Martin Dickey - 2006-02-13

I just discovered that I've lost many of the password entries I had created since starting to use Password Safe 3 months ago.

If you install and take the default settings, and if you never explicitly exit Password Safe (i.e., you just keep the program running), you lose every single new password, without warning, when you restart or shut down.

Why? Because 1) under Manage/Options/Misc there is an option "Save database immediately after Edit or Add" which is UNCHECKED by default. This means that unless you take explicit action, no change that you make is permanent, despite the fact that it shows up in your list.

What can make it worse is 2) under Manage/Options/Display there is an option "Put icon in system tray". This is unchecked by default, fortunately. If the user does check it, then pressing the red X in the upper right hand corner of the Window (which to every Windows user means "close the application") does NOT close the application, just minimizes it. If a user closes (or thinks he did, by pressing the X), and the system tray options is not in effect, and there were unsaved changes, then things are good: Password Safe correctly would ask "Do you want to save changes to the password list". But if the system tray option is in effect, and user "closed" (but not really), then that prompt has never been given. Thus, when the user does a Restart or Shutdown, all password changes are lost, without the least warning.

I respectful suggest that these options, especially the "save on edit or add" is difficult to discover and runs counter to normal expectations of a database program. Users expect that changes to a database (as oppposed to a text document, for example), are committed immmediately. And if the model is a text document instead, then a "save?" prompt ought to be given regardless of settings when a restart or shutdown is in progress.

So my suggestions (which maybe should be entered as a bug if anyone agrees) are:
1. "Save on edit or add" should be CHECKED by default (or the option removed completely)
2. The option which now called "put icon in system tray" should be reworded as "'X' minimizes application to system tray"
3. On Windows shutdown, the application should prompt the user if there are pending changes