Autosave minutes -- from my last save, or absolute?

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withoutFeathers
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Autosave minutes -- from my last save, or absolute?

Post by withoutFeathers » 2017-02-08 11:06:21

Hi,
I'm attempting to discern if Autosave is working correctly (I've had some trouble understanding it), and to do that I need to know what it's designed to do.

Question:
If I set Autosave to 30 minutes, should this 30 minutes always be measured from my last manual save, or is it absolute?

Examples:
If it's relative to my save, then if I save every 5 to 10 minutues manually, there will never be an Autosave.
If it's absolute, then it will save every 30 minutes regardless, so if I save at 27 minutes it will Autosave at 30 minutes anyway.

Which of these should it be doing?

Thanks...
WF

OS El Capitan
Nisus 2.1.5

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martin
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Re: Autosave minutes -- from my last save, or absolute?

Post by martin » 2017-02-08 13:25:32

The autosave period preference is intended to ensure that your document is saved to disk about every X minutes. It doesn't care if the save occurred manually or automatically, just that changes are saved about every X minutes.
withoutFeathers wrote:If it's relative to my save, then if I save every 5 to 10 minutues manually, there will never be an Autosave.
That's correct. If you are continually manually saving your document, such that the autosave period never elapses without any saving, then autosave will never be triggered.

I should say that autosave timing is not entirely exact. The system may force an autosave in certain situations that Nisus Writer should not ignore. For example, if you attach a document with unsaved changes to an email, the system should request the changes be saved to disk before the email is dispatched.

withoutFeathers
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Re: Autosave minutes -- from my last save, or absolute?

Post by withoutFeathers » 2017-02-15 10:00:42

Thank you, I now have Autosave set to 30 minutes, and I manually save regularly every few minutes, so I almost never see Autosave.

One exception, which I consider a bug -- I don't know if it's Apple's bug, or if you can control it. It's perhaps related to this:
martin wrote: I should say that autosave timing is not entirely exact. The system may force an autosave in certain situations that Nisus Writer should not ignore....
Annoyingly, when I save my work and then go away to work in another program, or sleep the computer, and come back, Autosave saves again immediately. It does this the first time I move the cursor. And it's a long document, so this Autosave takes about 10 seconds of spinning beach ball. :roll:

In other words, every time I start to work after a break, the first thing that happens is 10 seconds of spinning beach ball, even though the work has not been changed.

And this is not logical: I haven't changed anything, so there hasn't been any working time at all. That '30 minutes' should refer to 30 minutes of the document being in the foreground, not 30 minutes of absolute time.

AFAIK, this only occurs if I've been away more than 30 minutes -- which happens several times a day.

Can this 'feature' be changed?

WF

Vanceone
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Re: Autosave minutes -- from my last save, or absolute?

Post by Vanceone » 2017-02-26 15:51:33

Can it be changed? Almost certainly not.

Which is unfortunate. I frequently have to add a multiple page PDF file as an appendix, for instance. The only way I've found to do that is to open the PDF in preview and laboriously copy one page at a time and paste it. Every time I switch to Preview to copy the next page, Nisus autosaves the document. It takes ten seconds or so. Frequently I've copied the next page and switched back to Nisus, but still have to wait for autosave to finish. Most likely an Apple thing, as the NSDocument class which handles this kind of thing is wired to autosave on various events, and application switching is one of them.

withoutFeathers
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Re: Autosave minutes -- from my last save, or absolute?

Post by withoutFeathers » 2017-02-26 18:32:53

Vanceone wrote:Can it be changed? Almost certainly not.
Most likely an Apple thing, as the NSDocument class which handles this kind of thing is wired to autosave on various events, and application switching is one of them.
Definitely annoying. But I'm not having it happen just by application switching, as far as I can tell. Do you have your Nisus Preferences -- Saving -- Autosave set to more minutes than your change turnaround? In my case, the Autosave doesn't trigger unless the time away has been higher than the Autosave time. It doesn't trigger every time I go away and back, which I do repeatedly while I'm working -- to Firefox, Textedit, etc.

But maybe it's different if PDF pasting is involved.

WF

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martin
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Re: Autosave minutes -- from my last save, or absolute?

Post by martin » 2017-03-03 15:48:57

withoutFeathers wrote:Annoyingly, when I save my work and then go away to work in another program, or sleep the computer, and come back, Autosave saves again immediately.
...
And this is not logical: I haven't changed anything, so there hasn't been any working time at all. That '30 minutes' should refer to 30 minutes of the document being in the foreground, not 30 minutes of absolute time.
Autosave should engage at least after the period of time set in the preferences, regardless of whether or not the document is in the foreground. If you relegate Nisus Writer to the background, any changes should be saved after the time limit expires.

Let's consider your 30 minute autosave period with this hypothetical work schedule:

Code: Select all

0:00  Start editing a document in Nisus Writer.
0:10  Finish editing in Nisus Writer, switch to application XYZ, and hide Nisus Writer.
0:40  While still working in app XYZ, your Nisus Writer document is autosaved.
0:50  You leave app XYZ and switch back to Nisus Writer. Autosave should not be triggered again.
In that example sequence your changes made in the first ten minutes are saved at the 40 minute mark, even though Nisus Writer is inactive and/or hidden. When you return to Nisus Writer, autosave should not engage again because there are no changes to be saved; they were already saved earlier.

Does that make sense? Are you seeing different behavior?

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martin
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Re: Autosave minutes -- from my last save, or absolute?

Post by martin » 2017-03-03 15:53:54

withoutFeathers wrote:Do you have your Nisus Preferences -- Saving -- Autosave set to more minutes than your change turnaround? In my case, the Autosave doesn't trigger unless the time away has been higher than the Autosave time. It doesn't trigger every time I go away and back
The autosave period preference likely explains the different behavior you and Vance are seeing. If the period is set to "Automatic" then autosave timing is left entirely to the system (macOS), which includes each and every switch between applications. If the period is set to any explicit amount of time (eg: 5 minutes), Nisus Writer will ignore the system autosave request in these situations, unless the time limit has expired or it's an uncancellable request.

withoutFeathers
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Re: Autosave minutes -- from my last save, or absolute?

Post by withoutFeathers » 2017-03-05 11:33:04

martin wrote:
withoutFeathers wrote:Annoyingly, when I save my work and then go away to work in another program, or sleep the computer, and come back, Autosave saves again immediately.
.
Let's consider your 30 minute autosave period with this hypothetical work schedule:

Code: Select all

0:00  Start editing a document in Nisus Writer.
0:10  Finish editing in Nisus Writer, switch to application XYZ, and hide Nisus Writer.
0:40  While still working in app XYZ, your Nisus Writer document is autosaved.
0:50  You leave app XYZ and switch back to Nisus Writer. Autosave should not be triggered again.
In that example sequence your changes made in the first ten minutes are saved at the 40 minute mark, even though Nisus Writer is inactive and/or hidden. When you return to Nisus Writer, autosave should not engage again because there are no changes to be saved; they were already saved earlier.

Does that make sense? Are you seeing different behavior?
That may be occurring; and would explain what's happening after 'sleep',--because if Autosave wants to save during sleep (and can't) then apparently it keeps counting time and saves immediately as soon as sleep is over.

To clarify:
I believe I was wrong in generalizing about working in other applications; you may be right that it Autosaves in the background (I didn't realize that).

But my main complaint was, and still is, that it isn't logical for Autosave to save immediately before and immediately after sleep, because NO working time as elapsed. But as far as I can see, it always does this.

So if my habit is to: save, sleep, let some hours pass, open (not an unusual habit), then I always get an unnecessary Autosave as soon as I open.

However, this is not a big deal really, especially now since I just removed some PDF graphics from the program in an edit, and the save time suddenly and dramatically reduced. And, interestingly, I had several of these graphics, all identical sizes, and the sudden large reduction (several seconds) didn't happen until the last one was removed. In other words, it wasn't a proportional reduction that had to do with the size of the data; it was something to do with having any of those graphics in the file (not linked, actually in the file).

Anyway, I can live with this now, even if I'll never know why it was what it was. Onwards. :)

WF

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