// thinkbeforecoding

'Save' is not a feature anymore

2008-11-20T00:00:38 / jeremie chassaing

Pete Brown noted in this post that the save icon is still represented by a 3 1/2" floppy by most of the application.Floppy-Word

But what does the Save button really mean ?

Back in the floppy days, there was no fast persistent storage. To work at acceptable speed, you had to manage everything in memory, the take a few seconds to save at some point. At that time, most of the storage mediums were removable.

Today, things are different. You can't find a computer without a hard disk or solid state drive.

When an application proposes a save action you should understand :

  • My application stores my data in memory
  • If I forget to save it, my data will be lost !

As Chase Saunders states  in his comment this is what he calls a 'Make It Work' button !

Is this a feature ? It's a curse !

How would work a program without Save button ?

  • The document would be persisted continuously on disk.
  • It would have a default name (the first sentence ?) in a default location.
  • The program would display a list of available documents.
  • You should be able to Copy (instead of Save As) your document to another place.
  • You should be able to Delete it from its location.
  • For complex documents the program would propose versioning or labeling to mark important documents steps.

The world would then be a better place !