* Backup and Restore FH Settings plugins

Post here to suggest corrections, additions, changes etc to the FHUG KnowledgeBase . Include as much information as possible to help editors act on your post.

Moderator: kb admin

Post Reply
avatar
Mark1834
Megastar
Posts: 1523
Joined: 27 Oct 2017 19:33
Family Historian: V7
Location: South Cheshire, UK

Backup and Restore FH Settings plugins

Post by Mark1834 » 02 May 2022 09:17

Now that the new Backup and Restore Family Historian Settings via Windows plugin is available in the Store, the KB will need updating to reflect the choice now available to users.

I think the two sections that will need editing are Backup and Recovery, and Family Historian Copy and Migration Guide. My suggestion is to add a concertina to the former page comparing the two plugins, and link to this in the latter.

New plugin features -
  • Simpler menu selections.
  • Fast operation.
  • Fully automatic restore.
  • Provides templates for more advanced users to create automatic backups
Original plugin features -
  • Wider application range (emulators and FH5).
  • More fine control over individual file updating.
  • Greater familiarity for existing users
Anything else?
Mark Draper

User avatar
ColeValleyGirl
Megastar
Posts: 3780
Joined: 28 Dec 2005 22:02
Family Historian: V7
Location: Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Contact:

Re: Backup and Restore FH Settings plugins

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 03 May 2022 18:19

Having just experimented with both, that feels like a fair summary.

I know the 'Windows' (new) plugin can read backups made by the longstanding alternative. Is the converse true, and should that capability be mentioned if its another difference?

User avatar
tatewise
Megastar
Posts: 24651
Joined: 25 May 2010 11:00
Family Historian: V7
Location: Torbay, Devon, UK
Contact:

Re: Backup and Restore FH Settings plugins

Post by tatewise » 03 May 2022 18:29

No, the converse is not true and not sure if that feature is worth adding.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

avatar
Mark1834
Megastar
Posts: 1523
Joined: 27 Oct 2017 19:33
Family Historian: V7
Location: South Cheshire, UK

Re: Backup and Restore FH Settings plugins

Post by Mark1834 » 03 May 2022 18:47

That was my feeling as well. I added backward compatibility, but not sure it needs it the other way around.

It might be worth pointing out that all either plugin does is provide a wrapper for copying two folders and two Registry keys, and the backups from either can be readily restored directly within Windows. I’ve kept the default .reg extension for the Registry files, so they be restored just by double-clicking in File Manager, but the same works on the Registry.keys file if you rename it.
Mark Draper

avatar
Mark1834
Megastar
Posts: 1523
Joined: 27 Oct 2017 19:33
Family Historian: V7
Location: South Cheshire, UK

Re: Backup and Restore FH Settings plugins

Post by Mark1834 » 01 Jul 2022 18:52

Interesting to note that in the two months it has been available, the new plugin has had 55 store downloads, while the old one has had around 40 (not keeping an exact tally, but I noticed that the old one was on almost exactly 6000 total downloads across all versions when I posted mine).

The total downloads are therefore splitting fairly evenly, but what we don’t know is the split between new users and upgraders for the old version, as the recent update probably prompted additional downloads.
Mark Draper

User avatar
LornaCraig
Megastar
Posts: 2559
Joined: 11 Jan 2005 17:36
Family Historian: V7
Location: Oxfordshire, UK

Re: Backup and Restore FH Settings plugins

Post by LornaCraig » 01 Jul 2022 19:11

The 55 downloads of the new plugin probably represent 55 'hard core' FHUG members who have read about it here. Many people who have the old plugin won't be aware that there is a new alternative and will continue to download updates to the original plugin until Mike decides to 'retire' it.
Lorna

User avatar
mjashby
Megastar
Posts: 672
Joined: 23 Oct 2004 10:45
Family Historian: V7
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Backup and Restore FH Settings plugins

Post by mjashby » 01 Jul 2022 20:19

Not surprised at Lorna's analysis as many of those that have downloaded and used the 'new' version probably did so for comparison purposes as a result of following the development thread. I would also not be surprised if the majority of those still have both Backup and Restore plugins installed. Nor would it be a surprise if many of the plugin users are settings 'tinkerers'.

As 'we' know many FH Users remain unaware of the 'potential' and real benefits of regularly backing up system settings until the time comes for a new computer; or when experiencing the complexity of undoing unwanted/experimental changes; or because of having to recover from a system failure. The two-pronged question then becomes: Which plugin do 'new' enquirers become aware of? And, given the current options, which one do they choose/find most user friendly once they realise the benefits?

Mervyn

avatar
Mark1834
Megastar
Posts: 1523
Joined: 27 Oct 2017 19:33
Family Historian: V7
Location: South Cheshire, UK

Re: Backup and Restore FH Settings plugins

Post by Mark1834 » 01 Jul 2022 21:35

Indeed - 6000 downloads over the 9-10 years since FH5 was released. How many unique users (discounting upgraders)? Fewer than 1000? That’s not even 20% of FHUG membership, and what percentage of FH users sign up for FHUG...?

Whichever way you do the analysis, most FH users are not using either version.
Mark Draper

User avatar
cwhermann
Famous
Posts: 127
Joined: 20 Mar 2021 22:04
Family Historian: V7
Location: New Hampshire, US

Re: Backup and Restore FH Settings plugins

Post by cwhermann » 02 Jul 2022 01:25

To add another data point and feedback.
As a “newbie” FH convert from RM, I monitor the forum on a regular basis where I picked up on this plugin when first made available. I downloaded it and run it on a weekly basis. I felt the plug-in was probably more important for a new user, given that I am adjusting my “customization” and settings on a regular basis as I learn the program. I find it easy to use and very fast. Fortunately, I have not had the opportunity to test how well the restore works. :)
Thanks for all the work, guidance and assistance you folks provide.
Curtis Hermann
FH 7.0.11

User avatar
David2416
Superstar
Posts: 257
Joined: 12 Nov 2017 16:37
Family Historian: V7
Location: Suffolk UK

Re: Backup and Restore FH Settings plugins

Post by David2416 » 02 Jul 2022 06:17

A big vote of thanks to Mike and Mark. I have been using the plugins to keep desktop and laptop in step and when changing computers (that's not very often). I have been testing Mark's routine this week prior to upgrading laptop. 👍😊

avatar
kfunk_ia
Platinum
Posts: 48
Joined: 03 Dec 2019 22:50
Family Historian: V7
Location: Iowa, United States

Re: Backup and Restore FH Settings plugins

Post by kfunk_ia » 02 Jul 2022 22:07

Mark1834 wrote:
01 Jul 2022 21:35

Whichever way you do the analysis, most FH users are not using either version.
I am one of those that is not using either plugin. The reasoning for that is that I am still firmly rooted in RM7 because there are still many things in FH7 that I do not like. I have experimented with various plugins and things from the downloads section. I find the backup plugins problematic for two reasons, first, I don't like the fact that such a plugin is needed. I think the functionality should be built into FH7. I see backing up as a key function in any data management program. Second, I have not figured out which of two competing plugins I want to try.

Eventually I will blow out my FH7 install, and start from scratch along with a list of plugins/downloads that I found useful. For now I just periodically import a new RM database and use the superior query system to wring all the juicy goodness from my data, and so far that has been done with only individual queries. I haven't even tried the other types yet.

User avatar
mjashby
Megastar
Posts: 672
Joined: 23 Oct 2004 10:45
Family Historian: V7
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Backup and Restore FH Settings plugins

Post by mjashby » 03 Jul 2022 07:52

There is a significant difference between program data backup and software settings backup.

Data backup is fully built in to Family Historian and is totally reliable IME, but program settings backup isn't directly supported, which is what the Plugins do for Family Historian. Similarly RM7 and 8 have no facility to directly backup all user settings/configurations and neither does any other family history software that I've used. Nor is this an inbuilt feature for most other computer applications.

Some users (including the plugin authors) would probably agree that, with so many options in Family Historian for user configuration changes, it would be appropriate for the application to have its own fully functional Settings snapshot/backup/restore facility, but the reality is that that doesn't exist (yet). In fact it does't even appear on the FHUG 'Wish List', so we should perhaps accept that it isn't seen as a development priority by the vast majority of FHUG members. Calico Pie's design and development team have perhaps focussed much of their attention on what users have most strongly expressed they want to see, alongside their own design principles and ideas of course; and also introduced the Plugin facility to help provide even greater flexibility and community self-support for additional features and niche uses. Something that few other commercial family history software publishers have openly enabled.

Mervyn

User avatar
ColeValleyGirl
Megastar
Posts: 3780
Joined: 28 Dec 2005 22:02
Family Historian: V7
Location: Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Contact:

Re: Backup and Restore FH Settings plugins

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 03 Jul 2022 08:02

mjashby wrote:
03 Jul 2022 07:52
In fact it does't even appear on the FHUG 'Wish List', so we should perhaps accept that it isn't seen as a development priority by the vast majority of FHUG members.
Wish list entry: Export/Import all settings (queries, templates etc)

Shown as completed, provided by a plugin from V5 onwards.

avatar
Mark1834
Megastar
Posts: 1523
Joined: 27 Oct 2017 19:33
Family Historian: V7
Location: South Cheshire, UK

Re: Backup and Restore FH Settings plugins

Post by Mark1834 » 03 Jul 2022 08:28

It's ironic that kfunk_ia cited FH's superior query facility compared with RM as its main attraction. The work done by the enthusiasts behind SQLite Tools For RootsMagic gives the ability to create RM queries that are much more powerful and flexible than what is possible with FH's query tools, but it is entirely unsupported by the RootsMagic organisation. Their approach seems to be one of "do it our way or not at all", but as Mervyn pointed out, FH is designed to be highly configurable and extendable. It can even create queries that interrogate RM data in a way that RM itself can't do!

PS - the plugins don't compete - they provide a choice for users. Perhaps they will coexist long term, or perhaps one will be retired if it has come to the end of its development cycle. It doesn't really matter either way.
Mark Draper

User avatar
tatewise
Megastar
Posts: 24651
Joined: 25 May 2010 11:00
Family Historian: V7
Location: Torbay, Devon, UK
Contact:

Re: Backup and Restore FH Settings plugins

Post by tatewise » 03 Jul 2022 10:54

I'm not sure what others think, but has this discussion (interesting though it is) moved outside the scope of this Forum?
Would the July postings be better in the FH General Usage or perhaps Plugins Discussion forum?
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

User avatar
ColeValleyGirl
Megastar
Posts: 3780
Joined: 28 Dec 2005 22:02
Family Historian: V7
Location: Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Contact:

Re: Backup and Restore FH Settings plugins

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 03 Jul 2022 11:03

I'm happy to keep it here, Mike.

avatar
kfunk_ia
Platinum
Posts: 48
Joined: 03 Dec 2019 22:50
Family Historian: V7
Location: Iowa, United States

Re: Backup and Restore FH Settings plugins

Post by kfunk_ia » 03 Jul 2022 20:22

mjashby wrote:
03 Jul 2022 07:52
but program settings backup isn't directly supported, which is what the Plugins do for Family Historian
You missed my point, but I won't hold it against you. My statement was that FH SHOULD support it given its design. There are some functions that I think is just silly to leave to plugin developers. I am sure most of them have better things to do.

avatar
kfunk_ia
Platinum
Posts: 48
Joined: 03 Dec 2019 22:50
Family Historian: V7
Location: Iowa, United States

Re: Backup and Restore FH Settings plugins

Post by kfunk_ia » 03 Jul 2022 20:36

Mark1834 wrote:
03 Jul 2022 08:28
It's ironic that kfunk_ia cited FH's superior query facility compared with RM as its main attraction. The work done by the enthusiasts behind SQLite Tools For RootsMagic gives the ability to create RM queries that are much more powerful and flexible than what is possible with FH's query tools, but it is entirely unsupported by the RootsMagic organisation. T
I am very much aware of what Tom and others have done in regards to the SQLLiteTools stuff. I am also fairly adept at writing SQL queries myself. Spent many years doing it.

FH has their query builder/functions built into the program and the average user does not have to have a grasp of SQL and outside software to assemble some darn powerful queries. One of the things that truly clams my chowder is the response to RM users that they can 'just use SQL' to get the result set that they are asking about. 93.7256% of Rootsmagic users are no way in Hades going to be able, or should be able to wander through their database like that.

As I recall, one of the wishlist items was for FH to have a better interface for writing queries but I think that is probably not really necessary if time is taken to learn what already exists. I am still learning as I go along and I am aware that I have asked some questions that some people may have seen as stupid, but I am getting there and I will bet my mortgage payment on the superior querying in FH over having to load up third party software and learn a foreign language (SQL, which I already know).

Post Reply