Autosaving (was Re: [Testing] Please help test our pre-release build of 8.2.1)

Bert Freudenberg bert at
Sun Jan 4 18:36:07 EST 2009

[trimming distribution list]

On 04.01.2009, at 22:21, Gary C Martin wrote:

> On 4 Jan 2009, at 20:28, Bert Freudenberg wrote:
>> This is no different than in 8.2.0 - assuming you just launched and  
>> immediately exited Etoys we do no longer create a useless Journal  
>> entry. Only if you make a new project (or rename the default one)  
>> is it saved automatically on exit.
> The previous auto keep when you made zero changes was both  
> annoyingly slow and daft, but to not auto keep especially after  
> making edits breaks the whole Sugar Journal concept in one fell  
> swoop (and even with no changes, I'd expect a Journal entry that  
> just resumes to the default start page but with no whole 'saving  
> project' cycle needed).
> First thing I imagine most kids would do with Etoys (well I do at  
> least) is make the 'welcome' screen car hoot as it hits the screen  
> edges, and then make it also hoot as it bounces off other graphic  
> objects. Happy in discovering all the rather obscure/hidden menus  
> and palettes to do this, I'd then stop to see all my effort vanish,  
> unrecorded for posterity.
> I almost reported this as a critical bug. It took me a good hour of  
> various reboots, reinstalls, and journal wipes before I realised the  
> behaviour had fundamentally changed and I had to keep before EToys  
> would bother making any Journal entry (even discovered all the  
> hidden toolbutton menus for Publishing and exiting without saving et  
> al, before realising I had to prime saving by hitting keep).
> Sorry for the negative report, I just think a well behaving EToys is  
> really important, FWIW, I may just be an edge case kid at heart.

Having to consider edge cases keeps us honest, so please keep  
mentioning issues you feel unhappy about.

I still feel good about the case you cite (modifying the launcher  
project). I think the learning in Etoys happens foremost by building  
projects and experimenting in them, not primarily in the actual  
artifacts one creates. Once you grasped the idea of where to place  
that honk tile, it takes less than 10 seconds to actually drop it in,  
producing the greatest of cacophonies (*).

That said, I'd love for any changes made in Etoys to become permanent.  
This is possible (Smalltalk developers do that all the time) but alas  
impractical at the moment, and development resources are unlikely to  
be spent on this soon. Project saving is about the best we can do for  
the time being. If we could significantly speed it up we might  
reconsider the auto-save strategy, too.

- Bert -

(*)  Once you try that in class you can relate to how teachers were  
very happy when we disabled the default "fence sound" an object used  
to produce when hitting a screen edge ;)

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