#1150 (ok 3.4) Easy Backup/Restore

postponed
nobody
1
2013-06-11
2009-02-28
KitchM
No

This whole process should be made more intuitive. Basically, we are talking about simple, standard database usage, and for this process to be fraught with problems makes the use of some sort of admin GUI not as usable as it should be.

Image the situation as I experienced. With decades of usage experience, I was totally a newbie in how to properly handle the export of my web site cms database from my old host to the import on my new host. There are issues that may have to do with passwords and users, with database/table format changes, and what-have-you. So much is unknown, and too many times the user is left to trying to figure out some cryptic error message from MySQL. Any admin interface should have taken care of that, and yet we find that phpMyAdmin is not as intuitive as it should be.

This export/import process needs to be made automated and goof-proof. It offers too many confusing and non-basic options. Perhaps a simple wizard would be the most useful. The program need to be tuned up with less geek-speak, and particularly in any wizard design.

That's my two cents' worth. Thanks for the fine efforts.

Discussion

1 2 > >> (Page 1 of 2)
  • Michal Čihař

    Michal Čihař - 2009-03-03

    You don't have to touch the options at all, what's wrong on providing them?

    If you have any better idea how to create export/import pages, you're welcome, but I don't think splitting one page into several page wizard would help.

     
  • KitchM

    KitchM - 2009-05-14

    Thanks for the response. Sorry I've been unable to get back to this sooner.

    Perhaps I was not being clear. What I meant about the current operational setup was that, while one might not have to do anything with the settings, how would one know? That lack of direction in and of itself shows that the process is not intuitive and therefore is prone to error.

    Options are fine, but they beg to be used, unless the new user is warned not to. That is exactly where that problem is solved with a wizard.

    What the user is left with, in the current state of the program, is no way to know why something doesn't work. When a database is exported, they have no way to find out what went wrong when they find their database not accessable.

     
  • Michal Čihař

    Michal Čihař - 2010-01-20
    • assigned_to: nobody --> nijel
     
  • Michal Čihař

    Michal Čihař - 2010-01-21

    I really don't think that providing some wizard would make things easier, it would just require more steps to do the export.

     
  • Michal Čihař

    Michal Čihař - 2010-01-21
    • priority: 5 --> 1
    • status: open --> pending-invalid
     
  • KitchM

    KitchM - 2010-01-22
    • status: pending-invalid --> open-invalid
     
  • KitchM

    KitchM - 2010-01-22

    The first issue is that the program is extremely difficult to use. If you say that a person does not have to use the options, how would a person know that? I believe this was exactly what I pointed out in my first reply, so that question still remains unanswered.

    What I believe you are missing is that it appears you know how to use the program, but you don't understand that others do not. At some point in time you must understand that the program clearly does not have an intuitive interface. Once we get past that point, we can discuss necessary improvements.

    My suggestion is to start making the program work in an intuitive fashion. That's job one.

    Next, there has got to be a way to guarantee that a person has created a high-quality backup thru a goof-proof process. Currently, there is no way to compare the backup and original. Also, there is no way to know what steps the user has to perform to make the unclear process work. And further, the user must be able to quickly restore their database like it was.

    Without this, the program does not serve the needs of those who use it. Repairing the problem thru the use of a wizard or other screens or whatever is besides the point. Something needs to be done. That's all I know.

     
  • KitchM

    KitchM - 2010-01-22

    The first issue is that the program is extremely difficult to use. If you
    say that a person does not have to use the options, how would a person know
    that? I believe this was exactly what I pointed out in my first reply, so
    that question still remains unanswered.

    What I believe you are missing is that it appears you know how to use the
    program, but you don't understand that others do not. At some point in
    time you must understand that the program clearly does not have an
    intuitive interface. Once we get past that point, we can discuss necessary
    improvements.

    My suggestion is to start making the program work in an intuitive fashion.
    That's job one.

    Next, there has got to be a way to guarantee that a person has created a
    high-quality backup thru a goof-proof process. Currently, there is no way
    to compare the backup and original. Also, there is no way to know what
    steps the user has to perform to make the unclear process work. And
    further, the user must be able to quickly restore their database like it
    was.

    Without this, the program does not serve the needs of those who use it.
    Repairing the problem thru the use of a wizard or other screens or whatever
    is besides the point. Something needs to be done. That's all I know.

     
  • Michal Čihař

    Michal Čihař - 2010-01-22

    So you're looking for some standalone easy backup/restore solution? Well I'm not sure if phpMyAdmin fits well in this, because it has much broader use.

    I know there are things to improve in the usability, however I don't think that converting single export page to wizard where user needs to go through several steps which can now be done in single one is an improvement.

     
  • Marc Delisle

    Marc Delisle - 2010-01-22

    Not converting but we could have another page "backup" with no options.

     
  • Michal Čihař

    Michal Čihař - 2010-01-22

    That makes sense, backup page (probably with just compression options) and link to export page if user wants more control?

     
  • Marc Delisle

    Marc Delisle - 2010-01-22

    Yes. Not sure if we need another menu tab for this, probably yes. Maybe "Backup/restore" on the same menu tab or on two.

     
  • Michal Čihař

    Michal Čihař - 2010-01-22

    Well we already have enough tabs, but the is no other way to add it...

     
  • Michal Čihař

    Michal Čihař - 2010-01-22
    • priority: 1 --> 5
    • assigned_to: nijel --> nobody
    • summary: Export/Import Improvement --> Easy Backup/Restore
    • status: open-invalid --> open
     
  • Marc Delisle

    Marc Delisle - 2010-01-22
    • assigned_to: nobody --> nijel
    • summary: Easy Backup/Restore --> Export/Import Improvement
    • priority: 5 --> 1
    • status: open --> open-invalid
     
  • Marc Delisle

    Marc Delisle - 2010-01-22

    Maybe it's time to regroup some tabs.

     
  • Michal Čihař

    Michal Čihař - 2010-01-25
    • summary: Export/Import Improvement --> Easy Backup/Restore
    • priority: 1 --> 5
    • status: open-invalid --> open-later
     
  • KitchM

    KitchM - 2010-01-25

    The comments interface has been causing a bit of a problem because I could not edit my comments. So they got out of order and I found I was referring to the wrong comments. Sorry about the confusion.

    In any case, I will attempt to explain a little better. Please bear with me.

    When a person uses your program as a means to create a backup of their web site database, they would likely expect that the following things would be handled:
    1. That the backup would be accurate
    2. That the backup could be as easily restored
    3. That the restoration would work exactly as the original did before (all other things being equal)

    Such has not been my experience. Worse, I cannot even tell that anything was saved in the backup, since there is no way to view the html display of information that was supposedly backed up. This was pretty devastating to my business when I could not go back to my old host and could not see my web pages on my new host. Anyway, that's my scenario.

    I am not saying that a wizard is necessary, but something went wrong and the program failed to make sure I was selecting the correct things, or at least that is the only assumption I can make.

    At the end of the day, one must make sure software is goof-proof. There is an assumption that everything will be okay, and it turns out that there is no way to be confident of the software working correctly or as assumed.

    I think that backup and restore must be a separate page of simple steps that are completely goof-proof.

    As far as your comments about the tabs, the whole program is confusing and whether or not the reorganization of the tabs actually help the situation is hard to determine. However, I would be more than willing to go over the whole thing with you by whatever communication method you choose.

    Thanks.

     
  • Marc Delisle

    Marc Delisle - 2010-01-25

    Techfrc,
    there is a general principle that says that whichever backup mechanism you use, it's your responsibility to test it. Also, I agree that we can try to improve the interface but it's not possible to be 100% goof-proof.

     
  • Michal Čihař

    Michal Čihař - 2010-01-26

    Would it be good enough to hide options by default? Attached patch implements this.

     
  • KitchM

    KitchM - 2010-02-03

    I believe you mean that one should test the validity of the backed-up data, not the mechanism. As I pointed out, the latter is what is in question, and the former is not possible because of the lack of interface for the latter.

    IMHO, there is no situation that cannot be made "sufficiently" goof-proof. (My experience is that there is always room for improvement, since I agree that nothing is perfect.)

    So to accomplish it, one must code in such a way as to only obtain the results desired. The initial design plans must show what is needed as input, output and user intervention, in simple terms. This may imply starting over, at least from the standpoint of an audit of the program. By doing this simple series of steps, big mistakes can be eliminated.

    I realize this is all fairly much stating the obvious, but I just wanted to be clear.

    Perhaps reorganizing the tabs, adding proper contextural help, making a separate backup, view and restore area, all would help with the problem. I could help better if I had some idea of what each part does, and what was the intent. That problem, in and of itself, helps make my point.

     
  • Michal Čihař

    Michal Čihař - 2010-04-02
    • assigned_to: nijel --> nobody
     
  • Michal Čihař

    Michal Čihař - 2010-08-23

    Merged GSoC branch containing this feature.

     
  • Michal Čihař

    Michal Čihař - 2010-08-23
    • summary: Easy Backup/Restore --> (ok 3.4) Easy Backup/Restore
    • priority: 5 --> 1
     
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