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Open file, make changes, save file, close, re-open, file contents not changed - Adobe Illustrator Macintosh

I've now run into this several times and it's completely destroyed all of my confidence in Ilustrator CS on Mac. I'm hoping someone can confirm that this is an issue with CS, but it's possible that it's a Mac OS bug. It has never happened with another application, so I suspect it's bad programming behavior on Adobe's part. After opening a legacy file (AI v10), I have made substantial changes, then saved the file using the "Save" command. Unfortunately, after re-opening the file, I've found that the file is the original file and not a file to which changes were ...

  1. #1

    Default Open file, make changes, save file, close, re-open, file contents not changed

    I've now run into this several times and it's completely destroyed all of my confidence in Ilustrator CS on Mac. I'm hoping someone can confirm that this is an issue with CS, but it's possible that it's a Mac OS bug. It has never happened with another application, so I suspect it's bad programming behavior on Adobe's part.

    After opening a legacy file (AI v10), I have made substantial changes, then saved the file using the "Save" command. Unfortunately, after re-opening the file, I've found that the file is the original file and not a file to which changes were made. Illustrator CS went through the motions of saving the file over the old file, presenting me with a progress dialog that appeared to take a proportionate amount of time to the size and complexity of the file. This save procedure has worked fine many times, but has resulted in an unchanged file like this roughly half-a-dozen times. Needless to say, how can one trust the program when this happens? When will it happen again? I have no way of knowing and am hesitant to use it anymore for any critical work.

    From a programmer's perspective, it acts as though the original file is not being replaced by the temp save file when the file writing is complete. Typically, if I switch to the Finder right after saving, I can watch a second temporary file appear then disappear next to the original file in the folder listing. I have not noticed this when this bug has happened. The appropriate question now is, where could CS save its temp files so that my work can be located and saved? It definitely saved the file data somewhere. I'm just hoping that it didn't throw it away instead of the old version that it should have been replacing.

    Brock Brandenberg
    brock@bergdesign.com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Open file, make changes, save file, close, re-open, file contents not changed

    When you open a legacy file in AI CS, it immeditately gets converted to CS format, and when you edit and save it, it should both take on a new icon and have the word "[converted]" as part of its name. That's the file that shold have your changes. If you're opening up a file that has the same icon and name as the original legacy file, you're probably opening the original legacy file.
    Gary_Newman@adobeforums.com Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Open file, make changes, save file, close, re-open, file contents not changed

    Hi Gary.

    Yes, the keyword is "should." AI CS throws the usual dialog about updating type, then opens the legacy file. After making changes and choosing "Save," it should write a new format file, or at least warn about saving in a legacy format much like the export function now does. However, AI CS does no such thing. It simply writes data back into the original file (and s up type.. more on that later...). There is no new file next to the original legacy file, nor is there a new file anywhere else on the system. It doesn't append anything to the name and it does not prompt me for a new file name. It simply uses the file name from the opened file and does whatever it is doing, just as though you opened and re-saved a CS version file.

    As for the ed up type, area type in the re-saved file will get converted to broken strings, much like a PDF format file gets its type broken apart to maintain positioning. You would think that AI CS would write the file data back into the file in the same manner as the export function does when writing the particular legacy format, but they didn't think about that.

    Not enough testing of CS before release, in my opinion.
    brock@bergdesign.com Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Open file, make changes, save file, close, re-open, file contents not changed

    Brock

    After opening a legacy file (AI v10), I have made substantial changes,
    then saved the file using the "Save" command. Unfortunately, after re-opening
    the file, I've found that the file is the original file and not a file
    to which changes were made.




    By this I am reading that the changes do not get saved at all and you are left with the original legacy format.

    After making changes and choosing "Save," it should write a new format
    file, or at least warn about saving in a legacy format much like the export
    function now does. However, AI CS does no such thing. It simply writes
    data back into the original file (and s up type.. more on that later...).
    There is no new file next to the original legacy file, nor is there a
    new file anywhere else on the system. It doesn't append anything to the
    name and it does not prompt me for a new file name.




    By this, I am getting that the changes ARE being saved in the legacy format. That the legacy file is being overwritten in that legacy version format. Also, the [converted] is not added to the file name upon opening.

    Not enough testing of CS before release, in my opinion.




    Hmmmm…Tell me, go to Illustrator>Preferences>General (command+k).

    Is the Append [converted] upon opening legacy files checked?

    If it is not, you will get the symptoms you reported.

    That "not enough testing" comment kind of rubs me the wrong way. I assume you are frustrated, but jumping to a conclusion is not the best method of problem solving.
    John_Kallios@adobeforums.com Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Open file, make changes, save file, close, re-open, file contents not changed

    As John points out, if you don't have the option for appending "converted" to the file name turned on, CS will save the file back to the legacy format. Before doing that, though, you are presented with a warning that saving in this manner will break type into point type, and other features may be lost, and you'll wind up with the same file you would have had if you had exported to legacy. You should heed this warning. For your purposes, you either need to turn on the "append converted" option (so that it automatically gets a new name), or do a Save As so you can assign it a new name yoursel or allow it to keep the same name and overwrite, it which case it will be converted to a CS format file.
    Gary_Newman@adobeforums.com Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Open file, make changes, save file, close, re-open, file contents not changed



    Before doing that, though, you are presented with a warning that saving
    in this manner will break type into point type, and other features may
    be lost,




    I am guessing that the warning was also disabled since Brock has "run into this several times".
    John_Kallios@adobeforums.com Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Open file, make changes, save file, close, re-open, file contents not changed

    John, Gary,

    By this I am reading that the changes do not get saved at all and you
    are left with the original legacy format.




    When the save does not work (which is rare, but has happened), this is correct.

    By this, I am getting that the changes ARE being saved in the legacy format.
    That the legacy file is being overwritten in that legacy version format.
    Also, the [converted] is not added to the file name upon opening.




    When the save does work, this is correct.

    Is the Append [converted] upon opening legacy files checked? If it is
    not, you will get the symptoms you reported.




    You're correct. I have disabled the preference and have dismissed the legacy format save warning dialog with the "don't show again" option. It's a good reminder for me, but it helps to highlight what I believe to be a fundamental flaw in Adobe's logic about when data is written out in the updated, native CS format and when it is maintained in a legacy format.

    After re-reading the docs, here's how I believe AI CS should behave. If I update text when opening a legacy file, I expect that I will get a native CS version when I "save" the file. Continuing, if the "Append [converted]" pref is checked, I would expect to get a save dialog requesting a location to save my now renamed, converted CS file. If the pref is not checked, I would not expect to see a dialog, but should find that my original legacy file is now replaced with a native CS format file of the same name.

    Unfortunately, the wording and description of this preference in the docs is not complete nor accurate. The preference is affecting the format of the saved file also, not just the name. If the pref is off, it's necessary to keep a close eye on the proxy icon in the window title bar to know which format AI CS intends to save. The pref should be worded "Convert legacy files" and it should be doented that way, not doented to simply append to the file name.

    And this brings me to another point. Because of the differences in the new CS format and the old ones, Adobe has clearly moved the legacy formats to an export function rather than a save function. This has a major impact on the way that a user perceives the relationship between data in memory and data on disk. A save operation, should result in data on disk that mirrors data in memory - what you see and interact with in the window should be exactly what is saved to disk. In contrast, an export operation could result in data on disk that is not necessarily the same as the data that is still in memory. For example, exporting a JPEG will give you a bitmap on disk, but the original data still in memory remains vectors and rich graphics. This allows the user the ability to still save the rich graphics again in a native format that retains all the data.

    Here's the disconnect with AI CS. Because the "Append [converted]" pref in CS determines its save format intent but not what is maintained in memory, it creates a disconnect between what's on disk and what is seen in the window. If I save, I should get what's in the window, not the equivalent of an export operation. If the save operation cripples the data, I expect to see a crippled version in the window after the save, or I expect to see the dirty doent inicator still active and the original data in the window, indicating that there is still a difference between what is on disk and what is in memory. But that's not what happens. AI CS cripples the file, but leaves you with the warm, fuzzy feeling that your work has been properly saved. This is fundamentally bad behavior and is why attention to cognitive psychology is so important when mapping out a user interface. I agree that the legacy save warning dialog is there for a reason, but it is a bandaid on a bigger problem that was not addressed properly. This behavior should only be possible as the result of a "save as" or an export operation, not a "save" operation.

    This is an issue at the moment for me because I'm momentarily part of a workflow with AI 10 users and this misunderstood behavior is causing me grief, destroying type in legacy files by accidentally overwriting the original area type files with versions that have all type converted to "point type". CS has made it impossible to have a workflow with anyone running AI 10 or earlier since it destroys type objects. Ideally, I'd like to use AI CS to edit AI 10 files that keep area type, but it looks as though I have to re-install AI 10 also to be able to do this. Adobe didn't think much about this when they added the new type engine and didn't provide a way to maintain area type in legacy versions. I hope they're listening to this issue.

    While I can continue to argue the "Append [converted]" pref behavior :), it doesn't explain the first issue where I have been left with the unchanged legacy files. This happens occasionally, and being a programmer myself, just wreaks of the scenario where the app or system does not swap the original file with the temp file that is written during the save operation. In the old days, the programmer had to do the file swap operation once the temp file had successfully been written, but now depending upon which libraries or frameworks are used during development, the system can do the file swap automatically. It's a safety mechanism that's used to insure that the original data does not get trashed if the file save does not complete successfully. So if the issue is indeed related to this mechanism, the mechanism is working to preserve my original file, but is not alerting me to the fact that the save operation was not successful and left me with an unchaned file. It even cleared the dirty doent indicator when it was done, indicating that the save was successful when it wasn't.
    brock@bergdesign.com Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Open file, make changes, save file, close, re-open, file contents not changed

    John, Gary,

    BTW, thanks for the preference reminder. At least re-enabling this will prevent the legacy file damage from being masked and going unnoticed.

    Brock
    brock@bergdesign.com Guest

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