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On backups and cloud storage

mods backup storage

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#1 Kulyok

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:45 PM

(Warning: a Captain Obvious post here).

We all hear from time to time that someone's hard drive crashed, a backup was too old, and so on, and so forth. Since I'm paranoid, I decided to go and privately copy some of my files via cloud storage.

Cloud storage doesn't function as a mirror for your mod(s), if you don't want it to(and I don't want mine to) - just a good and quick backup of your files for your convenience. There are several large ones available: Dropbox, Microsoft Skydrive, Google Cloud Storage(Google requires your billing info even if you're only using free 5gb, though, so I'd stay clear) and so on - they usually give you free 2-7 gb of space, which is more than enough for IE mods.

If you are a modder(especially if you have a mod in progress, and especially if you have a small freelance website for your one or two mods and think it'll never fail - take a look at PPG's thread on modlist's dead links, if you don't believe me), I think it's a good backup option. And, yep, I'm paranoid. :)

#2 theacefes

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:08 AM

While I agree with you, I'm going to also be the pessimistic ass and state that many times the "my hard drive crashed" excuse is often a cover for people who just have lost interest/haven't gotten as much progress as they advertise done/both and don't want to look bad when they tell people.

Again though, I agree with you and think it's a great suggestion. :)

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#3 Kulyok

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:35 AM

Heheheh.

It serves one more function, by the way(cloud storage, I mean, not someone telling people his drive crashed when it didn't) - if you work on two computers, it's easier to upload and download later than to constantly send backups to myself via mail. I only just figured it out - backuping my in-progress mods and books was a mess.

Edited by Kulyok, 11 January 2013 - 10:35 AM.


#4 lynx

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:26 PM

"cloud". Uploading it anywhere helps and at least for the weidu and dialog/script parts, the best choice would be to save things to a source control repository (like some already do here with github). That way people can also easily review the code, comment on specific lines and contribute directly.

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#5 theacefes

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:44 PM

I think that's great for team based projects or people who have an academic interest in the code but I would advise new modders against making something like that public if they are doing content/story based mods and want to keep any part of their dialogues/story under wraps until it's ready for release.

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#6 Mike1072

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:20 PM

If you're working on a secret project and don't want to upload your stuff publicly, Dropbox is a good solution as it will let you keep your stuff backed up, synchronized between different computers and any collaborators you deem worthy, and unavailable to the masses.

But for the majority of mods, moving development to an accessible version control system like GitHub is an even better idea. Aside from the benefits lynx mentioned, if used properly, they centralize development (so everyone can see the latest code and nobody has to reinvent the wheel) which is especially helpful when authors and maintainers become unable to continue development.

Edited by Mike1072, 11 January 2013 - 06:21 PM.


#7 Kaeloree

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:46 PM

Dropbox/github is what I use. :)

#8 Aion

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:54 AM

Alternatively, for backups of your own files, simply buy one or several external harddrives that serve as backup only, aka they're not plugged in all the time. They can last for a long time, and you can get 3TB ones for quite an affordable price. There's larger ones too, of course.

This is effective if you have more than just your mods to backup, which I'm sure everyone does.
Also, cloud storage may be available now, but sites like that come and go. Your external HDD storage is completely in your hands.

And finally... I'm a cactus. -bleat-

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#9 Kulyok

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:00 AM

But for the majority of mods, moving development to an accessible version control system like GitHub is an even better idea. Aside from the benefits lynx mentioned, if used properly, they centralize development (so everyone can see the latest code and nobody has to reinvent the wheel) which is especially helpful when authors and maintainers become unable to continue development.


By the way, how do the locks work there? I mean, more than one person can't edit one file at a time, obviously - it'd be hell to pay. Is it "file busy/read-only" mode, like in VSS(SourceSave), or something else?

(I'm with Ace, by the way. If you're working on dialogue-based mod, be it a NPC-related one or a quest, don't show it to anyone until the writing is finished and, better yet, you're *sure* it's finished. Writing is private, unless you're comfortable co-writing with someone).

#10 Mike1072

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:48 AM

But for the majority of mods, moving development to an accessible version control system like GitHub is an even better idea. Aside from the benefits lynx mentioned, if used properly, they centralize development (so everyone can see the latest code and nobody has to reinvent the wheel) which is especially helpful when authors and maintainers become unable to continue development.


By the way, how do the locks work there? I mean, more than one person can't edit one file at a time, obviously - it'd be hell to pay. Is it "file busy/read-only" mode, like in VSS(SourceSave), or something else?

Keep in mind this is oversimplified and I only sort of know what I'm talking about.

There is no master copy of any file. Everyone gets their own repository, where they store "their" version(s) of a project. Everything starts out synchronized; if you had a repository, I could clone it and then I'd have my own version of the files identical to yours. Let's say we both edit different parts of fileA and and commit our changes (telling git we're serious ^_^ about them). Both of our repositories contain only our own changes until one of us fetches and merges the changes from the other. Git stores our changes as diffs, so unless we're changing the same lines in a file, this process is simple and instantaneous. If there were a conflict, you would receive the dreaded MERGE CONFLICT message and have to manually resolve it, looking at what was changed and deciding what the final version of the file should be. There are graphical 3-way diff tools that help with this.

Each repository can contain more than one version of a project - you can create as many branches as you want and switch between them with a command, swapping all of the files in one branch for those in the other. Among other things, this lets you develop new features in a safe environment where they won't affect your project until completed. Once they're done, you can merge them back into your primary branch. It's pretty cool.

Edited by Mike1072, 12 January 2013 - 07:49 AM.




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