useful.

6) Agreed, good idea.

7) Agreed, will do.

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 04, 2013

4.  The Change buttons with the down arrow, should change to an up arrow when the button has been pressed.

fadi__h :

Jun 05, 2013

Having fun with bvckup and here are some UI comments:
1) In the logging pane, every action ends with "...". I found this confusing as it looks like the filepath has been truncated because of a lack of UI space. I also think the "..." are redundant because actions like file updating and copying get a "+" signaling the user to expand and see what is going on.

2) In the main pane, it would be nice to get "add a new backup" menu/dialog from right clicking in the empty space below the last backup job. So you would right-click in the next backup placeholder and get a "add backup" menu.
OR
Have the same "add a backup" cross under the last backup job. Just like when you open bvckup for the first time. This last option would probably take away the clean look of the software though.

Keep up the good work!

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 06, 2013

@fadi__h - You are the second person to point out the "..." ambiguity, so consider the ellipses gone.

With regards to the "add a new backup" - let me think about it. I am certainly against adding it as a trailing item to the list, because once the backups are set up, this option is not going to be used at all. The right-click menu - I have no opinion either way on this one, except I'm not sure how easy it'd be to discover it.

Related feature request was to allow creating a new backup by cloning an existing job, so it too needs to be worked in somehow.

Deipotent :

Jun 08, 2013

Can you add an option to start minimized when "Launch when you log into Windows" is enabled.

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 08, 2013

There's an unconditional "start minimized" already, though it's in the .ini only at the moment.

Deipotent :

Jun 08, 2013

I've just tried setting "start minimized" to 1 in both the main ini file and the ui ini file but it just gets removed. I also tried "start_minimized" but the same happened.

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 08, 2013

It's "start_minimized" in ui/bvckup-ui.ini

† Obviously the .ini should be edited only when the app isn't running.

Deipotent :

Jun 09, 2013

Got it working now.

pjb :

Jun 11, 2013

+ In the "Adjust Backup Settings..." User Interface:
Consider swapping the locations of the "Cancel" and "Update" buttons
+ In the "Add New Backup" User Interface:
Consider swapping the locations of the "Cancel" and "Create" buttons

To be consistent with the placement of the "Cancel" button as the rightmost option in Windows programs  I've seen.  But I see your rationale since the Update / Create button is in columnar alignment with the Change button and the initial focus is on the Update / Create button anyway.

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 12, 2013

@pjb - Ok, done.

Deipotent :

Jun 14, 2013

- On the preferences dialog, the Apply button should be renamed OK. Reason being that everywhere else I've seen an Apply button, it's usually to apply settings, but not close the dialog. OK is the standard for saying "Apply changes and close the dialog".

- On the Backup settings dialog, I'm wondering if a checkbox option to auto-collapse the previous section when another is expanded might be useful. For example, if this option was enabled, then when no sections are expanded and you  expand a section, the section would expand. However, when another section was expanded, the previous section would auto-collapse (ie. leaving only a single section expanded). This would allow you to change the options in the various sections without the dialog height getting too high.

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 14, 2013

@Deipotent
- I just tried it and the combination of disabled OK and enabled Close (which is the state when no preferences has been changed yet) looks odd. There *is* an internal flag already that switches off this conditional disabling of the Apply button and replaces the buttons with conventional OK/Cancel. Perhaps that's just should be the default... but I kind of like it Apply/Close option better.

- Reasonable idea, I can put it in easily enough and tuck the control into Advanced section of the app's preferences. My only concern is that, say, you clicked on "Change" and it causes an opened section above to collapse first - this will pull the button you just clicked up, yanking it from under the cursor. Perhaps not a big deal, but may end up being annoying.

Deipotent :

Jun 14, 2013

Re. Apply - I'm sure I'll come to accept it, but my mind is conditioned into not expecting the dialog to close when clicking an Apply button.

Re. auto-collapse - if you expand a section, you either move the cursor to change one of the options in that section, or you've just expanded it to see what the options are. You'll then either move the cursor to expand another section (and repeat above), or just click Cancel or Create/Update. So, the button moving from under the cursor shouldn't be an issue.

Deipotent :

Jun 17, 2013

The New backup dialog should be expanded by default, without the need to click on "Review and configure the details...". Reason - you have to click on the Review button anyway before you can create a backup job, so this extra click on the Review button seems pointless.

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 17, 2013

.
That's the presentation matter, primarily meant for when creating a new backup.
I guess, I can show it expanded after the first backup is created. I'll make the change, thanks.

jrothlis :

Jun 17, 2013

Apply *definitely* shouldn't close the dialogue box.

RussPa53 :

Jun 18, 2013

I REALLY like the changes you've noted to the GUI - the two progress bars, etc. and I have to agree about the "Apply" button. It's always been (to me) a "save your changes so far & keep going" kind of button.... (Pretty sure it's a Windows standard, isn't it?)

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 18, 2013

Color me convinced. I'm changing it to OK.

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 18, 2013

Or Save.

Deipotent :

Jun 18, 2013

If a backup job is set to "Using destination snapshot from the last run", can you make Ctrl+Go force it to rescan the destination. A few times I have jobs configured to use destination snapshot, but then something else changes something on the destination and I want to quickly force a full re-scan of the dest.

Having to change the backup setting, run the job and then change it back is tedious.

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 19, 2013

On the ToDo list.

nod5 :

Jun 19, 2013

In add new job window, change "update" to "ok" (to mimic change from "apply" to "ok" in preferences).

nod5 :

Jun 19, 2013

First let me say: the new Bvckup is very good and will no doubt be excellent!  Here are comments after testing beta 19:

1) when a job is selected, show more of its settings. At least copying (full or delta?) and deleting (delete, archive, keep) mode.

2) let drag drop move a job up/down the list

3) let ctrl+drag drop and/or ctrl+c copy a job, for quick reuse of job settings for new to/from folders.

4) allow sets of jobs. Background: I do two types of backups. One frequent to one drive. One more seldom to another drive. For each type a set of jobs is needed to backup only some folders/files (not an whole drive). To keep track of both job sets in one big list is messy. I have two fix suggestions and prefer A:
A. let a hotkey (and menu command) toggle between two joblists, akin to virtual desktop switching in Ubuntu. Give the second joblist a modestly colored background, to keep the lists apart easily.
B. one big list but let users set a job color tag in the new/adjust popup. Allow sorting list by color.

5) remove text "no errors". Time since last run is enough. The user assumes success if a command was run and there wasn't any error prompts.

6) remove text "Awaiting a Go command" for each (manual) job. If a job is not scheduled and not in montior mode ("monitoring for changes...") then it must be a manual job that does nothing until manually triggered. No need to inform about that. The user already sees the job and the go button on top.

7) If I create a new backup with "schedule: monitor changes" targetting nonexisting from/to folders then bvckup displays "critical error: source path not found" in red for that job. That is good. But If I then create the folders the error message is still there. Should not monitor mode also monitor for changes in the conditions underlying its errormessages? (A restart gets the monitoring on track though.)

8) In backup settings users can navigate between controls using tab/shift+tab. Good. But an accidental press of ctrl+tab (compare: switch tab in Firefox, Chrome, ...) when folder or destination inputbox text is selected clears the text and adds a tab. And there is no "undo" action available. Unless a tab character in the input field can be of use (I can't see how), disable ctrl+tab.

nod5 :

Jun 20, 2013

Two additions to 4 above: First, I was sketching a manual jobs scenario. For scheduled or monitoring jobs list messiness is an issue only when creating/editing jobs and not for each job run. Second, I later came to think of two other fixes, that seem to involve less changes compared to A and B:
C. let users install two different copies of Bvckup, each with its own set of jobs. That would fit my scenario since the job sets need not run, or be browsed, at the same time.
A2: the virtual drive idea would allow quick toggling through minimal commands. But a more traditional menu option to create, load and save different job sets would also work.

Deipotent :

Jun 20, 2013

Would be nice if there was progress bar when downloading an update to give visual feedback on what's happening.

Deipotent :

Jun 20, 2013

When main window is not wide enough to show full paths on tiles, the path should be truncated in the middle (ie. show ... in middle). This may not be necessary after the UI rework for handling descriptions, if paths are no longer shown.

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 20, 2013

@nod5, @Deipotent - Got comments, thanks. I will reply in a bit.

Deipotent :

Jun 20, 2013

Further to the comments about changing the Prefs Apply button to OK, I think all "OK" buttons (eg. like Backup Settings "Update" button, and Periodic backup "Set" button) should just be labelled as OK.

OK is the standard term for saying accept + save any changes and close dialog. Using multiple words for the same action just makes the UI more confusing, as instead of always looking for OK (which everyone is conditioned to), you have to double-check which button is OK, depending on which dialog you're on.

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 23, 2013

Alright, point by point.

@nod5 -

1) when a job is selected, show more of its settings.


Is this really needed? When the whole thing is set up and running, I frankly see little value in showing specific config details. I am making a switch to Description-based backup identification in BR20 (https://bvckup2.com/wip/17062013), so I was thinking to allow clicking on the description field (perhaps with Ctrl held down) to cycle through backup's config fields like Src and Dest. I can easily add other things to this list.

2)  let drag drop move a job up/down the list


Yep, on a ToDo list.

3) let ctrl+drag drop and/or ctrl+c copy a job, for quick reuse of job settings for new to/from folders.


I was thinking of adding "Clone job" option to the right-click menu of an existing backup instead and reserving Ctrl-drag for moving backup list items around.

Alternatively, I am playing with the idea of using CTRL as an "Advanced" modifier throughout the UI. So Ctrl-RightClick on the backup item would show the context menu with additional items included. Ctrl-AddNewJob would show an extra prompt on whether to create a new job from scratch or if to base it off an existing one. This sort of thing.

4) allow sets of jobs. [snip]


Wouldn't an option of setting lists order essentially solve this?

I don't think option A is a good idea. I understand where it comes from, but it's a power-user feature aimed at a very specific usage. As such it doesn't belong to the common UI and I am hesitant to put something like this into an advanced section, because of it being very specialized and of not a high reuse value.

5) remove text "no errors"


This is by design. It's a positive affirmation of everything being OK. I can add an option to hide it though.

6) remove text "Awaiting a Go command" ... No need to inform about that. The user already sees the job and the go button on top.


Disagree. This describes backup's current state. I also don't see a point in hiding this text, because it would just create more questions - why some jobs have a status line while others - don't. It's a matter of UI consistency and predictability.

7) Should not monitor mode also monitor for changes in the conditions underlying its error messages?


Hmm... let me sleep on this. I think you are right, it's a sensible thing to do.

8) Unless a tab character in the input field can be of use (I can't see how), disable ctrl+tab.


Ok, will do.

C. let users install two different copies of Bvckup, each with its own set of jobs.


Already supported. If you start bvckup2.exe with "-c <etc_path>" command line argument, it will use <etc_path> as its configuration folder (it keeps all its settings in the disk files and nothing in the registry).

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 23, 2013

@Deipotent -

Would be nice if there was progress bar when downloading an update to give visual feedback on what's happening.


Ok, will do.

When main window is not wide enough to show full paths on tiles, the path should be truncated in the middle (ie. show ... in middle). This may not be necessary after the UI rework for handling descriptions, if paths are no longer shown.


Noted, thanks.

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 23, 2013

@nod5, @Deipotent - I disagree regarding the use of OK buttons. OK is a confirmation for a factual statement. It may be conventionally used in Windows for other purposes, but it doesn't make it any more correct.

nod5 :

Jun 23, 2013

3 (clone jobs):

I was thinking of adding "Clone job" option to the right-click menu of an existing backup instead

Great.

and reserving Ctrl-drag for moving backup list items around.

Do you mean that ctrl+click+drag would move multiple selected items? If not, then how would ctrl+click+drag and click+drag differ?

4 (sets of jobs):

Wouldn't an option of setting lists order essentially solve this?

Yes, you're right.

C (two Bvckup instances, with different jobs):

Already supported. If you start bvckup2.exe with "-c <etc_path>" command line argument, it will use <etc_path> as its configuration folder

Great! I'm testing two bvckup2 instances now and all is well. I retire request 4 then.

5 (remove text "no errors")

This is by design. It's a positive affirmation of everything being OK. I can add an option to hide it though.

Opt out is good.

6 (remove "Awaiting a Go command")

Disagree. This describes backup's current state. I also don't see a point in hiding this text, because it would just create more questions - why some jobs have a status line while others - don't. It's a matter of UI consistency and predictability.


The point is to prevent UI clutter. See this Bvckup 1 screencap: http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/4298/k8sc.png That is too much! All UI elements compete for user attention so draw attention only where needed.
Removing the text leaves the UI predictable and consistent: Bvckup would display status text for a job *only* when doing something with it: (1) running a timer until it starts or (2) monitoring its folders or (3) backing up its files. No status means no action until the user does something. That is what I would expect.

OK is a confirmation for a factual statement. It may be conventionally used in Windows for other purposes, but it doesn't make it any more correct.

Ease of use trumps correctness. Besides, "Update" is not quite right either (for "new backup"). You don't update something into existence, you "Create" or maybe "Save". (Though, you might mean an update to the job list with one more item?)

nod5 :

Jun 23, 2013

1) when a job is selected, show more of its settings.

Is this really needed?  ...  I am making a switch to Description-based backup identification in BR20

I very much prefer seeing from/to rather than a description. The description-based identification gets messy fast for uses with a lot of small jobs with specific folders/files. Seeing all paths gives a better overview in such a case. If description-based identification was forced I'd try to manually recreate the paths in the description name. (That's what I've done in Bvckup 1 and several other backup tools I've tried).

On the other hand, I like how the BR20 screencap shows 2+3+4abc at the same time. And I realize that displaying those *and* from *and* to at the same time is hard to accomplish in two rows. One way to fit all that information is for the job to expand to 3 rows while copying.

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 23, 2013

Do you mean that ctrl+click+drag would move multiple selected items? If not, then how would ctrl+click+drag and click+drag differ?


What I meant was that I am not a fan of click-drag. Since there's a delay involved, I find it counter-intuitive and inconvenient. I'd rather reserve Ctrl+click to be a start of dragging operation... though now that I've actually thought about it, it would clearly conflict with multiple selection toggle. So perhaps click-delay-drag is not that bad after all.

Besides, "Update" is not quite right either (for "new backup").

It should be saying "Create" in this case. If it doesn't, it's a bug.

If description-based identification was forced I'd try to manually recreate the paths in the description name.

What I did in BR20 is to have empty description automatically expand into "(src) -> (dst)" string where src/dst are actual values. The problem with showing Src/Dst as two separate items on a backup tile is that it takes one spot more than showing just the description. For a running backup that's quite a waste as there's more useful info to be shown.

nod5 :

Jun 23, 2013

What I meant was that I am not a fan of click-drag.  Since there's a delay involved, I find it counter-intuitive and inconvenient.

I see. Well, click drag could be had without a delay. E.g. dragging a file between folders in Windows Explorer. But a drawback with such "instant" click drag is that users might accidentally reorder items in their backup list.

What I did in BR20 is to have empty description automatically expand into "(src) -> (dst)"

I like that.

The problem with showing Src/Dst as two separate items ... is that it takes one spot more ... For a running backup that's quite a waste

I agree that is a reason against Src/Dst. I can think of two ways to stick with Src/Dst and keep all or most of the other elements:
A) skip the "step X of Y" text, keep the rest and show Src/Dst.
B) expand to three rows during copying. (Not sure if that complicates the UI coding though.)
Illustrations: http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/5817/1pxs.png

nod5 :

Jun 23, 2013

Addition: I think B is better since in A it isn't immediately clear what the first progressbar is for if it is positioned next to the name of the file currently being backed up. I'll try to come up with an improved version of A.

nod5 :

Jun 23, 2013

Say that a backup monitors C:\a and mirrors changes into C:\b. If I begin copying a 2GB file to C:\a Bvckup first shows "1 error" in red, since the file is locked. Once the whole file is in C:\a Bvckup starts copying it to C:\b. Does that really warrant an error message?

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 24, 2013

But a drawback with such "instant" click drag is that users might accidentally reorder items in their backup list.


Exactly.

expand to three rows during copying

I tried it earlier and it made the list jerk up and down on quicker backup runs. Not very nice. I then thought of making it expand to an extended view on user's click/command, but that just felt clunky and over-complicated. One other option is add few extra lines to the Log panel (like v1 had it), but, again, it's a trade between the simplicity of the UI and its verbosity.

Does that really warrant an error message?

The file *is* locked and it couldn't be copied, so that seems like a perfectly good reason to log an error to me :)

Deipotent :

Jul 03, 2013

The new tile layout/format in BR20 does not make it immediately obvious at a glance if a backup is occurring. Can you colour the top right text "Step 1 of 10" blue to make it stand out. I also think the "no errors" text should maybe be green to better show when there are no problems.

Deipotent :

Jul 15, 2013

When Delete Backups copies is selected and destination is not empty, it should be made clear on "Destination not empty" dialog that any files that don't exist on the source will be deleted on destination - eg. add "Any files which don't exist on the spource will be DELETED on the destination".

Alex Pankratov :

Jul 15, 2013

@Deipotent - I was thinking more in terms of adding a (fat) vertical left edge to each tile and color it differently depending on backup's state. I am not particularly fond of using blue or green in the UI. If it's all OK, it should simply be not red :)

Re #2 - OK, will do.

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