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