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Backing Up Your Programs

It is important to backup your Fractal Science Kit fractal programs in case you make changes that you later wish to discard.

When you change the code in the Macro Editor or Program Browser, the changes are immediate. That is, changes do not need to be explicitly saved but are automatically saved as you make them. A Save command is not required/supported. This is very convenient but you must be careful to backup your code prior to making changes in case you decide to discard your changes at a later time.

Of course, as long as the editor remains open you can undo any changes you have made using the Undo command on the Edit menu but once the editor is closed, the undo buffer is lost and you would need to rely on your backups (or your memory) to put things right. To backup some or all of your code, you can use the editor's Export command on the File menu. To backup all the XML files in your My Programs folder, execute the Backup My Programs command on the Tools menu of the Fractal Window.

The fractals you explore are not automatically saved. When you close a fractal, no warnings of unsaved changes are given. Normally, this is what you want since most of the changes you will make are temporary explorations to try out different property settings or simple code changes. If you discover a fractal worth saving, it is up to you to save it to a file before you close it. Changes to your programs in the context of editing a fractal are made to the copy of the program inside the fractal and do not affect the original program. You can save these changes back into the original program by clicking the Save Program button on the Properties Window while the modified program's Program Editor is displayed in the Properties Window. When you save the fractal (by clicking Save Fractal Properties on the Fractal Window), the programs associated with your fractal are saved in the fractal file; i.e., your original programs are not affected.

Since all of your macros, programs, and gradients are saved in the My Programs folder, located in the Fractal Science Kit Home folder, you can backup all of these objects by copying the My Programs folder to a backup disk or other media. If you save all of your fractals and other fractal related files (e.g., textures) under the My Files folder, you can copy this folder to backup all your fractals. It is recommended that you periodically backup your entire Fractal Science Kit Home folder to protect against losing any of your work.

The My Backups folder is used to store backups of your My Programs folder. Whenever you close the Fractal Science Kit or execute the Backup My Programs command on the Tools menu of the Fractal Window, the Fractal Science Kit copies the My Programs folder and all the XML files therein, to a new folder under the My Backups folder named My Programs <Date> where <Date> is the current date/time. These folders are not used by the system for any purpose but are created as a failsafe in case you make changes to your programs that you later wish to undo. You can edit these files with the appropriate Macro Editor, Program Browser or Gradient Browser, to extract the objects/code you wish to retrieve. You should periodically remove some/all of these folders. The My Files and My Fractal Images folders are not handled in this manner, and it is up to you to periodically save a snapshot of these folders/files.


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