[Box Backup] Mailbox backup is dangerous.

Christian Tschabuschnig boxbackup@boxbackup.org
Thu, 27 Aug 2009 13:09:50 +0200

Per, Micha,

thanks for your elaborate answers. I also read the thread "keeping files
28 days ..." now, but that also doesn't seem to fix this particular problem.

Micha Kersloot wrote:
> I have to warn you this is very true. There is no deletion time recorded by 
> boxbackup.

This is a very serious bug and I'm wondering why this issue didn't start
a big discussion here at first. I think that there should be a big
disclaimer on the front webpage which says something like "doesn't
(always) behave like you'd expect" or similar. Because boxbackup isn't
usable in this state and not only dangerous to mailboxes but also to my
digital photos and other stuff which I want to protect by backups!

But otherwise I like boxbackup - and it's "lazy approach" - very much
and it's working for me. The planned snapshot approach would solve the
issue, but it doesn't sound as if that would be implemented in the next
days or weeks.

> If I try to find any time checks it looks there are only checks on the object 
> that is in the store and that means that the only time that could count is the 
> time the backup is made. So the file that arrived in the backup first is the 
> first one that seems to get deleted no matter the deletion time.

If that's true one quick fix would be to change the timestamp from
"backed up at xx:xx" to "last seen at xx:xx" at every run for the most
actual version of the file. Although I don't know enough about the
software to estimate the side-effects of this change.

Again I'd like to emphasize that this deficiency should really be
communicated very clearly to current and potential users of boxbackup
and not just to the minority reading this mailing list. That openness
and honesty is one of the major reasons (for me) to use OSS.


A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?