backing up inform files...

My OS-- Windows 7 --is miserably slow. It takes hours and hours to back up even only my personal files and data. Thankfully I will be getting a new system, I just don’t know when, and I really don’t want to lose my work. Can anyone recommend a much better backup program, or (perhaps better) a good web-based way I can save my work in case I need a backup?? Would this work-- I attach my game file to an email and send it to my email account (ie myself)?


Dropbox has worked great for me, even when I was on Windows 7.

Can I find that with Google? Is that a backup program?

It’s primary purpose is more for syncing files but it works great for backups too. It automatically syncs the files you want into the cloud, and will download them onto multiple computers if you have them. So note that it does need the internet in order to back up files, which may make it less useful for some people.

You get 2GB for free, but there’s a referral system that gives you more. If you (or anyone else) is feeling generous and sign up with this link then we both get an extra 500MB:

There are many other competitors which I’m sure have advantages, but I’ve been really happy with Dropbox. There are solid reliable apps for Windows, OSX and Linux, and you can also just upload/download files directly through their website. They also offer 30 days of history for your files in case you accidentally delete them. You can share files through a link for other people to access, and you can also share folders with people, so for example the other Kerkerkruip developers and I have a shared folder where we can upload test builds of the game.

I love Dropbox, but I thought I had heard they were no longer freemium for 2GB? I hope I’m wrong, as it’s really useful.

I can actually open an Inform project directly from Dropbox in the Mac IDE, but Windows doesn’t seem to like that. What I end up doing is letting the project file live on Dropbox, and release it with the source text. If I want to work on a Windows machine, I copy the source text and paste it in the IDE, then release with source on the PC and copy that back to the release folder on Dropbox to paste similarly and sync it to the Mac.

An alternative is to just religiously copy your released source text file to a free Google Docs folder. Or even email the source.txt to yourself periodically. (That has saved my life on more than one occasion.)

I recommend just backing up the released source text file because it’s smaller, and you can copy/paste the contents of the source text into the IDE anywhere and it will rebuild all your files.

Thanks to you both…good ideas!

I use Crashplan as a commercial backup service. I also put the source code of projects into Github or Bitbucket.

If you’re making a copy of an Inform project, you can omit the project.inform/Build and project.inform/Index subdirectories. That material is regenerated every time you compile, so saving it isn’t interesting. (It’s not bad either, it’s just a lot of space for data that will be regenerated.)

From what I’ve read 2GB is still the baseline free capacity for Dropbox. But I did just read that some countries can’t sync free accounts to more than two computers. Google Drive might be a better alternative for some.

Hanon; I have no problems loading my Inform projects directly from DropBox.

Today I tried it again, and I managed to load an old project from dropbox into the Windows IDE. Perhaps it was a specific problem with my Fair project file, or might be a matter of I need to create the project on Windows first.

If you are going to be authoring a new story for hundreds of hours - it may make sense to use “source control management” - namely Bitbucket or Github. If your story is non-secret / don’t care if people copy it/read it - Github is free. If you want to keep it private and pick who you share with - Bitbucket is free and I can personally recommend it from experience.

Git can take a bit of learning and Inform 7 IDE doesn’t have any built-in source control interface - but Git also well established and known. A major advantage of source control is you can get some positive side-effects such as easily being able to view the changes you made to your story in a log and go back to earlier ideas. You can even branch into experimental ideas and all that gets backed-up. The other advantage is that you have evidence that the story is your own labor if any kind of copyright dispute or authorship concerns come up later.

Really it’s all about how many hours a day/week you will be authoring if it’s wroth using these tools. But it also solves the backup problem. Here is an example of the log of activity created when someone does Inform 7 this way:

P.S. Do not confuse “Git source control” with “Git Inform 7 interpreter” they are two very different things with the same name :wink: