Auto Save feature improvements

As Knime freezes for me on a regular basis, I discovered the auto save feature and found it quite useful.

On the one hand. On the other it’s also a bit confusing and broken by design. And if you don’t pay close attention things will start to get really messy.

What usually happens:

When you open a workflow with an unsaved state you get the dialog asking what you want to open, original or auto save. Nice. When you select auto save, it opens a completely separate project called “Auto-Save Copy - …”. At first I never noticed this, as the workflow tab always only shows the beginning of the name … Essentially I was saving all my further modifications in the copy, without knowing it. When you then get a another crash/freeze, you get an auto save of an auto save project, and so on, and things start to get really confusing.
Interesting side note: when you now restart and you expect Knime to open copy again, no: it opens the original! You might not notice and further changes go to the original again…

Now what I try to do to avoid this is to manually “Save As” the copy over the original workflow and delete the copy. An here things start to get broken. First I get the complaint “The selected destination is currently open in another editor.” and I can’t save. Huh? No it’s not, at least not that I can see.
Interesting side note 2: when you are in the save dialog, Knime starts to open some unrelated workflow in the background, bringing up lots of message boxes for credentials, metanode updates etc. and also possibly asking you again if you want to open an auto save copy… which is utterly confusing in that moment and possibly causes data loss if you say “No”.
I restart Knime (in order to release what ever is holding the original workflow) and then I’m allowed to save.

And still I’m piling up lots of Auto-Save copies, with no idea what differences are and what I might loose if I delete them… Simply because I’m not always right away dealing with the copies.

The idea is great, but the implementation is full of caveats. And needs some improvements.

I think this creating the copy is the initial problem. Why not just restore the situation before the crash i.e. open the copy as an unsaved state of the original workflow? Then I can simply save to make the pending changes persistent, or close to discard them. I think that would solve the entire problems…



1 Like

Hi Michael,

thank you for your suggestion. I opened a feature request and will discuss this with our development team.

Best, Iris

I agree with @redm. Offering the autosave feature in the way e.g. LibreOffice does, were the user is given the option to recover the workflow in the state it was before the crash, would be ideal. KNIME has crashed on me a couple of times both on Windows and Linux. Losing your recent changes to a complex workflow is not fun, so this feature should be given priority, IMHO.

Hello there @mpenalver,

have added +1 on ticket. (Internal reference: AP-11335)