[Box Backup] Development plan

Pascal Lalonde boxbackup at fluffy.co.uk
Wed Apr 7 20:14:11 BST 2004


On Wed, Apr 07, 2004 at 12:01:24PM +0100, Ben Summers wrote:
> 
> * Do a little more work, adding a few new features and complete some of 
> the "TODO" items (see the TODO.txt file in the distribution).
>       - Would a "maximum file size to backup" option be useful?
Maybe, but I don't see any use for me. I'd be afraid to use it, just in
case I have a very important big file which doesn't get backep up
because I set a limit during the installation (and of course, I forgot
about that limit).

> * Maybe some more work on the NetBSD, FreeBSD and Darwin ports?
I would've thought Linux is more of a problem than these... Lack of
testers?

> 
> * Release 0.07 (or 1.00?) and advertise it as "stable", ready for 
> production use.
> 
There is one thing that I think would be really important before making
it a 1.0 production release (at least, in my opinion), which is:
tagging.

For example, suppose I wish to keep a month behind, and I need to be
able to recover the data exactly as it was 20 days ago (for example, we
have a big database, which got corrupted and since this specific table
is rarely used, we noticed 20 days later). Of course, BoxBackup doesn't
can't distinguish corruption from normal changes, so the current version
in the backup store is corrupted too. In order to be able to get back to a
non-corrupted state, I need to ensure that:
1) the older files are still there
2) I can recover ALL of the database's related files for that specific
   date

What I could do is tag the store each day, and then I can go back any
day. But for this to work, tagged files must not be erased during
housekeeping, so maybe there could be a flag to indicate bbstored to not
erase files associated with a specific tag until the flag is removed
(like once a month, after dumping the data to physical media).

This could be a lifesaver in case someone accidentally erases a file,
especially if the store is almost full (the file marked as deleted
would soon get cleaned by bbstored's housekeeping).

I don't know how the soft limit should deal with such tags. Maybe it
would be appropriate to create more limits, like maximum history size,
or dedicating a % of quota to history only.

The other features I already spoke of in previous posts are mostly toys
I would like to see (like not storing different versions of a file in
full, just keep the differences), but I don't think they're critical for
a 1.0 release. As you say, hard drive space is cheap nowadays.

> 
> I trust people are keeping an eye on their backups, and running 
> verifications occasionally...
> 
>    /usr/local/bin/bbackupquery "compare -a" quit
Everything looks good.

Pascal Lalonde



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