NWE Cost Me My Job

Have a problem? A question? This is the place for answers from other Express users.
Matt
Posts: 5
Joined: 2003-09-10 09:27:45

NWE Cost Me My Job

Post by Matt » 2004-01-13 13:12:55

Try this, using NWE 1.1.1a:
Make sure autosave is on, and set to a short interval (like 5 min).
Create a new document. Before doing anything else, choose "Save As" to save the file with the name and location you want.
Type something. Be sure to leave the document open long enough for the autosave to kick in and save your work.
Hit command-Q to quit. Notice, somewhat alarmed, that you are not prompted to save your changes. Decide that it must have autosaved them, so you're ok.
Re-open the document. Scream in frustration when you realize that it's empty, and there is no sign of your text in the document manager, either.


This is repeatable, at least on my machine. My story: the same as above, except work on the file for 3 hours in the morning. Didn't save because I figured that autosave meant the document would, well, automatically save. Go figure. Quit to go take a break (still not sure why I did that, but it seemed like a good idea then). Look startled when not asked to save changes, but figure again, that autosave means automatic saving. Come back to desk, open file, and go through 12 steps (denial, anger, depression, complacency, etc) in about 30 seconds. Get cracking madly on the document (now in MS word, shudder) because it's due in 30 min. Present document to the Powers that Be in a VERY unfinished form. Shrink away as Powers grow less and less happy.

I haven't been fired yet, but I'm on very thin ice...

Transportation to job interview: $200
New suit to look good in interview, getting you the new job: $900
Alternative word processor to produce documents for said job: $60
Look on the boss's face when you tell her the word processor ate your report: Priceless

There are some things money can't buy. Which is a damn good thing, because I may not have much to spare pretty soon...

dshan
Posts: 333
Joined: 2003-11-21 19:25:28
Location: Sydney, Australia

Auto-save is broken in 1.1.1a

Post by dshan » 2004-01-14 02:32:57

Yep, I can repro this as well using 1.1.1a. I'm pretty sure this was working fine in earlier releases--1.1.1 or maybe 1.1a...

Paul Ingraham
Posts: 10
Joined: 2004-01-03 19:21:27

Post by Paul Ingraham » 2004-01-14 11:12:16

I can reproduce this strange and alarming bug exactly as Matt has described. I can also do it with an autosave interval of 10 minutes.

But wait, there's more.

NWX does not prompt me to save a modified document under any circumstances, regardless of my autosave preferences. To reproduce this, simply:

1. Create a new document.
2. Save as...
3. Modify it.
4. Close it.
5. Watch and be amazed as you are NOT prompted to save your modified document.

Nor have your changes been autosaved, if autosave was turned on.

It appears that NWX both (a) does not autosave my documents if I have explicitly saved them, and (b) does not prompt me to save a modified document.

Is this not just one but TWO serious bugs?!

It is possible that the autosave feature is intended to apply only to documents managed by the Document Manager, i.e. documents you have not explicitly saved yourself. Strange as that may seem, the NWX FAQ is somewhat ambiguous on this point:
You can ignore saving your documents entirely. Nisus Writer Express (with the Autosave preference turned on) automatically gives your document a name and stores the file in the following folder:

~/Documents/Nisus Documents/

You can easily find and open these documents using the Document Manager. (Choose Document Manager from the Window menu and open the file you want.)

In addition, you can explicitly save your files by choosing Save As from the File menu. This enables you to save your file in a variety of formats and encodings.
So what does autosave do when you have explicitly saved your file?

One would hope that it simply saves the file you are working on. Yet I can find no evidence (in function or documentation) that my explicitly saved documents are being autosaved under any name!

Autosave features aside, the failure to prompt to save a modified document is enough to make me cringe. Clearly, this is a bug -- and the worst sort of word processing bug, the kind of bug that makes you wonder if what you are typing will actually be preserved. That's an ugly, paranoid feeling I normally associated with MS Word.

It's so nasty that I'm having a hard time believing it's for real...

Nevertheless, Matt, you should consider the possibility that it may -- just possibly :wink: -- have been unwise to trust a crucial document on a tight deadline to an autosave feature of a word processor with quirks and bugs we are all still learning about.

Paul Ingraham
NWX 1.1.1
G4 1.25 1000/160/Combo, OS 10.3.2
iBook 300 320/6/CD, OS 10.3.2[/b]

dshan
Posts: 333
Joined: 2003-11-21 19:25:28
Location: Sydney, Australia

Autosave Broken in 1.1.1 and 1.1.1a

Post by dshan » 2004-01-14 11:33:57

I went back to NWX 1.1.1 and can also still repro this problem. I notice you no longer get the brief "Saving..." message at the bottom of the window every x minutes (accompanied by a brief pause and grinding of the HD as it saved) with auto-save set I that I recall from earlier releases (must have been 1.1). I used to get this, and not using Document Manager either, so I'm sure it's a behaviour change since 1.1.1.

dshan
Posts: 333
Joined: 2003-11-21 19:25:28
Location: Sydney, Australia

Autosave Broken in NWX 1.1.1 and 1.1.1a, Works in 1.1a

Post by dshan » 2004-01-14 12:59:02

I found an old copy of NWX 1.1a (hooray for backups!) and tried the autosave and "no warning on closing unsaved docs" bugs described above with that and it works just fine! So the bug was introduced in 1.1.1 and is still there in 1.1.1a.

We need a 1.1.1b that fixes these nasty autosave bugs ASAP. Meanwhile if you can live with 1.1a drop back to that to restore autosave functionality and get the expected warning when you are quitting a modified document that has not been saved/autosaved yet.

Paul Ingraham
Posts: 10
Joined: 2004-01-03 19:21:27

is the autosave behaviour actually a bug?

Post by Paul Ingraham » 2004-01-14 14:34:58

Seems like we're nailing down the no-warning-when-closing-modified-documents bug.

I'm still a little uncertain about the autosave thing. Is the 1.1.1a autosave behaviour definitely buggy? Is the intended function of autosave to save your document just as though hit Cmd-s? If so, then there is a bug.

Or is the autosave feature intended (bizarre but possible) to function only with documents you haven't explicitly saved? That is, autosave functionality is limited to "managed documents"... in which case there wouldn't be an autosave bug here, just a strange implementation of autosave.

Paul

dshan
Posts: 333
Joined: 2003-11-21 19:25:28
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: is the autosave behaviour actually a bug?

Post by dshan » 2004-01-14 16:45:40

Paul Ingraham wrote:Seems like we're nailing down the no-warning-when-closing-modified-documents bug.

I'm still a little uncertain about the autosave thing. Is the 1.1.1a autosave behaviour definitely buggy? Is the intended function of autosave to save your document just as though hit Cmd-s? If so, then there is a bug.

Or is the autosave feature intended (bizarre but possible) to function only with documents you haven't explicitly saved? That is, autosave functionality is limited to "managed documents"... in which case there wouldn't be an autosave bug here, just a strange implementation of autosave.

Paul
No the autosave is most definitely buggy. In 1.1a and previous releases it saved all docs every "x" mins when Autosave was enabled. If you had not specified a location/name for the doc it saved it in DM, else it saved it wherever you specified when you did "Save As..." It no longer gives you the "Saving..." message in the windows status bar (bottom) as it does each autosave operation like it used to because it no longer does them!

Interestingly however, I just found out that if you enable the "Keep new documents in document manager without asking me" option as well as "Autosave after x mins" and open a new document, don't save it anywhere or give it a name, and type some text and wait x mins it IS saved in DM! So it's only autosaving outside of DM that is no longer working... Sadly once you "Save as..." it is removed from DM control and no longer gets autosaved anywhere.

MacSailor
Posts: 275
Joined: 2003-04-03 08:38:41
Location: Linköping, Sweden

Post by MacSailor » 2004-01-15 00:53:03

The last week I have experienced several times that the NWE 1.1.1a has alerted me that some particular documents could not be saved by the autosave function and that the NWE has disabled the autosave function because of that.

I sent in a feedback from within NWE , so I hope they fix the bug asap, as it is a quite annoying bug, imho.
Peter Edwardsson
..............................

james.paul
Posts: 2
Joined: 2002-12-18 12:18:52

Post by james.paul » 2004-01-15 08:54:16

The same thing happened to my girlfriend whilst doing her college assignment. We lost quite a few hundred words. Luckily, it was to hand in the following day and we had time to type the words again but this is very frustrating. Makes you lose your trust in a product.

dshan
Posts: 333
Joined: 2003-11-21 19:25:28
Location: Sydney, Australia

Autosave Error Messages

Post by dshan » 2004-01-15 15:24:06

Peter Edwardsson wrote:The last week I have experienced several times that the NWE 1.1.1a has alerted me that some particular documents could not be saved by the autosave function and that the NWE has disabled the autosave function because of that.

I sent in a feedback from within NWE , so I hope they fix the bug asap, as it is a quite annoying bug, imho.
Peter,

I've never seen such messages. Where do they appear? In some dialog box or in the console/system logs? Do they appear automatically after the autosave interval has expired or does some user activity seem to trigger them?

MacSailor
Posts: 275
Joined: 2003-04-03 08:38:41
Location: Linköping, Sweden

Re: Autosave Error Messages

Post by MacSailor » 2004-01-15 22:13:14

dshan wrote:
Peter,

I've never seen such messages. Where do they appear? In some dialog box or in the console/system logs? Do they appear automatically after the autosave interval has expired or does some user activity seem to trigger them?

The message(s) appear automatically after the autosave interval has expired. They appear directly in the application, within a dialog box.
Peter Edwardsson
..............................

dshan
Posts: 333
Joined: 2003-11-21 19:25:28
Location: Sydney, Australia

Autosave Probelms - The Cause?

Post by dshan » 2004-01-17 14:34:09

I've been doing more research into this problem triggered by the fact I noticed that although autosave is broken and unsaved changes are lost without any warning as described in previous posts this only happens with new documents created under 1.1.1 and 1.1.1a!

I have a couple of older docs I originally created under previous versions of NWX--probably 1.1a--and they are still being autosaved just fine and any attempt to close them with unsaved changes gives you the expected warning dialog (you can see the red close button get a black spot in it's centre to indicate unsaved updates have been made as soon as you enter any new text in an open document, this is cleared by save/autosave. I believe this is std OS X behaviour for TEXT windows/docs as Textedit does the same thing) This close button behaviour does not happen with documents newly created under NWX 1.1.1a.

In light of the above I used File Buddy to check out the HFS info for both my old and new NWX documents and I found something interesting: the old documents that are still being autosaved have Creator of "NISX" and a File Type of "TEXT" whereas any new docs I create and save under 1.1.1a have a Creator of "NISX" and a File Type of "RTF"! Sure enough when I used File Buddy to change the File Type of the new docs from "RTF" to "TEXT" they suddenly started being autosaved and giving warnings when you attempt to close them with unsaved changes.

Next I went back to the release notes for 1.1.1/1.1.1a and found this:

• Fixed empty HFS file type codes in saved documents.

It sounds like that in the process of fixing this bug they made 1.1.1 and 1.1.1a save all docs with a default type of RTF instead of TEXT and this breaks the autosave functionality and detection of unsaved changes in documents.

charles
Posts: 481
Joined: 2002-11-26 11:40:35
Location: San Diego, CA
Contact:

Post by charles » 2004-01-18 03:53:10

Hi:

I wanted to let everyone know that we have been able to reproduce this problem internally as well and we are working to track down the issue. The problem seems to be that Nisus Writer will stop recognizing that a document has been changed under certain circumstances. Since the application does not think the document has been changed, it will not autosave it nor will it ask you to save when you close the document.

Until we get a fix out, you can forcibly save the document before you close it by selecting "Save" from the "File" menu. This will save the document, even if it does not think the document has been changed. Additionally, my testing seems to indicate that if you notice Nisus Writer is not noticing that your document has changed (i.e. if a dark dot does not show in the red "close" button in the window title bar after you have made changes), then you can save the document, close it and reopen it, and everything should work again.

I apologize for this issue and any problems it may have caused any of you. We will release an update when we are able to track down the source of the problem.

-Charles

Paul Ingraham
Posts: 10
Joined: 2004-01-03 19:21:27

Post by Paul Ingraham » 2004-01-19 12:04:39

I apologize for this issue and any problems it may have caused any of you. We will release an update when we are able to track down the source of the problem.
Thanks for the update, Charles. As a new user, it's good to know someone at Nisus is paying attention to this.

IMO, this is a really nasty bug, the kind of bug that makes people think about asking for a refund. Personally, I've made a decision to stick with NWX through the growing pains, because I love the design philosophy behind it.

But yikes! My enthusiasm was definitely challenged by this particular problem. I do hope for a fix ASAP. Only when bugs like this are history can I sincerely recommend NWX to users like, say, my mother. :wink:

Paul Ingraham

charles
Posts: 481
Joined: 2002-11-26 11:40:35
Location: San Diego, CA
Contact:

Post by charles » 2004-01-22 12:34:59

FYI: We have found the source of this bug and fixed it. We are in the process of final testing and a new maintenance release should be out soon.

-Charles

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