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DavidHertzberg

PSA: Wikipedia article on Retrospect going away in current form

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Some other Wikipedia editors complained that "the article contains excessive detail, it's written more like an essay or exposition than an cut-and-dried encyclopedia article, and the sourcing doesn't really support a lot of the inferences and asides".  

 

DovidBenAvraham took care of the inferences and asides by essentially eliminating the "Documentation" section; it made inferences (most of which are now preserved in this Mac Forum post) mostly by comparing current versions of Retrospect Mac User's Guides to past versions of the same UGs, to the same versions of the Retrospect Windows UGs, to buttons in the Retrospect Mac GUI, or to the Tutorials or Knowledge Base articles.  Those comparisons by editors are considered un-sourced "original research" in the Wikipedia world, but it's OK for an editor to report on such comparisons if they were made by a third-party reviewer.

 

However these other editors are now strong-arming DovidBenAvraham to rewrite the rest of the article, under the threat of doing it themselves if he doesn't.  That rewriting will be done over the next few days.  When it's complete and has passed muster with the complaining editors, I'll go through the posts on these forums and revise them so that they link to the new appropriate sections in the article.

 

Here's a permanent link to the article in its old form.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
First sentence in 2nd prgf. now contains link to post in new topic on Mac Forum that preserves the documentation inferences
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Here is a table of terminology differences as of Retrospect Windows 8 and Retrospect Macintosh 10, which is unlikely to return to the WP article:

 

Retrospect Windows current and Retrospect Macintosh ≤ 7   Retrospect Macintosh ≥ 8

Backup Set                                                                                          Media Set

Transfer Snapshots operation                                                          Copy Media Set operation
Transfer Backup Sets operation                                                       Copy Backup operation
Duplicate operation                                                                            Copy operation
"execution unit" (in "powerful new engine")                                    "activity thread" (in "powerful new engine")
Normal backup (incremental, no Recycle of Catalog File)           No Media Action backup
New Media backup (create new Backup Set w/similar name)    Start New Media backup (create new M. S. w/similar)
Selectors (may specify the types of files/folders excluded)        Rules (may specify the types of files/folders excluded)
Subvolume                                                                                            Favorite Folder
Snapshot                                                                                               eliminated as terminology (deemed part of Catalog)
Immediate (as opposed to Automated) operations                      eliminated by Console Toolbar-launched scripts

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Adjusted right-column vertical lineup for new Forums software

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The other night I went through my posts that had "Wikipedia" in them on these Forums, either visibly or in links, using the Search tool.  In most cases I just changed the links to point to the appropriate section in the rewritten Wikipedia article; in some cases—where the rewrite had eliminated the appropriate section—I changed the link to point to the appropriate section in the permanent link of the old form of the article.  There are a handful of cases that I missed because they didn't have the word "Wikipedia" in them; I'll find those and change them.

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The forced rewrite of the Wikipedia article has uncovered an interesting fact about the Retrospect Add-On for VMWare servers.  The editor JohnInDC recently turned his attention to the "Editions and Add-Ons" section, and insisted that DovidBenAvraham not list all the Add-Ons—claiming listing one or two was sufficient to put across the idea of Add-Ons.  DBA looked at the Product Configurator for the first time in a year, and noticed that it no longer asks—even if you are pricing Retrospect Windows—whether you plan to backup any VMWare servers.  DBA guessed that Retrospect Inc. must have incorporated that Add-On as a freebie part of the basic Engine, but I was a bit more cautious.

 

I phoned Retrospect Sales on Friday 3 November, and spoke to the junior sales manager Ian.  He said that Retrospect Sales is still happy to sell customers the VMWare Add-On, and guessed that it has been (prematurely?) removed from the Product Configurator because the new Retrospect Inc. product that I dare not name (for which Ian e-mailed me links to what is already on the Retrospect.com website) is expected to replace the Add-On with integral provisions for VMWare servers and other hypervisors.

 

So if you want to purchase the VMWare servers Add-On for Retrospect Windows, you now have to phone Retrospect Sales and ask for it.  Oh, the 20th-Century pain of having to actually talk to a salesperson (insert appropriate smiley here)!

 

P.S.: Ian has e-mailed me to say that what he actually told me on the phone was "If you have utilized the VMware Addon for Windows in the past you may have noticed it was functional but wasn’t as robust as it needed to be.  With that said, Retrospect has released a new Virtual Edition that supports both VMware and Hyper-V environments!  If you would like Virtual Machine support, please look into purchasing Retrospect Virtual which is a complete solution for virtual environments."

Edited by DavidHertzberg
P.S. to add what Ian says he actually told me on the phone; got rid of the text coloring—which was in Ian's e-mail—by re-pasting as plain text

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The VWMare add-on doesn't support current versions of VMWare and we are no longer selling this add-on unless someone absolutely needs to use it. This old add-on is discontinued. 

If you would like Virtual Machine support, please look into purchasing Retrospect Virtual which is a complete solution for virtual environments. 

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Here's a shocker that puts the re-orientation of this thread towards backing up virtual machines in a whole new light.

I converted the first 3 paragraphs of my previous post into an Additional Note for my Support Case, and then added another Additional Note saying "The only problem is that, according to Ian, Retrospect Virtual doesn't support Retrospect Client software. So how are administrators with machines that are not running a Virtual Machine Manager supposed to back them up with Retrospect Virtual?

I got a reply saying "Retrospect Virtual is a totally different product from Retrospect. it doesn't use any of the same code and doesn't use any of the same backup methods or technology. Retrospect Client is not a concept that exists [my emphasis] with the Retrospect Virtual ecosystem. You can read more about the Virtual Product at https://www.retrospect.com/en/products/virtual. "  

I had previously guessed that the Retrospect Virtual Host Server was simply an adaption of the Retrospect Windows Engine (a Retrospect Mac term that refers to the non-GUI part of the backup server) to run under a Virtual Machine Manager.  That would mean a Retrospect Virtual Host Server could backup from client computers not running a VM, not just VMs running on its own computer.  But that's apparently not the way the developers built the Retrospect Virtual Host Server.

So how does one backup one or more computers running a Windows VMM, plus one or more computers not running a Windows VMM, all on the same LAN?  Does one have to run two versions of Retrospect: one an executable of Retrospect Virtual to backup all the Windows VMs on the LAN, and another an executable of Retrospect Windows or Retrospect Mac to backup all the non-VM Windows or Mac clients on the LAN?

If so, IMHO that's not going to be  sales-enhancing for Retrospect Inc..

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Changed "re-direction" to "re-orientation"

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Getting back to the Wikipedia article rewrite, DovidBenAvraham has pulled the chestnuts out of the fire.  As he was being forced to cut the description of the Retrospect features down to 14 screen lines, he realized that the features divided themselves into two classes: those needed by small groups, and those needed by enterprises.  The first class consists of features developed before 2005, with the exception of basic cloud backup.  The second class consists of features developed after 2005, and were—DBA guessed—likely to have been adopted by all client-server backup applications suited for enterprise use.

DBA put the small-group features into the "Retrospect" article, and added the enterprise features as a new section at the back of the "Backup" article—to which he created a one-sentence link (later expanded, after a battle with WP editor JohnInDC, to a 10-line list of feature names with links to sub-sections of the new "Backup" section) in a new section of the "Retrospect" article.  In order to get the new section in the "Backup" article past the eagle eye of JohnInDC, DBA used the skeleton WP article on another enterprise backup application—one that shall be referred to here as NB—to find out how that application named the equivalent features.  He then Googled these feature names combined with the name of the NB application, and found Web pages describing them.  Putting references to these pages into feature descriptions copied from the old "Retrospect" article, and removing the name "Retrospect" from those feature descriptions, gave DBA a new "Backup" article section that is ostensibly application-independent.  This has now passed muster with JohnInDC, although he and DBA are still wrangling over the lead paragraph of the new section.

If you want to read the gory details,  go to the Talk page discussion about that section here.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
New section of "Retrospect" article links to new section of "Backup" article, other clarifications; new section now _names_ enterprise features

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DovidBenAvraham has noticed an substantial increase on 6 March in the Page View Statistics for the "Retrospect (software)" and "Backup" Wikipedia articles.  He attributes this to people, many of them from Walnut Creek CA, trying to see if DBA has updated these articles for the release of Retrospect 15 for Windows and Mac.  Those people are probably now wondering "When is DBA going to update the articles with the new features?"

The simple answer is never, until Retrospect Inc. updates the User's Guides.

DovidBenAvraham learned the hard way, over the last 6 months, that Wikipedia has rules against including marketing information in articles on software.  One WP editor, with the "handle" scope_creep, even went so far as to consider the use of Retrospect Inc.'s own terms for features to be marketing.  Although another WP editor—JohnInDC—didn't go quite that far, he insisted that  DBA's references in his WP articles had to be at least to user documentation—and preferably to third-party reviews of the software.

The User's Guides have not yet been updated for Retrospect 15.  There are downloadable documents on this website that purport to be User's Guides for the new versions, but a glance at their first pages reveals them to be copies of the UGs for Retrospect Windows 12 and Retrospect Mac 14. 

There are, however, new non-marketing Knowledge Base articles on the main new features of Retrospect 15—features listed in this press release.  The problem is that Knowledge Base articles tend to be very nuts-and-bolts, are frequently separated into articles for each provider—such as the new ones on e-mail backup and the older ones on Cloud backup, and do not include all new features—as for example the absence of articles that discuss the new "Storage Predictions" section of the Dashboard and that discuss certain older features whose discussion in "What's New" chapters was simply overwritten in later versions of the UGs (because they didn't fit neatly into nuts-and-bolts KB articles).  If you want to see the effects of that approach, look at the references for the "Enterprise client-server backup" section of the "Backup" Wikipedia article; from #19 through #69, they are mostly single-use ones to individual nuts-and-bolts articles (not very informative for WP purposes) for two backup server applications other than Retrospect—applications which have taken the KB approach and do not seem to have comprehensive UGs.

DovidBenAvraham has therefore decided to take a stand on the progressive destruction of the Retrospect User's Guides.  As the P.P.S. for this post shows, it wouldn't take much effort for Retrospect Inc.'s august Documentation Committee to move former "What's New" items into other chapters of the UGs.  That would make room for a new Retrospect 15 "What's New" chapter that includes, and amplifies on, the information in the latest press release.  Alternatively, because the Committee seems to be awaiting a comprehensive revision of the UGs that is always somewhere in the indefinite future, the Committee could in the mean time add a "What Was New" chapter after the "What's New" chapter—and that way put back in the "What's New" items that were in the UGs for Retrospect Windows 10 through 12 (and Retrospect Mac 12 through 14).

That doesn't mean that someone else can't update the Wikipedia articles; anyone can easily become a WP editor.  But whoever does that is going to have to contend with the difficulties that DBA encountered over the last six months, so beware.  If someone on the Documentation Committee is thinking about doing that, I think it would turn out to be a lot less trouble for him/her to update the User's Guides—and leave the WP editing of Retrospect-related articles to DBA.

P.S.: For updating the Retrospect User's Guides, I suggest the Committee consider as an alternative the "hire a spouse" approach.  In my last applications programming job, one of my immediate bosses temporarily moved with his family from Greater Melbourne in Australia to New Jersey.  My boss's wife, who needed to be at home because their daughter was still in grade school, ended up being the part-time User's Guide writer for our complicated application product.  She is quite literate, and although not a trained technical writer had no doubt been hearing from her husband for years about our application; she did just fine.

P.P.S.: Besides the deficiencies as Wikipedia references of the three new Knowledge Base articles alluded to in the fifth paragraph of this post, DovidBenAvraham is worried about the return of a problem that occurred a year before the strong-arming that led to the massive rewrite recounted in the OP.  In October 2016 another WP editor tagged the article (see its top) for three deficiencies, the last of which was "This article relies too much on references to primary sources."  DBA subsequently worked hard to cut down on the number of discrete Retrospect Inc. sources used;  as I write this the count is 13 primary sources vs. 10 secondary sources.  Adding the three new Knowledge Base articles as references would bring the count to 16 primary sources vs. 10 secondary sources, which might cause another WP editor to reinstate that tag—probably permanently.  By contrast, doing the move of non-transient (i.e., not describing new-version improvements in speed/capacity) items that were in the "What's New" chapters of the User's Guides for Retrospect Windows 10 through 12 (and Retrospect Mac 12 through 14) to other chapters—as suggested in the sixth paragraph of this post—would enable DBA to cut the count to 10 primary sources vs. 10 secondary sources.

P.P.P.S.: DovidBenAvraham and I realize that the Retrospect Inc. Documentation Committee must be sorely tempted to delay the comprehensive rewrite of the User's Guides until the Retrospect Web Console is released.  But, as the post I linked to in the preceding sentence points out, the Web Console is not going to be released with two-way functionality until September 2018 at the earliest—and IMHO probably not until March 2019.  Assuming that any GUI nut-and-bolts will remain in Knowledge Base articles, the item moves and additions described in the sixth paragraph of this post would be totally separate from later changes made necessary by the introduction of the Web Console—so the Documentation Committee should make those U.G. moves and additions now.

P.P.P.P.S.: The fact is that the Knowledge Base articles for two out of the three new features referenced in this announcement that Dovid BenAvraham would like to put into the Wikipedia articles (he must regretfully exclude the Web Console—because it probably won’t exist as a non-preview control-capable feature until March 2019—and  Data Hooks—because they are simply implementation details of “High-level/long-term reports supplementing the Administration Console[“ in the “Backup” article) are deficient from a marketing perspectiveFor instance this KB article has a “Wake-on-LAN”  section, but I got Tech Support’s QA team to admit in Support Case  #50941 on 30 September 2016 that Wake-on-LAN doesn’t work for non-Proactive scripts—at least if the clients being backed up using Retrospect Mac 12 are Macs.  If this problem has now been fixed in Retrospect 15, that fact—difficult as it may be for Retrospect Inc. to admit after nearly 9 years of inaction—should go into the User’s Guides so that DovidBenAvraham can again refer to that feature.  Moreover this KB article doesn’t explicitly say that “Remote Backup” works between computers that are not on the same LAN or WAN.  Assuming that this is actually a new feature (one of the announced  “What’s New” features in Retrospect Mac 14, "LTFS Production Tool Support”, appears to have already been in Retrospect for several major releases), then it is a great advance—and possibly an industry first.  DovidBenAvraham would love to mention that, but he can’t do it without a reference that says it—to do so would be considered the Wikipedia no-no Original Research.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
P.P.S. DBA fears adding 3 new KB articles as sources would cause permanent tagging of "Retrospect" article as "relies too much ... primary sources"; P.P.P.S make U.G. moves&additions unrelated to Web Console _now_; P.P.P.P.S. articles marketing-deficient

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Today Retrospect Inc. has replaced the contents of the downloadable "Retrospect 15 User's Guides" with documents that actually say "Retrospect 15  xxxxxxx User's Guide" on the title page.  However these are IMHO a step backward.  The "What's New" chapters in both UGs have been replaced with single paragraphs that duplicate the content of the light-gray page near the start of this sales document, without even the links to the additional detail in other new sales documents—much less the contents of those documents.  In the process, following the custom for the preceding two major versions of Retrospect, the previous version's contents of the "What's New" chapters has been overlaid without being moved anyplace else

The creation of these new UGs must IMHO represent about 15 minutes work by a senior Retrospect Inc. manager.  Needless to say, they are totally useless for Wikipedia article references by DovidBenAvraham.

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There is one item in the Retrospect Windows 15 User's Guide that is a useful reference for DovidBenAvraham, but it may not be the item that Retrospect Inc. management would like to be mentioned in the Wikipedia "Retrospect (software)" article.  That item is the "spring surprise" (a macabre joke by Monty Python)  in the Release Notes.  It reads, with the word "Note" in never-before-used yellow, "Note: In a future update, Linux clients running on server-level Linux distributions will be treated as server clients".

That means—in DBA's opinion and mine—that, in a future Retrospect update, administrators whose only server clients run Linux  will no longer be able to get away with licensing the Desktop Edition.  Instead they will have to license a Server Edition, at a substantially-higher price.  Given that Retrospect Inc. considered this Note important enough to include it in the Release Notes, even though it reflects a planned rather than current feature/fix, DBA has amended the parenthesized phrase in the second sentence of this section of the article.

DBA didn't even have to add a new reference to the article.  He was already using the Release Notes as the reference for the Retrospect Windows Dashboard in the last sentence of this section of the article, and the Release Notes are a separate cumulative document on the Retrospect Inc. website.  Therefore all he had to do was to add the Retrospect versions—including embedded decimal points—as "page numbers", and the contents of the new release note as an additional quotation.  For the information of those readers who might be interested in writing their own Wikipedia software articles or in editing this one, DBA discovered in September 2017 that Wikipedia allows you to use any string beginning with a digit—even one followed by alphabetic/period/space characters—as a comma-delimited "page number" in the "pages=" parameter of a reference—with an explanation of the "page number" following it in parentheses before the comma.

P.S.: JohnInDC insisted on taking out the amendment of the parenthesized phrase mentioned in the last sentence of this post's second paragraph, saying "wait until it happens".  However in place of the amendment DBA snuck in a reference to the Release Notes; the reference actually quotes the Note that warns of the future Edition upgrade requirement for administrators backing up server-level Linux distributions.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
P.S. recounting JohnInDC's refusing to allow mention of future change in WP article, along with DBA's riposte

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17 hours ago, DavidHertzberg said:

"Note: In a future update, Linux clients running on server-level Linux distributions will be treated as server clients".

It'll be interesting to see how they will define what are 'server-level Linux distributions'.

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A sneaky way around this future Retrospect Inc. pricing change would be to define the disk(s) of a Linux  server as network share(s) to the "backup server", and then back them up that way—not as a Linux client.  The rest of the time the Linux server could be doing its server duties. 

I realize that I don't know much about network shares or Windows, as is evidenced by my failing to catch haggis999's error that Scillonian caught in this post.  And I also realize from this dittberner@dbr3.de post that anyone using the workaround would have to supplement the frequent backup of the Linux server disk(s) as shares with some other form of occasional backup, in order to copy file metadata like ACLs and file flags correctly.  But IMHO that might be worthwhile in order to save a substantial amount of money on Retrospect licensing.

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The venerable TidBits.com Mac website has now enabled DovidBenAvraham to update the Wikipedia article "Retrospect (software)".  It did so by publishing a short article by Agen Schmitz entitled "Retrospect 15.0" on 19 March.  Although it omits any technical details, the Schmitz article provides the necessary overview of two out of the three new features that DBA felt he could put into the Wikipedia article.  The new feature Schmitz's article leaves out is "Remote Backup", but the Knowledge Base article itself supplies the fact that the feature cannot be used for scheduled Backup (as opposed to Proactive) scripts—so that DBA decided he could let that KB article stand alone as a reference.

The other thing that made this feasible was DBA's discovery that, extending the trick described in the last sentence of the last paragraph of this post, Wikipedia allows using a string beginning with the '#' character—e.g. "#Top Articles " without the quotes—as a comma-delimited "page number" in the "pages=" parameter of a reference.  The trick allowed him to have a single reference to the Knowledge Base, used repeatedly, with an explanation of the "page number" following it in parentheses—e.g. "(BackupBot – Deep Dive into ProactiveAI, How to Set Up Remote Backup)"  without the quotes—before the comma.  This meant that DBA was actually able to reduce the number of primary sources by one.  The current count is 12 primary sources and 11 secondary sources.

However calling the Schmitz article on Retrospect 15.0 a secondary source is a bit of a stretch; Tidbits calls it a "watchlist" item, and it is obviously pretty much a copy of the Retrospect Inc. press release.  And not too accurate a copy either.  Schmitz mentions the BackupBot feature—which is a UI detail that DBA omitted—without mentioning the Proactive "AI" feature (although his article links to the rather-technical  Knowledge Base article explaining it) that is much more fundamental.  Schmitz also leaves out any mention of the fact that the new Solo Edition can backup and restore up to two e-mail accounts, so DBA had to leave that fact out of the article.  Let's hope that, when Schmitz finally does some testing of Retrospect Mac 15, he writes a more comprehensive review that DBA can substitute as a reference.

DBA will update the Wikipedia "Backup" article's "Enterprise client-server backup" section in the next couple of days.  The problem there is that in his opinion only one of the three new applicable Retrospect 15 features qualifies as an "enterprise" feature: "Remote Backup".  And even putting that in is going to be tricky, because it appears neither of the other two applications referenced in that section has the feature.

P.S.: Put in a parenthetical note in third paragraph: Schmitz links to the KB article explaining the Proactive AI algorithm, but his article doesn't say that the algorithm and BackupBot only apply to Proactive scripts.

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Added P.S.: Schmitz links to KB article about Proactive AI algorithm, but doesn't use the word "Proactive" in the article.

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The  TidBits.com Mac website has again enabled DovidBenAvraham to update the Wikipedia article "Retrospect (software)".  It did so by publishing another "watchlist"  article by Agen Schmitz entitled "Retrospect 15.1.1" on 28 May. Although it omits any technical details, the Schmitz article provides the necessary overview of direct email migration and syncing and of Selector/Rule-based filtering in grooming—needed for GDPR compliance.

How, you may ask, does one specify direct email migration and syncing?  DBA and I are asking the same question, because the august Documentation Committee has not updated the Knowledge Base articles on "Email Backup" beyond Retrospect 15.0.  Such knowledge may have to await the comprehensive updating of the User's Guides, which seems as elusive as the "peace dividend".  On the other hand, some adventurous administrator may experiment and find out how to specify direct email migration and syncing—in which case we hope he/she will post a thread in the Forums telling the rest of us how to do it.

 

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Wha is an "august Documentation Committee"? Sounds like fake news, if you ask me. 

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To be honest: I really don't understand what's the purpose of all these forum posts about editing a Wiki article about Retrospect...

In my opinion these posts all are very lengthy and hard to read and of no use and interest to users of the software.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, Mayoff said:

Wha is an "august Documentation Committee"? Sounds like fake news, if you ask me. 

The existence of what I have called the Documentation Committee came from someone extremely close to you, in this post:

On 9/26/2016 at 1:20 PM, Mayoff said:

Technical Support does not write the Retrospect User's Guide. This is handled by a different team of people in the company which includes Product Management and Engineering. That same team currently writes most of the KB articles.

If you prefer the word "team" instead of "committee", I can use that noun from now on.  However I assume that Product Management and Engineering are the separate teams Retrospect Inc. employees belong to in order to do their everyday jobs, so that—when members of those teams occasionally get together to write the User's Guides (there are two separate UGs, with the Windows UG nearly 3 times the length of the Mac UG) and the Knowledge Base articles—those team members are convening a Documentation Committee representing multiple teams.

The "fake news" is my use of the adjective "august".   As I will discuss in my post replying to Hofstede, I meant that as an ironic use—particularly in sense (1)—of Wiktionary's definition:

august (comparative auguster or more august, superlative augustest or most august)

  1. Awe-inspiring, majestic, noble, venerable. quotations ▼
    an august patron of the arts
  2. Of noble birth.
    an august lineage
     

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On 6/26/2018 at 9:54 AM, Hofstede said:

To be honest: I really don't understand what's the purpose of all these forum posts about editing a Wiki article about Retrospect...

In my opinion these posts all are very lengthy and hard to read and of no use and interest to users of the software.

IMHO you have an overly restricted idea of what would be of use and interest to other Retrospect Windows administrators.  In particular, you ignore issues about the Retrospect Inc. documentation and product that may well affect whether Retrospect software will still be for sale in future years.

Starting in October 2016, DovidBenAvraham took a "stub" Wikipedia article and expanded it into a 9.5-screen-page comprehensive overview of the concepts and features of Retrospect.  He did so because he thought doing so would Increase sales, which seem to be hampered by Retrospect's "arcane" terminology and the length of the User's Guides (225 pages for Retrospect Mac, 570 pages for Retrospect Windows).

In early September 2017, another WP editor insisted that the Retrospect Inc. documentation deficiencies DBA had noted be deleted from the article.  These deficiencies include deletion by overwriting of the contents of previous "What's New" chapters  of the UGs.  Other Retrospect administrators have since wanted to know about: (1) The capability of moving the member folders of disk Backup/Media Sets to new locations.  (2) The "new grooming option [that] allows you to determine the number of months of backups to keep [ which] enables you to comply with regulations ..." (the option is now only visible in the grooming dialog itself).  (3) The difference between performance-optimized and storage-optimized grooming (which has finally been re-described for Retrospect 15.1 in the last two paragraphs of the Knowledge Base article "GDPR – Deep Dive into Data Retention Policies"—a place where most administrators will be unlikely to look).  (4) Seeding for Cloud Storage and Large Scale Recovery for Cloud Storage (these capabilities are now described only in the two-minute Tutorial video "Changing paths Cloud Mac"—which Retrospect Windows administrators are very unlikely to find). 

The other administrators showed their interest in knowing about the features by posting in these Forums, and I responded to those posts.  I then mentioned some those posts in a post in the Mac 9+ Forum, and linked to that post in the OP of this thread.  DBA later managed to sneak references to all except the first (which belonged in an instruction manual rather than a WP article) of the no-longer-documented features into the new section of the "Backup" WP article mentioned below.

Consider that in 3.5 hours I was able to write a Support Case with detailed instructions on how to move the feature descriptions that were deleted by overwriting of the "What's New" chapters into later chapters of the UG.  I estimate that anyone on the Documentation Committee could have implemented those moves for both versions of the UG in less than 10 hours.  Why doesn't someone in Product Management take on the job, since these features are a selling point for Retrospect?  Are they waiting for some ever-elusive member of the Documentation Committee to do a "sometime in the future" complete rewrite of the UGs?  I've been told by a senior Support Engineer that they are.

Other WP editors insisted on drastically shortening the article later in September 2017, but DBA—after some struggles—managed to get the feature descriptions that had to be deleted from the "Retrospect (software)" article into this new section of the "Backup" WP article.  I also felt  the Retrospect Windows vs. Retrospect Mac terminology table that he had created should be preserved, so I turned that into the second post in this thread.  Both of these have proved invaluable to me in responding to other administrators' problems in these Forums.  I wrote a Support Case requesting that the terminology table be turned into a Knowledge Base article, but apparently that simple task made Product Management nervous about admitting that there are terminology differences.

As DBA negotiated putting back a list of Add-Ons into the cut-down WP article, I elicited a post from the head of Retrospect Tech Support saying "The VWMare add-on doesn't support current versions of VMWare and we are no longer selling this add-on unless someone absolutely needs to use it. This old add-on is discontinued."  He went on to say "If you would like Virtual Machine support, please look into purchasing Retrospect Virtual which is a complete solution for virtual environments."  However my Support Case on the subject brought the reply "Retrospect Client is not a concept that exists with the Retrospect Virtual ecosystem".  Another fact that DBA discovered is a yellow-flagged Release Note saying "In a future update, Linux clients running on server-level Linux distributions will be treated as server clients".  I'm sure other administrators are interested in knowing all three of those disturbing facts, which are likely to affect their decisions on purchasing future versions of Retrospect. 

The final straw in the documentation mess comes with the release of Retrospect 15.  Product Management has been allowed to completely hijack the "What's New" chapter of the new UGs, which therefore contains only marketing blurbs instead of instructions useful to administrators.  Meanwhile it appears that Engineering has been told "let each engineer write one or more Knowledge Base article with the nitty-gritty details of the new feature he has programmed, but we don't have a tech writer available to actually write instructions on how to use the feature."  The laughable result of this is Retrospect 15.1, for which direct e-mail migration and syncing was announced 17 May but the only attempt at documentation so far is 30-second and 60-second videos released yesterday (25 June, 5 days after I criticized the lack of such documentation in the second paragraph of this post—can it be that someone at Retrospect Inc. read it?) by Product Management—videos that go by so fast they are pretty much useless for inexperienced administrators.

If you look at the references for the two other enterprise client-server backup applications (which I will refer to here as NB and BE) discussed in the new section of the Wikipedia "Backup" article, you will see that each feature in those apps is documented on a different Web page.  You need to use Google to find the Web page documenting the particular feature you are interested in, but to do that you must know that app's name for the feature (which made finding the references difficult for DBA, even though he was certain that such equivalent features existed).  Because the other apps are big-ticket items targeted at large installations, there has grown up around each of them a small industry of consultants and video-makers who know the features' names and how to use them.  If the Documentation Committee thinks such a small industry will also grow up around Retrospect, which historically targets SMEs by offering lower prices than the competing apps, I fear it is sadly mistaken.  If the Committee continues down its current path, IMHO the results will not be good for Retrospect Inc..

And that is why I refer to the Documentation Committee as "august" in an ironic sense.  Sorry I had to spell it out at such length.

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I can see that a Wiki article about Retrospect might be of use for others, although I personally never trust information that comes from a Wiki article and I certainly would not use that info for something as mission-critical as backups.

What I don't understand is why all the trials and tribulations of a certain Mr. DovidBenAvraham editing that article and the problems he has with other Wiki moderators needs to be discussed here. 

 

 

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45 minutes ago, Hofstede said:

What I don't understand is why all the trials and tribulations of a certain Mr. DovidBenAvraham editing that article and the problems he has with other Wiki moderators needs to be discussed here. 

Because they are they are the same entity?

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39 minutes ago, Hofstede said:

I can see that a Wiki article about Retrospect might be of use for others, although I personally never trust information that comes from a Wiki article and I certainly would not use that info for something as mission-critical as backups.

What I don't understand is why all the trials and tribulations of a certain Mr. DovidBenAvraham editing that article and the problems he has with other Wiki moderators needs to be discussed here. 

 

 

Sorry, Hofstede, but I've just posted a complete explanation of what has turned out to be the overall topic of the thread.  I've been writing the explanation for several hours, but posted the quote from you and the first sentence of a first short paragraph from me as soon as I started writing—just to see how the quoting would work.  You evidently replied to the first sentence before I finished my post.

I'm in the U.S., not in Germany.  Therefore I'm going to catch an abbreviated night's sleep, while you read my complete post.  Guten Tag.

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23 minutes ago, Scillonian said:

Because they are they are the same entity?

If you read my complete post, you'll see my explanation.  Good morning to you, but I'm going to bed.

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10 hours ago, DavidHertzberg said:

If you read my complete post, you'll see my explanation.  Good morning to you, but I'm going to bed.

Sorry David, it looks like 'A Series of Unfortunate Events'. When I too read your post, perhaps 40~45 minutes after Hofstede posted his reply, only the quote and the first line/paragraph existed.

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On 6/27/2018 at 2:10 AM, Hofstede said:

I can see that a Wiki article about Retrospect might be of use for others, although I personally never trust information that comes from a Wiki article and I certainly would not use that info for something as mission-critical as backups.

....

The 90-day average of views (article->View History->Page view statistics->Options: Latest 90) of the Wikipedia "Retrospect (software)" article is 25.  That's around 20 people viewing it on ordinary days, supplemented by another 15-25 people viewing it on days when there has just been an update.  I suspect that most of the extra 15-25 people work in Walnut Creek CA, but the 20 "others" represent potential buyers of the software.  Those "others" are the people for whom DovidBenAvraham expanded the article in October 2016.

The Wikipedia community is trying to improve the trustworthiness of information in articles.  Let's look at the "Backup" article as an example.  Having appended a new 2-screen-page section with about 50 discrete references (some used several times), DBA turned his attention on 10 April 2018 to the preceding 7 screen pages of the article—which at that time had 18 references.  The preceding pages had not received substantial updates since 2011, and basically represented "community folklore" as of about 2007.

The last sentence of the "Hard disk" paragraph in the "Storage media" sub-section said "The main disadvantages of hard disk backups are that they are easily damaged, especially while being transported (e.g., for off-site backups), and that their stability over periods of years is a relative unknown."  DBA and I felt that the first part of the sentence was out-of-date for modern portable HDDs, which now have ramp loading and built-in accelerometers.  DBA found a manufacturer statement which supported our view, but could not find it again.  Meanwhile WP editor JohnInDC found a The Wirecutter 2017 review that covered "rugged" portable HDDs; it seemed to support the old view, but DBA pointed out on the WP article's Talk page that—when read carefully—the review said that the tested drives were fairly shock-resistant although not as shock-resistant as the manufacturers claimed.

On 9 June DBA inserted a reference to a YouTube video of an experiment by the German "Timo", which seemed to be a fairly careful limited test of shaking and banging a not-in-a-computer internal Seagate HDD USB-connected to a computer measuring InputOutputs/sec..  JohnInDC rejected the reference, commenting "YouTube is not a Reliable Source".  DBA replied on the WP article's Talk page that the warnings about YouTube in the Wikipedia rules referred to copyright violations and one-sided narrator statements, and were not applicable to videos of carefully-conducted experiments—which in his opinion do not include a 2009 mail.ru video of a black-clad demonstrator tossing an un-cabled Samsung portable HDD high over his shoulder and off a wall accompanied by a penny-whistle rendition of the "Imperial March" from "The Empire Strikes Back".  There being no response from JohnInDC over the next week, DBA put back in the reference to the "Timo" video.  At the same time he deleted the reference to the Wirecutter review, because its 2018 revision has deleted the supporting sentences DBA had quoted.  DBA also added a reference to a Toshiba Singapore advertisement he had at last found, which mentioned the ramp loading and accelerometer features of a particular 2018 portable drive model.

The preceding two paragraphs describe the current vetting of a technical Wikipedia article.  In it DBA represents the ambitious contributor, and JohnInDC represents another editor determined to ensure the accuracy of the contribution.  It is worth noting that the updated first 7 screen-pages of the current "Backup" article now have 48 references; DBA's efforts on those pages seem to have encouraged the WP editor Lostraven to add references, many of which are to printed books and journals that Lostraven found on books.google.com.

P.S.: JohnInDC deleted the reference to the "Timo" experiment again on the grounds of experimenter "non-reliability".   DBA investigated a further "Timo" experiment that destroyed a not-in-a-computer internal hard drive with a hammer, and decided that the first "Timo" experiment was not powerful enough to be worth fighting for.  However DBA found a 2007 HGST whitepaper that really justified the improvement in portable drive reliability, and pruned quotes in a reference to it of  "buying advice" that JohnInDC objected to.  All part of the modern Wikipedia article vetting process, folks.

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