Users should be able to browse and merge older backups

Since JabRef saves 10 backup files, it would be nice to have a way to choose the backup file (e.g. an older one) that should be restored and compared with the current library status.
(Originally posted by @ThiloteE)

Implementation Notes

  • I believe the ‘Backup found’ dialog is not the best place to access the feature. Thinking about it from the users’ perspective, they would want to see their library as soon as possible. They may have lost one entry or all of them; they can’t know (Maybe we should load the library before showing the dialog?). Browsing and comparing backups can take time, and it isn’t necessary at that point because the backup libraries aren’t going anywhere. At that point, it is preferable to have a simple UI with limited options. Once the library loads and they have done reviewing the damage, they can browse the backups and select the appropriate backup.

Please vote if you support this proposal:

  • I would like to have this feature, too!
  • I don’t care.

0 voters

I am of the opinion, if the “restore from backup dialogue” (A) asks you to choose if you want to replace your current file with a backup it indeed would be an obvious location for this feature, as it already gives you the option to choose a backup. The feature I propose, e.g. allow users to choose the backup file from a range of backup files (B), is a simple enhancement of this feature. Of course this feature could live somehwere else in the JabRef UI (C), but this would also mean, that the whole “restore from backup” dialogue should probably be triggered differently, if users are allowed to browse their library before having a look at their backup.

In short:
(A) = current implementation
(C) = new implementation

(B) works with both (A) AND (C).

While this is true, I would like to mention that the backup files INDEED go somewhere. There is a max of 10 backups and backups are created continuously in the background, so if users start browsing their potentially broken library and do stuff, eventually they could reach a point where all old backups will have been overwriten with new backups…which is an argument to stay with the way it is (A).