GUI frontend for v2.1.0 can use a lot of improvement

Jeffaco     Mar 5 6:38PM 2018 GUI

I'm evaluating Duplicacy, and I'm not thrilled with the GUI. It has about the worst UI of any that I've seen so far. It works fine if you have just one backup job, but once you have several, things fall down quickly:

  1. It's easier to select backup jobs from a list (hopefully sorted), not tabs.
  2. Tabs are in order created, not order chosen. So a lot of tabs gets kind of clunky quickly.
  3. It's not easy, by just looking at a GUI, to tell the state of a number of backup jobs. Did they succeed or fail last? Hard to tell at a glance.

I guess I'm sort of a power user. I was planning to use the GUI if it was rich enough, but I'm starting to wonder. What are the plans for the GUI, and in what kind of timeframe are you folks looking at making improvements?

Thanks for the help!


Jeffaco    Mar 5 6:46PM 2018

Also, where does the GUI store it's state file? Perhaps if I edit the state file, I can at least reorder tabs (solve #2 above)? And if I knew how the state file was stored, I might be able to work around the password paste issue (see where the state file stores the password in the OS/X keychain, then update it there).

Thanks for the help.


gchen    Mar 5 10:53PM 2018

The tabs are saved in the defaults key Jobs under com.acrosync.mac.duplicacy. For example:

$defaults read com.acrosync.mac.duplicacy Jobs
3 1 2

Each job is referenced by a number and the number increases every time a new job is created (if you don't delete existing jobs).

The passwords are saved in keychain. This wiki page lists the names for different types of passwords.

We do have a plan to work on a new web-based GUI, which should fix all issues you mentioned above.


Jeffaco    Mar 6 4:21PM 2018

So you don't have settings files on disk (like .plist files or .json files or something) for Mac OS/X? If so, is it not really possible to "edit" this information after the fact (with a text editor)?

What sort of timeframe are you looking at to have a new web-based GUI available? I might look into the command line version until then ...

Thanks!


gchen    Mar 6 9:52PM 2018

It is possible to add the passwords in the .duplicacy/preferences file. For example, the following content shows that the id for Backblaze B2 is set:

[
    {
        "name": "default",
        "id": "test",
        "storage": "/Users/gchen/AcrosyncTest/storage",
        "encrypted": true,
        "no_backup": false,
        "no_restore": false,
        "no_save_password": false,
        "keys": {
            "b2_id": "6fdd6eeeefff"
        }
    }
]

But setting up passwords this way is not safe since they are stored in plaintext. Alternatively, you can edit corresponding entries in keychain (whose name is duplicacy) and that should work too.

I hope to start working on the web-base GUI next month. May take at least 2 months I guess.


Jeffaco    Mar 7 2:27AM 2018

At this point I'm taking a look at the CLI. While I prefer GUIs (I can be stupid and not figure out CLI formats and settings), the GUI that exists today is (in my opinion) just not workable for complicated backups to many sets of providers. I don't mean this as an insult, please don't take it this way. It's just an observation. I back up three sets of different data to multiple providers, and the existing GUI is just not workable for something like that.

By the way, it's awesome that one repository can have two locations to back up to. In general, I don't "trust" one cloud provider, so I like to have redundancy. It's pretty awesome that the CLI understands this natively and fully supports that without "hacks".

Is the best way for me to know if newer versions of the GUI are available to just keep an eye for new releases here?

If so, may I humbly suggest a few features (if they don't already exist) in your new GUI version:

  1. The GUI allows a trial. Hopefully each new version will allow a new trial. That way, somebody like me could try a new version and decide if it's useful for me without bugging you for a temporary key or something,

  2. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be friendly to folks that are moving from CLI to GUI. In that, I mean that if I give you a path to back up, you should recognize the .duplicacy folder and see that I already have an active backup. Import settings from there and let me make changes if I wish.

  3. I like long, complicated, encryption passwords (64 bytes from random characters). Please fix the problem where I can't paste passwords for any field. The CLI allows for this just fine, and the GUI should as well. I shouldn't have to "dumb down" my encryption passwords to use the GUI.

  4. Because I can have lots of backups, allow me to easily display a list of multiple backup configurations. Sort the backup configurations so it's easy to find what I'm looking for in a list. Then allow me to drill into details of any one backup from the list.

Thanks for your consideration to my suggestions.

/Jeff


gchen    Mar 7 9:08PM 2018

The GUI allows a trial. Hopefully each new version will allow a new trial. That way, somebody like me could try a new version and decide if it's useful for me without bugging you for a temporary key or something

This is a good idea, but the current licensing system needs to be modified to incorporate this.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be friendly to folks that are moving from CLI to GUI. In that, I mean that if I give you a path to back up, you should recognize the .duplicacy folder and see that I already have an active backup. Import settings from there and let me make changes if I wish.

This is done by the current GUI version. When you select a repository in GUI, if the repository has been initialized the GUI version will automatically populate the storage URL.

I like long, complicated, encryption passwords (64 bytes from random characters). Please fix the problem where I can't paste passwords for any field. The CLI allows for this just fine, and the GUI should as well. I shouldn't have to "dumb down" my encryption passwords to use the GUI.

I'll fix this in 2.1.1.

Because I can have lots of backups, allow me to easily display a list of multiple backup configurations. Sort the backup configurations so it's easy to find what I'm looking for in a list. Then allow me to drill into details of any one backup from the list.

The web-based GUI version should take care of this.


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