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 Bug: BM won't Copy empty directories

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backuptech Posted - 05 September 2006 : 20:08:39
Hello, I wanted to report an observation about BM in hopes of improving on an already wonderful backup solution. I noticed BM has a slight flaw in that when copying from one location to another, if there are any empty directories (meaning no files exist under these directories) on the source location, they don't get copied/replicated to the destination location.

Even when using * as file mask and * as folder mask with no exceptions it exhibits this behavior. I've also been able to duplicate this behavior so it doesn't seem like a fluke or user error.

In case you wonder why use empty directories, I'm sure you can empathize with my need (and I'm sure others as well) to use empty dirs in order to make personal notes such as dates when files were backed up/updated or changes were made to config files or website files, etc. (or notes to let you know _what_ exactly was changed for easier rollbacks). You can't always change the name of the file to show the date it was backed up because certain files need to retain their original name and it's inconvenient to change file names manually all the time. And if there's multiple files that are backed up such as a program directory before and after version upgrades then it can be a laborious mess trying to rename all the files, you see.

But using empty directories to show date changes is just one example for using empty directories, many times it's useful to use empty directories for making other personal notes as well. And by using directories for creating localized personal notes specific to that parent directory, it's easy to expand the parent directory to see the notes without losing your place in the current directory you happen to be working in.

Well, I hope my arguments have been sufficient to convince you 1) to change BM's behavior so that copying empty directories is the default behavior or 2) making a toggle checkbox option for it (in the Settings screen, for example).

Thank you for your time - I appreciate you considering this matter and eagerly await your response.

12   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
ABuggyDesign Posted - 01 June 2011 : 22:42:46
Ah ah ah. I like your sense of humor Ahto !
Ahto/Moon Software Posted - 14 December 2009 : 12:30:15
Don't panic, just wait! The feature is implemented. The thing is that new BM2 is be complete re-write and current BM1 has microscopic feature set compared to the new one, so there is much more work with the new one. And yes, I have been in dark for some time but not right now.
ABuggyDesign Posted - 14 December 2009 : 12:22:03
Well well well...
Atho, it looks like you have better things to do than issuing an enhanced release of Backup Magic.
Too bad for your fans.
ABuggyDesign Posted - 03 September 2009 : 17:34:37
Hi rceubank
In the meanwhile, you can always use the dos utility xcopy in parallel with BM.
I would suggest that you use
xcopy sourceFolder/T /E /D destFolder
/D is important because if forgotten, xcopy removes the files in destFolder !
But I am like you really impatient of seeing this bug fixed
rceubank Posted - 25 August 2009 : 00:29:11
Just checking to see when Version 2.0 will be coming out. I'm interested in getting the empty directory problem resolved. At least to me it's a problem.
ABuggyDesign Posted - 27 April 2009 : 11:13:32
Waow, I just can't believe it! That is fantastic Atho !
I am looking forward to downloading version 2.
Thanks a thousand times for that
Ahto/Moon Software Posted - 19 April 2009 : 23:53:08
I have now re-designed the engine for version 2 in that respect and added option to copy empty folders. It does it all with one pass as I don't want to add more "passes" for this task for performance reasons and to minimize disk I/O.

Ahto/Moon Software Posted - 07 April 2009 : 21:21:16
Thanks again for your feedback. I'll see what I can about this.
ABuggyDesign Posted - 07 April 2009 : 15:15:15
Thanks for this honest answer Atho.

I was just thinking of an easy (?) way of solving that issue.
Wich would make the soft absolutely perfect as far as I am concerned.

Once the job with the files is completed, why not just add an extra loop to take care of the empty directories ? That would not pollute your existing code. And it could also be the base of a new powerful feature like a 'Recursive do_something_else after backup is complete'.

I know it is always easier to enhance a software by word of mouth than by blood and sweat in the IDE but sometimes, simply talking about it can help.
Ahto/Moon Software Posted - 24 March 2009 : 20:49:29
And, if you really want to call it design, then the design is buggy.

You can call it how you like. As I personally don't need to copy empty folders and also most people do not needed it this feature was just omitted. Yes, it is way more easy to implement it that way and to add this function requires quite bit of additional code compared to current implementation. You see -- small benefit and additional code that potentially introduces more problems are cause it is not included.

Actually I'm not sure the next version will be different in that regard. Currently I implemented almost similar way as previous but design is not 100% complete.
ABuggyDesign Posted - 24 March 2009 : 11:44:32
Hello Ahto
I perfectly agree with backuptech. The software is great but you have a bug. You can call it design if you like (and actually, as a programer myself, I can very well imagine that the algorithm being based on FILE comparison, it is simply ignoring the empty folders) but this is a BIG flow. And, if you really want to call it design, then the design is buggy.

Let me tell you where it can lead to big problems : it is when you restore an Oracle backup. Because if Oracle is missing its empty folders, it will just NOT restart (and you have to dig deep into the log files to find where the problem lies and then you'll have to blame it on BM because it did not backup the empty folders).

Now Ahto, in September 2006, you let us hope that this will be fixed in the next release but we now are in March 2009 and the bug is still there. So obviously, Backup Magic don't give it a damn. They probably prefer us to continue using xcopy /E ?

Ahto/Moon Software Posted - 06 September 2006 : 14:18:17
Hey! Some other people have requested this option too, so probably it will be available in the next version.

Actually that is not a bug but it was just designed that way.

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