Feature request: Better auto-recovery

Hey all,

On a Mac:

It may be just me, but I end up with a lot of auto-recovered projects. It usually happens when I put the laptop to sleep and the dongle falls out. When I open it up HALion VST has crashed on the “no license found” dialogue (dongle is back in at this point). This by the way is super annoying as you have to force quit the stalled VST process from the terminal or Activity monitor (it doesn’t appear in the force quit dialogue). I realise the dongle is going the way of the dinosaur so I won’t gripe about that.

What I do end up with is a lot of beautifully preserved and copied auto-recovered versions of my documents, which unless I want to check every bar I inevitably save in the folder with the original and then eventually forget about.

Could we possibly have an auto recover feature which saves the snapshot of the file within the file itself, and a simple auto-recovery manager which opens when a file is opened, displaying the saved versions and allowing you preview, compare, restore or delete recovered versions?

If nothing else despite my computer nouse, I still get confused as to which file I’m working on when I re-open Dorico, as the recovered files are called by the same name, so perhaps [recovered] after the filename when you re-open Dorico to the recovered file?

Many thanks

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The first thing I’d suggest is fixing the dongle-falling-out issue. With that done, you can re-evaluate the remaining issues.

I would never leave a program (especially an audio-visual type program) open when the computer was likely to go to sleep. It isn’t that tough to quit and restart later, and it saves a lot of hassle should audio-engine shutdown or the like occur.

Thanks for the criticism guys. If it helps your imaginations - I’m often snatching the odd 5 minutes when my kids are occupied to compose, and often have to snap the computer shut to go and deal with something. Closing applications every time I need to close the laptop is tiresome and irritating.

Also irritating is that the dongle is USB 2.0 and my laptop is USB-C, so I actually need a dongle for my dongle. This second dongle seems to dislodge with the tiniest of motions whether or not the laptop is open and is a frequent irritation. I cannot wait until the dongle license system is done with, it’s going to change my life.

Finally - I love how responsive this forum is when there are issues. However, this post here is not an issue, it’s a feature request. Something nice to have in a future version In My Opinion. I do not understand why anyone would come here specifically to criticise my choices when using the software and my own hardware. It’s highly irritating to have thought of what I think would be a cool and useful thing to have some smug-

I’m going to leave it there before I violate the terms of this forum.

No, do go on…

What some folks consider criticism, others consider suggestions to improve the situation in the meantime.

smug people. Do you really think I hadn’t thought of trying to solve the dongle issue? Or closing the application before putting the laptop to sleep? “Oh no I would never!” doesn’t strike you at all condescending?

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Thanks for the feedback about how you would prefer the auto-save recovery process to work. You should find that you are only offered a single auto-save for each project you had open at the time Dorico quit unexpectedly, because Dorico cleans up its auto-saves as you go: as soon as you close a project, any auto-save that was knocking about for that project is cleaned up and moved to the trash. So even if you had three or four projects open, you should only see one file offered up for recovery for each of those projects. I don’t recall whether the change I made to have it show you the date and time at which the auto-save was created in the dialog is in the current shipping version or is something that’s only in our development builds, but hopefully that is there and also provides you with helpful information to guide your choice about whether to recover something.

At the risk of being condescending, if you can spare a couple of seconds to hit Command-S before you close your laptop, it will probably help, at least until such time as you can do away with your dongle. In a similar vein, if it would be helpful, I would be happy to provide you with a time-limited license you can install on the Soft-eLicenser so that you can run Dorico without the USB-eLicenser for a while, and that should also prevent the software from quitting unexpectedly if the USB-eLicenser becomes disconnected.

In terms of your actual request, it would be a very significant change to the way Dorico projects are structured and handled to implement multiple versions within the same file, and although we don’t rule something like that out for the future, it’s not something you should expect in the near- to medium-term.

Somewhat linked to this …

Instead of an automatic save / rename, would it be possible to have the Save as Version function bring up the standard save screen, this time showing what it intends to save the version as? It can be useful to add a bit more information to the save title at this stage rather than simply having it being saved as Filename 01, Filename 02 etc.

As an aside - one of the programs that I’ve had to abandon after upgrading to BigSur is ForeverSave 2. I think it would be fair to say that, if I increase the number of backups per project, Dorico’s Autosave function can probably do what ForeverSave 2 did, but the way in which ForeverSave collected and presented the backups was excellent. Saved my bacon on many occasions. Anyway, I’ll see how I get on with the autosave function.

I have developed the habit of saving each version (not only Dorico files) ending in a date stamp (yymmdd) when I make changes. Admittedly it takes up more room on the disk drive, but it has been very useful when I wanted to check a former version or when something untoward happens during a writing session. Each project has its own folder, and the file name with date stamp can be sorted to put the most recent at the top.

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Many thanks Dan. Yes I appreciate it’s a large task to consider that kind of update.

Command-S - yes in fact 19/20 times I do hit command-S before I close the computer, and do so at regular intervals. Sometimes it gets a little confusing when I’m working on an autosaved/recovered version, not realising that it’s not the same as the saved original, which has moved on since. It might interest you to know that sometimes I get more than one recovered file - sometimes I get a recovered file simply titled the same as the original, and another one with [autosave] after the title.

Timestamp would probably be useful. Either way down the line I hope you consider fleshing this out in some way, even if not in the way mentioned. I would love another temporary license key if you’re offering - another day in which I’m dongle free is a happy day for me :slight_smile:

David_Tee’s version feature I’m not so bothered about - I’ve never once used the Sibelius “versions” feature…

I don’t understand this when the OS timestamps the file anyway. If I want to preserve versions I’ll add a version number afterwards - 1, 1-2. etc. but I almost never do it, and delete older versions as soon as I can… I like a clean file system!

I’ve encountered the same thing, and wondered why that happened too. But when Dorico prompts you to recover autosaved files, it gives you their timestamps as well. Or you could just choose to recover both, then check which of them is the most up to date & save that one.