Problems With Software: Saving

Computer users have adapted to the idiocies of early solutions. Back when software was developed solely for advanced users, programmers were in charge of defining the user interfaces of these pieces of software. The problem currently lies in the fact that this has not changed. This particular rant could go on forever so I am going to stick with the problems with the current saving solution.

Lets take a trip down memory lane to the last time you worked on a document. Whenever you made a change to this document, what did you have to do? Save. If you wanted to rename the document, what would you have to do? Save As. When you would like to save a copy of the document somewhere else, what would you have to do? Save As. The list can continue, but I shall make my point.

This scenario makes me laugh. I realize that the only reason I know this is because It has been ingrained into my head since the beginning of computer time. Is the save, save as method intuitive? I say “I know how to do it so it must be.” Is it really though? Let’s compare these current solutions to reality. In the computer world, there are usually 2 copies of a document. One in memory, and one on the hard disk. When you add the bibliography to that annoying assignment you didn’t know required a bibliography, you are changing it in memory. Then, to put it on the hard disk, you save it. Back in the stone age, my buddy is writing the same paper by hand. But for some reason he doesn’t have 2 copies, and when he writes something down it stays on the paper! Genius!

This article is called problems with software not solutions to software problems so unfortunately I am not posting a concrete solution to base the next project on. However, this doesn’t mean I can’t throw some ideas out there. The kibosh could be placed on the save and save as features. When one would like to back up their document somewhere, perhaps the backup button? When someone would like to file there document initially, perhaps the file button? When someone would like to rename this document to something else, perhaps the rename button will suffice. This of course requires the use of a nice undo system which allows you to undo file write-overs and things of that nature, but this is for later articles.

Remember, just because it is the standard, doesn’t mean it is a good solution.