Originally Posted by ascii
Originally Posted by rcfa
If all you do is write letters to Auntie Beth, then versions are useless. If you work in any sort of collaborative work environment on real projects, versions are great. I would just prefer a different sort of interface that would keep file saving semantics the same and would distinguish between auto-save and save, and user-initiated versions that also keep track of who made the changes, but that would go against Apple's desire to (over)simplify things. Given their drive to (over)simplify, versions turned out actually somewhat usable, although it's still confusing for dummies and not powerful enough for the people who really critically rely on document versioning (and e.g. require embedded document version IDs and an audit trail of who's accountable for which document changes).
I agree. Corporate users need something more powerful, and home users, well the hourly backups of Time Machine should be enough for their typical use cases (recipes, letters, etc).
It was intended (I think) to solve the age old "problem" of having to press command-s once and a while, but it's such a deceptively big problem that they ended having to build this entire edifice in to NSDocument, a disproportionate amount of complexity for what it ultimately achieves. And architecturally one goal has to be to keep overall system complexity down, which means removing it where it is not giving bang for the buck. Versions needs to join the ObjC garbage collector in OS X heaven.
As is, I agree. But I think versions could be fixed by simply making a distinction between autosave and save. The regular cmd-s semantics should remain, and auto-save should happen in the background to a different fork in the version tree. That way, if the app crashes, etc. work can resume, but the what's saved is saved just like it used to be. Then, there should be a different command "save snapshot" which would be the same as saving a copy, except it appends a time stamp plus usershortID to the file, and it becomes an officially, user-created version of that file. Work groups, by setting proper permissions on the original of a file, could thus prevent overwriting the original and force version saving, which would automatically create an audit trail.
The storage mechanism could remain just what Apple uses now, but for the average user, it would just be a simple crash recovery system and otherwise regular file saving, and for people who need explicit versioning, it would be that, too.
But I guess Apple wants to avoid the "clutter" of actually versioned file names in the file system. Apple seems to want to go back to the MS-DOS days anyway, where apps owned data, instead of apps being tools that work on files that can be opened with whatever tool one likes to use.
That's why I hate the current iOS/AppStore climate: we're back to a proliferation of proprietary file formats, rather than having more competing tools that work on standard, interchangable document formats. We're back to app-centric rather than data/document or even task centric architecture. Easy for dummies, frustrating for anyone who used a computer for more than two weeks and knows that there's a different way. (everyone else just moo-ing accepts what is served on their platter, it seems).