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+ - Goodbye, Ctrl-S-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "'Save your work!' — This was a rallying cry for an entire generation of workers and students. The frequency and unpredictability of software crashes, power outages, and hardware failures made it imperative to constantly hit that save button. But in 2014? Not so much. My documents are automatically saved (with versioning) every time I make a change. My IDE commits code changes automatically. Many webforms will save drafts of whatever data I'm entering. Heck, even the games I play have an autosave feature. It's an interesting change — the young generation will grow up with an implicit trust that whatever they type into a computer will stay there. Maybe this is my generation's version of: 'In my day, we had to get up and walk across the room to change the channel on the TV!' In any case, it has some subtle but interesting effects on how people write, play, and create. No longer do we have to have constant interruptions to worry about whether our changes are saved — but at the same time, we don't have that pause to take a moment and reflect on what we've written. I'm sure we've all had moments where our hands hover over a save/submit button before changing our minds and hammering the backspace key. Maybe now we'll have to think before we write."
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Goodbye, Ctrl-S

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  • In order to make autosave usable in practice, every application would have to integrate with revision control. Sure, a copy on a local machine or someone else's server could be autosaved, but a user is still likely to want enough control to commit the changes or to back them out. The old model of manual saving is essentially a special case of revision control, where "Open" checks out to volatile memory, "Save" commits to a branch limited to one revision, and "Save As" creates a new branch and commits to it.

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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