Backup on file pick-list is misleading

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This text refers to old SuperMemos. New SuperMemos name backup files in a way that is hard to confuse (enclosed in (((...))) brackets). In addition, SuperMemo warns you when you are about to open a backup.


This is perhaps more of a design flaw than a bug, but... a week ago I did "repair collection" and made a backup. Apparently, SuperMemo opened the backup afterwards (I certainly didn't open it manually), because what ended up happening is that I kept updating the backup while what was supposed to be the main collection got left untouched, meaning that the backup and the main collection ended up getting backwards. This caused me to take the wrong version of my collection on the road, so I missed a few days of repetitions. It could have been much worse, though... I could have deleted the "backup" a couple weeks later and lost quite a bit of work. My problem may not have been caused by the mere act of repairing the collection and making a backup, but in any case, it is far too easy to open the wrong version of the collection. Backups certainly should not be added to the "recent files" list that you see on the File menu. There's no reason to put them there and it causes mistakes like this to happen, especially since SuperMemo opens the top file in that list that isn't already in use (meaning that if you accidentally open two copies of the program, one will open the main collection and one will open the backup).

more details

It seems that Supermemo changes the file directory path it uses when you make a copy for backup. That is definitely a design flaw as the backup can then become confused with the original. It also causes irritated error messages after you remove the backup file, say, by removing the jump drive you store it on.

SuperMemo 2008

In SuperMemo 2008, if you use Quick Backup, backup collection names are very distinct (hard to confuse with the original), and SuperMemo warns you each time you open a backup.