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Capture Assistant is too slow with home  XML
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Frederic Thomas



Joined: 20-Jul-07 14:25
Messages: 43
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Capture Assistant is taking about half a century to figure out how much data is in my home. While it does so, you cannot continue. If you select something else (like Volume), it keeps on counting, but if you "Continue" and then "Go back" it has forgotten how much data was in home and starts again.

This could be improved. Backing up the home folder is a typical thing to evaluate backup software!

Fred
James Bucanek



Joined: 14-Feb-07 10:05
Messages: 1548
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The capture assistant is calculating the size of your home folder about as fast as it can. If you went to the Finder, selected your home folder, and choose Get Info, it would take about as long.

Unfortunately, there's no magic way of quickly determining the total size of a folder without reading every folder it contains and totalling the contents. The capture assistant needs this information in order to make intellegent suggestions.

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Frederic Thomas



Joined: 20-Jul-07 14:25
Messages: 43
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OK, maybe I was not very clear.

I am not saying it does not calculate fast enough. I am saying it would be best if it was not calculating at that point in time.

Your point is that it needs the calculation to provide "intelligent suggestions". But how good will be these suggestions if any of the accounted for sizes (data and backup sizes) do significantly change? The backup volume may (or may not) be dedicated to this backup task. The home folder size may increase quickly: just play with iMovie some more.

What I am trying to say is that, IMHO:

- to be really "intelligent", the software should re-evaluate the operating conditions regularly. Otherwise it's only "intelligent" for a short amount of time, and the wizard does not really warn about this (that its proposal only makes sense as long as the space ratio remains the same as time goes by).

- if it was re-evaluating space rations as time goes by (and maybe it is), then it's not necessary to have the size be calculated at that point. Just defer the analysis after the first full backup. Given qRecall "compression" technique, it actually makes a lot of sense to be smart only after a full examination of the data. I mean maybe the 20 Gigs of the user consist of 5 times the same 4 gigs of movies...

Don't get me wrong: I am all for a new good Mac backup solution. And what I have seen so far with qRecall is great. But from a user interface perspective however, I don't think having to wait for 30 minutes to be able to finish a wizard is good. If it takes that long, it should be done in the background, or something...

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 21-Jul-07 08:03

James Bucanek



Joined: 14-Feb-07 10:05
Messages: 1548
Online

Frederic Thomas wrote:OK, maybe I was not very clear.

I am not saying it does not calculate fast enough. I am saying it would be best if it was not calculating at that point in time.

Your point is that it needs the calculation to provide "intelligent suggestions". But how good will be these suggestions if any of the accounted for sizes (data and backup sizes) do significantly change?

The assistant performs a number of sanity checks, like making sure you don't start off by trying to capture three times more data than the size of the volume the archive is on. It also make quesstimates about how much data, and how long, you can reasonably expect the archive to hold. All of those checks and suggestions require knowing approximately how much data you're trying to capture.

I agree that things can change, and the various actions created by the capture assistant can deal with those based on your preferences. But I think it's important that you be presented with some reasonable estimate of what can, or can't, accomplish before you begin. While the estimation process might be slow, a failed multi-GB capture is even slower.

Don't get me wrong: I am all for a new good Mac backup solution. And what I have seen so far with qRecall is great. But from a user interface perspective however, I don't think having to wait for 30 minutes to be able to finish a wizard is good. If it takes that long, it should be done in the background, or something...

Yikes, that's way too slow. I think I've got a fair number of files in my home folder (~200,000) and it take less than a minute to estimate my home folder size. If it's taking more than 5 minutes, then something is amiss.

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Frederic Thomas



Joined: 20-Jul-07 14:25
Messages: 43
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Admittedly, I made the 30 minute up . Here's what I get:

Finder: 25s (from a rebooted finder)
Qrecall: 1:20s

Finder says 25.37 GB and "find | wc -l" 151903 files. Imac G5 1.8GHz.

Again, I understand the logic. I am suggesting the UI is fixed as staring at a beach ball for 1 minute and 20 second feels very long (progress bar?), especially since the size of the full disk is known...

Thanks

Fred
James Bucanek



Joined: 14-Feb-07 10:05
Messages: 1548
Online

Frederic Thomas wrote:Again, I understand the logic. I am suggesting the UI is fixed as staring at a beach ball for 1 minute and 20 second feels very long (progress bar?), especially since the size of the full disk is known...

I would have loved to have used a progress bar, but it's a catch-22. You have to read all of the folders to determine how many folders you have to read....

But I agree that it's the one point that sort of "breaks the flow" of the assistant. I'll look into ways of handling it more efficiently.

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