Tuesday, February 22, 2011

AnyBackup Beta 2 -- Now with 100% more Python!

Following up on Beta 1 I've now finished Beta 2 of AnyBackup! What's different? Well, I ported the entire project to Python instead of Perl. Not because I think that there's any great functional benefit to one over the other, but rather because it's something I needed to pick up for work anyway. The main benefit to this release is that pretty much all the standing issues have been resolved. See below. I'll be looking into setting up a google code page in the near future for AnyBackup since it seems like a much cleaner approach than just updating my blog + mediafire account all the time.

Note: I work on this program in my spare time primarily to solve my own backup needs, I release it for others to use since I figure others may have similar backup needs that AnyBackup can fulfill. That said, this is beta software (and even if it weren't) I can make no guarantees that it will always 100% back up all your data and that no data loss will occur. There can be bugs that I don't know about / haven't hit. So basically, buyer beware, use at your own risk, I can't be held responsible for any issues that arise. If you do hit issues, don't hesitate to report them!

  • Now written in Python instead of Perl (see explanation above)
  • File comparisons now made against file sizes (in KB) and directory paths in addition to file names
    • See issues below for more details
  • File object revised to store directory root and directory path separately
    • This allowed me to get rid of some ugly regular expression hacks going on in the backup and indexing methods
  • When backing up files or restoring files AnyBackup now creates a pending size change (the total of file size deletes and additions) and makes sure that any additional adds will fit, this keeps things from running into an issue where a drive will run out of space and copies fail
  • Icon added to show whether a drive is currently connected or not (+ and green for connected, x and red for disconnected)
  • Drive background color in the drive list now changes colors based on free space (>15% green, >10% yellow, <10% red)
  • Drive free/total space added to drive list (in GB)
Known Issues:

  • If a backup volume is full but there is new content to backup that prefers this full volume (due to the above backup logic based on parent folders), it will still choose this full volume as the destination and then throw an error that there isn't enough space on the destination volume.
    • Follow up -- my solution for now is preferring a drive based on the above logic, but it creates a pending write total and checks to see if all the files we want to add will fit, if not it will instead grab the most free drive and back the files up there, in the next release I'll add a property file which will allow you to turn this sticky files feature on or off. (For now it's on -- in the next release you can turn it off and it will always place files on the most free drive at the time of choosing)
  • For some reason when running a new backup, AnyBackup will often leave a few old files (that is, files that are no longer found on your content drives -- meaning they've been deleted / renamed / written to) -- this normally has no negative repercussions, but I'll figure out what's causing this eventually. 
  • Some people are having issues launching the exe packaged version of AnyBackup, I'm not sure what's causing the issue, I've been using Cava Packager to create the exe's + installers and it runs perfectly on my test machines. I'll put up an archive of the raw perl later for those that have issues -- the downside to using the raw perl is that you'll need to have a valid perl install with all the packages I use.
    • Since this is now in python being packaged with py2exe, I'm assuming this will no longer be an issue.
  • File comparisons are made only against file names, so if you change/write to a file or have duplicate file names in multiple directories this can lead to inconsistencies such as only backing up one file instead of multiple or not backing up the updated version of a file
    • I augmented this naive comparison, it now checks the file sizes and directory names in addition to file names. The only possible complication I see at this point is that the file size comparison is done in KB and not bytes, I'm not sure if this will cause issues (I'm thinking not) Feel free to let me know if this impacts small files with minute changes, though! (This is the only situation I really see it being an issue.) If I get reports I'll look into changing this.
  • Minor issue with the most free drive logic, it needs to be updated to incorporate the new pendingwrite total otherwise it may not be grabbing the drive with the most free space, but rather than drive with the most free space before any operations have taken place (i.e. if we have 10gb pending to a drive which has 8gb more free than any other volume, it should no longer be considered the most free drive, but right now, it will be) 
  • The CLI interface for the app, backupWrapper.py isn't guaranteed to work yet and all features are definitely not built out (primarily restore definitely does not work, I backup will not remove old files from backup volumes). What does work I haven't tested, so buyer beware when using it in this release. In the next release I will finish building out the features for it and also package it as an exe alongside the GUI interface.
 I'm only going to add one new screen shot to show off the (very small) UI changes to the main window. Despite the complete port of the app to Python, it's still using wxWidgets which is pretty much identical across languages.

(As before, this code is released under the GPL license!)
Update: Google Code project created! You can find it here.

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