Talk:Retrospect (software)

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Request for Comment - article length, level of detail[edit]

Does the article contain too much detail, and Synthesis / OR? (NB - discussion has been civil & respectful! Just soliciting more points of view.) JohnInDC (talk) 15:22, 7 September 2017 (UTC)


  • Comment What a complete mess. The article completely violates WP:NOT, with whole sections of the manual being copied into place. Wikipedia is not a manual. A bulleted list can replace all that's past the opening lede. Its an article that nobody will read and has zero encyclopedic value as it stands. It is summary of the manual, and in this context has zero value. What is this:

Ever since the software was first released, its UI has made the first letters of certain words upper-case to indicate a specific Retrospect meaning. The remainder of this article preserves that convention, which helps to clarify terminology that some have found "arcane"

Does the WP:MOS somehow not apply. If the filing editor had done any work, would have realised it is common nomenclature in the computing industry. A severe copyedit is required to save the article. As it stands, the article qualifies for WP:TNT and as such is a good WP:AFD candidate. Its a complete mess. It is a manual, and has no purpose or context on WP. scope_creep (talk) 07:34, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
I guess you must be young, scope_creep. The 23 February 2005 reference at the end of the bolded paragraph you have quoted, if you can be bothered to look, says "... the application's continued use of arcane terminology such as "sets" and "volumes ....". Dantz Development Corp. developers invented the Retrospect terminology in the mid to late 1980s, and they probably took Computer Science classes—if any—in the 1970s when set theory was still not being widely taught and OS terminology had not yet been standardized. One example of the latter is Retrospect's use of the term Snapshot, as defined in the article's "Concepts prior to Retrospect Windows 7" section. It goes all the way back to the 1980s, when Snapshot (computer storage) was at most a dream in the minds of Unix/Linux/Solaris developers. The change in meaning of "snapshot" evidently bothered the EMC developers enough that they eliminated Snapshot as terminology with Retrospect Mac 8 in 2009—with consequences that used to be mentioned in a section of the article until JohnInDC deleted it as "speculation and "original research"; the Snapshot is still a key facility in both flavors of of Retrospect, and it is still terminology in Retrospect Windows. The reason the "Retrospect Macintosh 10 and Retrospect Windows 8" section of the article is 1.5 pages long is that it must deal with the GUI and terminology split between Retrospect Mac and Retrospect Windows, whose reasons I have discussed in the second paragraph of the "Retrospect Windows 'backup server' GUI" section of this Talk page.DovidBenAvraham (talk) 17:00, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
No; we don't need to delve into Retrospect's arcane terminology at all. At all. This is not a user manual, it's not a guidebook - for the current version or - worse still - obsolete versions of this software. JohnInDC (talk) 20:48, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment: far too much operational detail, relative to content based on genuine third-party sources. (I read the first source cited, and was amused to see the reader-comment at the bottom "Nowhere does it say if this new version actually works. I've had nothing but trouble with Retrospect. I would suggest anyone who uses it to make sure you can restore your backups, because it very rarely works."). The final sentence of the lead says that Retrospect users still use tapes for their backups – is this really true, now that cloud storage is cheap? Maproom (talk) 07:25, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
You forgot to include the comment underneath that 2012 comment, replying to it, Maproom. It says "I've used Retrospect since the mid-1990s in both home and business settings with mixed groups of up to 25 Macs and PCs. I've never experienced a problem with a restore to a Mac. I have had a few problems with PC restores because windows ...." That's been my experience too, and I've used Retrospect since 1995—with a 5 year break in 2010 when my "backup server" machine died of old age. Five months ago the HDD in one of my Macs (a laptop) died; I had restored the complete contents of that drive onto a portable HDD within 2.5 hours, and booted a deskop Mac from it for the next two days until I could use Installation Assistant to restore from the portable HDD onto my Mac's new SSD. As far as the article's lead section, that was extensively trimmed by JohnInDC on 6 September—pending negotiated restoration by me when I've finished removing the "operational detail". Right now the final sentence in the lead says "The cumulative size of these backed-up files may[my bolding] be so large, especially for content-producing businesses, that the only feasible destination is a set of tapes." Yes, some Retrospect administrators use tape for the reason stated in the preceding sentence, but I've been using portable HDDs rotated off-site since 2015; Retrospect can backup to cloud storage, but my upload speed is so slow it doesn't make sense. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 09:50, 17 September 2017 (UTC) I used to have a sentence in the lead section mentioning that Dantz/EMC/Roxio didn't always do a great job of rewriting manufacturers' tape drivers, but that was deleted because the nearest to a reliable ref. I could find for it was a comment on a The Register article on Retrospect. Thank you, Maproom, for indirectly telling us what should go back into the lead section. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 10:44, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
I'm not claiming that the user comment was reliable or justified. But it was such a relief to read it, after reading the WP article, which is written entirely from the point of view of the company. Maproom (talk) 07:13, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
I'd love to find more referenceable reviews that take a jaundiced view of Retrospect, but they're practically non-existent. The only ones I've been able to find are the Derik DeLong article and two Adam Engst reviews, and I've quoted the critical bits—one set of quotes at the end of "Retrospect Macintosh 8" hasn't yet been moved to "History. The difficulty is that Retrospect's major problems were in the past—namely from about 2004 up through 2009. Besides AFAIK the laws of commercial libel (IANAL) tend to put somewhat of a damper on the negative remarks of a reviewer working for a sueable publication; that's why you find most uninhibited negative remarks in either un-referenceable comments on articles (which are no doubt toned down by publishers) or on blog posts. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 11:21, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Cull dramatically - summoned by bot. I agree that this is waaaaay too much detail and weeds. The repaired article should have the lede, first three paragraphs of the History section, the Architecture section and then maybe a table with versions and their release dates, which would probably be best as a subset of the history section. I wish I could have focused everyone's time spent discussing this on article repair; the article would be fixed by now. TimTempleton (talk) (cont) 06:23, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
Don't waste your time editing and fine tuning and rehashing this unless you are culling it like I suggest above. Someone is going to come in and make this change. TimTempleton (talk) (cont) 20:02, 20 September 2017 (UTC)


Hi, It is not WP's purpose to support external sources, for those needing help on forums. That is the purpose of the company itself and is no business of WP. The article as it stands at the moment violates WP:NOT. It needs to be drastically copyedited, down to about 5-10k, explaining what it is, what it does, it main feature, and what differentiates it. from it competitors, and that it. Acronis True Image which is the leading product is this segment, is an ideal article to determine how to structure this one. scope_creep (talk) 09:45, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

Thank you, scope_creep, for being a near-perfect "straight man" for my argument. First of all, you have obviously not re-read the lead of the article, which I rewrote about 6 hours before you posted. The lead now essentially provides what JohnInDC requested on 12 September. Second, you obviously haven't noticed a key word in the first sentence of the lead paragraph of the Acronis True Image article: "... provides data protection for personal users ..." [sorry for the bolding, but sometimes it's needed]. That means, AFAICT, that Acronis is a "push" backup system in which each individual conceptual "client" pushes data to a backup "host" (which may not be a full-fledged computer) at its non-"host"-controlled option (that's from the "'Pull' and 'push' architectures" section of the article, which you also probably didn't read). To understand the inadequacies of "push" backup for "small and medium-sized businesses", consider a thread that recently appeared on the Ars Technica Mac forum. The person who started that thread is evidently a consultant to an organization with 25 Mac-using workers, soon to be expanded to 35 workers. The workers' individual Macs have been supposedly being backed up to a macOS Server computer using Time Machine, but it turns out that more than half of the machines never finish their backup—because the Server computer can't handle that many LAN computers writing simultaneously to the same Server disk drives. A "pull" backup app is a solution, because the "backup server" computer can run a script to backup each "client" computer one at a time overnight. And that's one fact I have tried to make clear, along with the reasons for other Retrospect features, in the article. This is one reason the article is justifiably longer IMHO.DovidBenAvraham (talk) 16:05, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
I side pretty strongly with Scope on this. When we're addressing issues raised by a consultant raised in a technical discussion forum, we are going way, way too far into the weeds. For perhaps the fifth time - it's not the function of Wikipedia to assist software users in making the best use of the products they've purchased (or to assist them in deciding what other products to purchase). JohnInDC (talk) 20:46, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
IMHO the article doesn't need to be a whole lot longer than the 3 lead paragraphs. Literally it could trimmed that far, with perhaps a table a la Acronis to show what OSes are or have been supported. JohnInDC (talk) 20:51, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
No one in that Ars Technica thread "used Wikipedia to assist software users in making the best use of the products they've purchased (or to assist them in deciding what other products to purchase)." I just used the consultant's problem as an example of what happens when you try to use a personal backup app to solve a "small and medium-sized business" backup need, because of the difference between "push" and "pull" backup. Please everyone, read preceding posts thoroughly before replying.DovidBenAvraham (talk) 21:31, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
I did read it, and my objection is not to responding to what might have been said or requested in the Ars forum but rather our undertaking here to address or assist in addressing the problem (implicitly) identified there. It's not the encyclopedia's role to identify or articulate a problem with a particular software architecture for small or medium businesses and then guide sysadmins or consultants to the better solution. If this particular issue - "pull" vs "push" backups and their suitability for particular classes of clients - were well covered by third party sources, that is to say, an issue that gets a lot of press and is well-understood by small & medium size network admins to be an active concern - then maybe we could appropriately make a passing reference to it here. In the absence of that we have no business in writing about it. JohnInDC (talk) 21:43, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
[1] is one discussion of the "push" vs. "pull" issue. [2] is another discussion. Both of these could be considered third party, in that they are written about competitors to Retrospect. The first competitor, Econ Technologies' ChronoSync, is a commercial product. The second competitor, LBackup by Lucid Information Systems Ltd., is an open-source product. I used the second discussion as a reference in the article. There is a third discussion in Joe Kissell's "Backing Up Your Mac", but Google Books wouldn't let me view pages in it anymore—so I've just paid $15 + tax for a downloaded copy. BTW, that third book classifies Retrospect as a "client-server" rather than a "pull" backup app; it has quite a bit about Retrospect, including mention of the terminology changes in recent Retrospect Mac versions.DovidBenAvraham (talk) 01:05, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
I don't question the distinction. I question whether the distinction, accurate as it may be, is meaningful at all when the subject is "Retrospect", a software program for backing up personal computers. As I said above, perhaps a sentence that says, "Retrospect represents a 'pull' type backup system, wherein X happens, rather than a 'push' system, which relies on Y". Beginning, middle, end, all right there. The distinction as applied to Retrospect doesn't seem to have registered on any third party who's written about this, and it's not for us to manufacture the discussion. Really it's not for this article at all unless it's a salient, 3d-party-noted feature of or drawback to this software program - like, "Vista was buggy" or "no physical keyboard really distinguished the original iPhone from its Blackberry competitor". JohnInDC (talk) 01:56, 14 September 2017 (UTC)
As I said two paragraphs up, the Joe Kissell book has an extensive discussion of Retrospect as a "client-server" backup app. It is my impression that any "client-server" backup app is also doing "pull" backup, but I can easily change the article to say "client-server" instead of "pull"—and will do so ASAP. In addition, by Googling "'client-server' backup, I also found a Technopedia article [3]; I'll use both the Kissell book and the Technopedia article as references.DovidBenAvraham (talk) 08:27, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

Comment Regarding a reply to above. I think your misconstrued my comments. I wasnt making a tech comparison between Acronis and this product, merely a structural comment about what the article should look like. You need to whittle it down, remove all the tech stuff, keep the most important features of each one, per production version in a table perhaps, and keep the article below 10-15k. I have spent 25 years or more in the computing field, and No one is going to use this as referance manual, as backup is too important to mess up. Please clean the article per advice above, otherwise at the end of the RFC I will need to do it myself. scope_creep (talk) 12:04, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

As far as "what the article should look like", I think a much more applicable model would be the article on NetBackup. At least NetBackup appears to be some kind of "client-server" backup app, although I'm not exactly sure what "... a central master server which manages both media servers (containing the backup media) and clients" means (probably some kind of two-level "client-server"). That article doesn't have the most-important features in a table by production version, but as bulleted sub-items beneath bulleted categories. And that article's size is just over 10KB.

But that article has some pitfalls that I'd want to avoid. The most notable is that it is using enough NetBackup-specific terminology that I find mentions of some of the features incomprehensible, for instance "snapshots" (are those Retrospect-style Snapshots or Unix-style snapshots?) and "replicas" and "multiplexed" and "multi-streamed". Also notable is that the article has been tagged "needs additional citations for verification"; some of the references are unreachable for me because they are now behind a "sign-up wall" (thank you, Veritas Marketing).

So how would I avoid those pitfalls? One way would be to slyly introduce the terminology now in the "Concepts prior to Retrospect Windows 7" section of the article as part of descriptions of "core features" Another way would be to put the non-bulleted paragraphs of the "Retrospect Macintosh 10 and Retrospect Windows 8" section of the article into a preliminary "History" section; those paragraphs need to remain in the article because they reveal the splitting of the Retrospect app into separate Mac and Windows apps—which have essentially the same underlying code but different GUIs and terminology. A final way would be to leave as many as possible of the 31 references from the current version of the article in the new version, favoring third-party ones over first-party ones.

The result would not be a 4-paragraph article, or even a 4-page article. My guess is that it would be at least 5 screen pages long, and maybe as much as 7 screen pages long (based on taking the 42 features—4 more than for NetBackup—described in the current article and assuming each one can be reworded in one line). The article would have a size of around 20KB, because the close-to-31 references would take up more behind-the-visible-text bytes than the 13 references in the NetBackup article. And I think it would be an ugly article; if JohnInDC "... used to use Retrospect [presumably before Retrospect Mac 8], and I can't figure out 4/5 of what's being said here", IMHO—based on my experience in reading the NetBackup article—he wouldn't be able to figure out 7/8 of what is said in the new version of the Retrospect article. Therefore I'll give you people a weekend to think it over. I've come down with what is probably the flu, so I won't be able to do much work on the article over this weekend. Please let me know no later than Monday 18 September whether you still want me to do the major revision I have proposed, or whether you've decided that the current version is preferable.DovidBenAvraham (talk) 02:55, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

  • The present article has an unsuitable level of specific detail. WP is not a place for changelogs, nor lists of minor or routine features. It is intended to provide information for the general reader who has heard of the program, not for the user or prospective user. The product has its own website, and that's where this material belongs. For a very few of the most famous programs we go into some detail, but still not to the level here--and the general principle is at WP:EINSTEIN. If the people who know about the program don't cut it, I will. DGG ( talk ) 04:41, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
The present article doesn't have "changelogs, nor lists of minor or routine features". The exceptions are in "Retrospect Macintosh 13 and Retrospect Windows 11", where I mentioned "Faster Catalog [File] Rebuild" just so I could mention why that feature is sometimes needed, and also a couple of mentions of improved e-mailing/reporting—which of course I would consolidate into a single feature in the rewrite. I wrote the back end of the article in chronological sequence mainly because there were two crises in the development of Retrospect: one when/before Retrospect Mac 8 was released in early 2009, and one when Retrospect Windows 8 was released in 2012. I've written about how I would deal with those crises in my "So how would I avoid these pitfalls" paragraph above.DovidBenAvraham (talk) 08:43, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
I appreciate the link to NetBackup but rather than aspire to that as a model for this page, the better course would be to trim a lot of the junk out of that one. It's not really very good. JohnInDC (talk) 11:02, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
I see it is well known, notable software, very well regarded and respected in the industry. I think your missing the point DovidBenAvraham. Your are still confusing structural intent, with some tech comparison. Regarding the NetBackup software, it is not a particularly good article, but look at the sentence in the lede:
NetBackup features a central master server which manages both media servers (containing the backup media) and clients. Core server platforms include Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, Tru64, Linux and Windows
That is all you need to do explain the tech, in Retrospect. Look how small it is! One sentence. Not the content itself, but that length of text, and the structural layout within in. That is all. In the feature list you can add most the most important features in a table, and that is all the article needs. Simple really. 10-15k is all you need, or thereabouts. The Acronis article is a good example of what you need, in terms of structure. Ignore the fact it is not the same tech. The structure is what your looking for, of that size or thereabouts. scope_creep (talk) 12:19, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
OK, here—I hope—is a is a permalink to the current version of the article as of the morning of 15 September 2017. I'm very afraid that, during such a complete rewrite, I might mess up and not be able to do any more copying from the existing version. DovidBenAvraham (talk)
You can always get to a prior source by bringing up an older version of the page, then Editing that to grab whatever text you may need. JohnInDC (talk) 17:04, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
What I don't think you realize is that asking me to use the Acronis article as a model is like saying "Here's a very good-looking article on yearly feature changes to a kiddy-car; you should use that as a model for your article on Range Rover utility vehicles". The reason that app is named Acronis True Image is because it started out as a disk imaging app, which is not at all the same thing as a file backup app. It now appears to also support file backup, but there is no indication in the article that it supports file versioning or de-duplication—or any of the other good stuff that even full-featured push backup apps support. The entries in the "Versions" table read like compacted equivalents of my sections of what is now the old version of the Retrospect article; no wonder that comments in two sections of the Acronis article's Talk page have said "It reads more like an advertisement." Since it appears I'm going to have to substantially rewrite the Retrospect article, I think I would get more understandable results by rewriting it with a "Main features" section like the NetBackup article; that section is subdivided by feature type. But Heaven give me the power to do better than the paragraph that scope_creep quotes in his/her second paragraph in the post directly above my posts; it assumes that readers know the terminology for NetBackup (and remember that, because all 3 backup apps we are discussing started development somewhere between 1985 and 2001, there is no standardized terminology). DovidBenAvraham (talk) 17:10, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
I can't let pass the observation that the Range Rover article - dealing with the entire history of a venerated automobile brand whose inception dates to 1951 - is about 3/5 the length of this article. JohnInDC (talk) 17:24, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
Your still conflating the two points. I'm not talking about the technology, I'm talking about the layout of the article and how it should look. It is nothing to do with a tech comparison, nothing. Its hows it looks and the level of tech in it. People are losing patience with you. scope_creep (talk) 17:49, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
I would start with something like this: User:JohnInDC/sandbox, adding at most a paragraph or two about program mechanics, corporate history, things like that. Needs to be cleaned up of course - really it's barely more than a mockup. Comments welcome. JohnInDC (talk) 19:40, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
JohnInDC, It's a good article, and close to what is needed. If doesn't mention the primary fact however, regarding notability, that the product was widelely considered the favourite, best in class backup sofware for macs in the 1980s/1990's before time machine came along, and was well respected for use on pc. If you had sources for that, it would be complete. scope_creep (talk) 22:36, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
The Joe Kissell book is a source for that; I'll include it. The book also says "Retrospect has enjoyed a comeback. It now has a much-improved interface; it also supports cloud storage destinations ... and delta encoding ...." The next paragraph is even more complimentary on Retrospect's capabilities for client-server backup.DovidBenAvraham (talk) 23:52, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
Actually, the 20 August 2017 version of the article—kindly frozen with this link on my Talk page thanks to 2001:2003:54FA:2F79::1—had those facts in the second paragraph of the lead. I used as reference the Derik DeLong article in Macworld; the entire second paragraph of the lead was deleted by JohnInDC on 6 September 2017. So make up your minds, people! DovidBenAvraham (talk) 20:44, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
Tweaked now. I intend to substitute this version soon. User:JohnInDC/sandbox. JohnInDC (talk) 23:19, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
I'll find a good source for it. scope_creep (talk) 01:22, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
I'm starting to recover from my bout of the flu (with bronchitis, which is a complication I always get), and am starting to revise the article. I'll do a first-draft of the "History" section before I go to bed, and will start on the "Features" section tomorrow. That will take a while, because it involves a great deal of rewriting for tightness. I'm sorry, but the Versions table JohnInDC wants would make the revised article longer and less clear than necessary, because there averaged four not-necessarily-related feature additions/improvements in each major release of Retrospect. Dantz/EMC/Roxio/Retrospect Inc. could do that because they have a multi-person developer team, whereas IMHO it looks as if Acronis True Image has had a one-person developer team except in 2010. Please let me do my rewrite first, and then you can decide if your version would be better. One thing you might consider in the meantime is where to put an revised version of the last sentence in the fifth paragraph that used to be in the lead as of 20 August 2017 (permalink now italicized above). Maybe it belongs in the "'Client-server' and 'push' architectures" section, but the idea I want to get across is that it's fundamentally impossible to back up more than a few "client" computers to a single "backup server" unless the backups are forced to be done in sequence (that's what's at the heart of the Ars Technica-posting consultant's problem I mentioned above). I can't find a reference for that; would "ask any technically-competent 12-year-old child" be acceptable? DovidBenAvraham (talk) 04:20, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
I've now found a reference that can be adapted from the second prgf. in this link. Client-server backup restricts "the number of clients connecting simultaneously" to one. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 05:24, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
By all means take the first crack but it needs to be clear that the draft in my sandbox is intended as a complete replacement for the article, not just for the introduction. Whatever trimming you need to do should be on that order of magnitude - no explanations of idiosyncratic Retrospect terminology, no listing of feature sets; no observations like the one you propose to make. The whole article: What is Retrospect, why do we care about it, who makes / made it, and what's the state of the thing nowadays. JohnInDC (talk) 11:36, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
I accept that there should be no explanations of Retrospect terminology, and I accept that you don't want me to make the proposed observation—even though it is a key part of "why do we care about it". However I don't understand why I can't list the feature set in a very compact way. After all, the "Versions" section of the Acronis True Image article does exactly that, disguised as a chronological listing. That section takes up nearly a screen page. If I can do the same thing for Retrospect, which is as I have pointed out a much more multi-featured app, in less than two screen pages would you be willing to accept that? I have the feeling that you people are trying to punish me for not having reduced the size of the article last October. I don't think you are entitled to do that, and I'll fight against it if necessary. But I hope it won't be necessary, because I'll take every reasonable step to comply with your demands. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 14:36, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
I wouldn't object to a one-line annotation for each year in the version table. As for your implication (or is it a plain accusation?), I wasn't around for discussions last October. JohnInDC (talk) 17:52, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
But it can't be a one-line annotation; as I said above, it would average out to 4 lines for each year in the version table. That's why I'm making the changes as a "Main features" section per the NetBackup article, as I've said above. If—after I've done the changes—you want me to change that section over to a "Versions" table I'll do it, but it will just make it take up more space while making it more confusing to the reader. As for my implication, I know that you weren't around for discussions last October and neither was scope_creep. However 2001:2003:54FA:2F79::1 was around, and I assumed that he/she brought you folks into the discussion in early September. If I'm wrong, please correct me. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 19:27, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure I've already opined that Netbackup is not a good template article. If not then I will say it here. It's barely more than a jargony feature list in places and is itself a good candidate for cleanup. Acronis is better both in terms of prose and scope. I'm - really getting tired of saying the same things over and over. The article needs to be much, much shorter and much or most of what you would continue to include in it is unsuitable. JohnInDC (talk) 19:50, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
I totally agree with you about the lack of quality of the actual NetBackup article. I'm just trying to use the "Main features" approach of that article as a model for a "NetBackup done right for Retrospect" article. I've explained two paragraphs above this why I think this approach makes more sense for Retrospect, and I have offered to convert that into a "Versions" approach if you are still convinced that your way is better after you see what I'm in the process of doing. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 21:13, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

Comment just got my RFC. Skimming the article my immediate reaction is "Why tell me this as a reader of an encyclopaedia?" The User's manual increased in size did it? Goood... I guess... Not being a Retrospect user, I am sure it must be a very nice product, and worth an article, but for WP I reckon that article should be trimmed, as mentioned above, to say a single screen page. Items like "Concepts prior to Retrospect Windows 7" read like something out of an unhelpful sales brochure. Omit all that. The "Main features" section is ridiculous and should be totally rewritten as one short paragraph in the lede, not as a sales blurb, but as a description of the functions that justify its existence as a product. (It backs up your data whether you like it or not -- that sort of thing.) The Push/pull architecture, if regarded as being of interest should be extracted into an article of its own and linked to, or if it is regarded as not justifying an article, mentioned as a feature or totally omitted. As it stands, the article is totally unacceptable. JonRichfield (talk) 09:54, 18 September 2017 (UTC)

You're talking about an article that is in the process of being rewritten in-place. The sections "Concepts prior to Retrospect Windows 7" and "Retrospect Windows 7" had been eliminated by 22:15 hours on 17 September UTC; about half of "Retrospect Macintosh 8" has now been eliminated. If you feel the new "Main features" section is too long, why not wait until it is finished? It looks like that whole process won't be done until tomorrow evening, because I have to go sit in the Emergency Room for several hours today so MDs can figure out whether I have pneumonia or merely very bad bronchitis (sorry if that is over-sharing, but life intrudes sometimes). I agree with you about the push/pull architecture; I thought about an independent article, but the only reference would be the book by Joe Kissell that covers Retrospect along with other Mac backup programs. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 11:39, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
I hope the respiratory problems are clearing up (really!) I did understand that adjustments were in progress, but could only respond to the RFC in the context of what I saw, not what for all I knew might have been in some pipeline. As far as I can see the bulk of what I then said, with possible adjustments to the examples I chose, remains applicable. Incidentally, as for changes that I appeared to have overlooked at the time of writing, it might be relevant that I am in a more easterly time zone than the US. JonRichfield (talk) 06:33, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
If you're living in Britain or somewhere east of there, you may be getting up early in the morning and missing updates I make until shortly after midnight NYC time. As a result of delays caused by a technically-tricky reference problem that scope_creep attempted to help with, and which you can read about on my Talk page if you're interested, I've still got another 3 sections to cut and fold into the "Main features" section. However I can confidently say that "Main features" is going to end up just over 2 screen pages long—as I predicted, in spite of the fact that I've been cutting each feature description to what I consider the bone. I should be finished late today, and we'll then have to have a serious discussion about the definition of "the functions that justify its existence as a product." As to the respiratory problems, they turned out to be merely a very serious case of bronchitis; I think it's beginning to clear up, and thank you for your concern. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 08:36, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

Current edits[edit]

Hi @DovidBenAvraham:, I see you are still adding in huge chunks of information, that is straight from the manual, e.g.:

These facilities were expanded into an “offline verification” capability, which enables the administrator to specify “No verification” for a nighttime Backup script and then schedule a separate Verify script to run in the morning (accessing the Catalog-File-stored MD5 checksums)—thus effectively making the nighttime a pure "backup window" for the maximum number of Sources.[11]
A Backup script only backs up its designated Source volumes if they are connected by the time the running Backup script starts to back up the network computer a Source volume is connected to. To handle environments in which mobile computers are irregularly connected to the network, Retrospect also has a special Proactive script type that—while it is running—maintains on the "backup server" a queue of its designated Source volumes in the oldest-first order of their most-recent backup date and time. Whenever a Source volume appears on the network, a running Proactive script causes that volume to be backed up next if it is first in the queue.

Your not linking any of this, your still putting in your own defintions on this page, instead of linking to other pages on WP. I see your still putting double quote around items, for no reason. The second one, nobody is going to read it. It is superfluous, and no context.

The table is no of use. Nobody who is reading this article, needs a table, which lists previous and present terminology. It is a software, when its out of use, it becomes useless, and the information is no enclopedic knowledge to the average reader. Your still have a performace tab, listing mundane items, which are also of no encyclopedic knowledge.

Powerful new engine. It sounds like an advertisment? What have a performance tab. You are not selling the software on WP.

scope_creep (talk) 09:33, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

Getting better though. scope_creep (talk) 09:34, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

I just saw your post when I tried to post my reply—which this is as slightly enhanced. There is no definition for "client-server backup" anywhere in WP. That's why I went to all that trouble—which we have discussed on my Talk page—to find a viewable copy of the Joe Kissell book to reference, and why I put in a reference to it (which is ordinarily a no-no) in the first prgf. of the lead. A link to "client-server" is of no use for this article. Not all software adds new feature and then eliminates the documentation for them—not the features themselves—in the next major release! My old version of the "Documentation" section described that, but JohnInDC made me drastically cut it because the fact that I had discovered the eliminations with my own mighty eyeballs made the discovery "original research". IMHO the "Documentation" section in its minimal form should stay in until Retrospect Inc. does its promised rewrite of the User's Guides. I think your problem with the Performance sub-section of the "Main features" section is with three little words at the start of the second item in the sub-section: "Powerful new engine". Those three words are, I admit, taken from the EMC announcement of Retrospect Mac 8; I left them in to emphasize that the "backup server" Engine in Retrospect Mac 8 and subsequent Mac and Windows versions is an entirely different beast than what it was before. I'll try to revise that first sentence; IMHO everything else in that item is encyclopedic knowledge. The "offline verification" and Proactive script type are powerful features that not all other enterprise backup apps have; Retrospect Inc. has a U.S. patent on the Proactive script type that only expired last year, and Joe Kissell recommends using it in his book. Anyway, with difficulty I've cut the "Main features" section down to three pages. I've got a severe persistent cough from the after-effects of my bronchitis, and I'm signing off for now. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 10:38, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
Try re-reading the last sentence in the paragraph before the table: "Another exception was that Retrospect Windows 8, and subsequent versions, kept the same non-Macintosh-style user interface (which some have found overly complicated[10]) and terminology as Retrospect Windows 7." "... kept the same ... terminology ...." means that's the terminology used in Retrospect Windows 12.5, which is the current version. Today, when you had your Wheetabix this morning—but evidently not enough caffeine. That's why the table is in there, to provide a translator for administrators of Retrospect Windows to use while reading the "Main features" section. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 10:53, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
All of it, still far too detailed, too deep into the weeds. I appreciate the paring that has taken place so far but there's still a lot of clutter and OR and synthesis here. What source, for example, offers up the substance of the Mac / Windows translation table? JohnInDC (talk) 11:24, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
There used to be refs. for the terminology translation, but I mistakenly eliminated them in converting the third prgf. (counting the prgf. with the bulleted items as the first) in the "Retrospect Macintosh 10 and Retrospect Windows 8" section of this article version—a prgf. which contained the translations as ugly prose—into a shorter prose prgf. plus a table. I've now put the refs. back. Now that the "Documentation" section is essentially eliminated, where is this remaining OR and synthesis? DovidBenAvraham (talk) 01:38, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
The article is too long and too detailed and I'm really disinclined to go through what's still left here and critique it line-by-line. I've offered my own alternative, which is (AFAIK) still on the table if the article doesn't come down far enough, but still, I'll identify a few more examples of unsourced claims, OR, synthesis or opinion. Like: "The cumulative size of these backed-up files may be so large, especially for content-producing businesses, that the only feasible destination is a set of tapes—e.g. Linear Tape-Open—that must be written and read sequentially. Alternatively, if an installation has a larger network or a large amount of data to back up, sequential backup is a very efficient use of installation idle time even if the destination is a set of disks". The sourced article doesn't say that. Or - "One exception to that was because of security features added to Windows Vista and beyond, the equivalent of the separate Retrospect Mac Console user-space process and server root process had be a single user-space process under Windows, which could result in problems if the Windows backup server process was not kept running continually. Retrospect Windows 8 (and subsequent versions) provides several methods of avoiding such problems." The entire documentation section other than, "It's manuals, YouTube videos and knowledge base articles" is synthesis (yes I know they paraphrase my words but I was trying to pare slowly.) I have to say that this challenge / response method of proceeding is exhausting, and - after how many weeks now? - proceeding far too slowly. I am increasingly convinced that the article doesn't need to be whittled down but rebuilt, far more modestly, from the ground up. JohnInDC (talk) 03:14, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
As for "The cumulative size of these backed-up files ... set of tapes ... read sequentially", I now have a ref. for that sentence that supports it. As for "..., if an installation has a larger network ..., sequential backup is a very efficient use ... disks", I now have a a ref. for that sentence whose second prgf. supports it by implication IMHO. I've looked for a more explicit "backup window" discussion, but so far can't find it. As for "One exception to that was because of security features added to Windows Vista and beyond ...", the last eight words that I have quoted have in the article a link to a section of the WP article on Windows Vista whose second paragraph precisely supports the statement. However, if you are objecting to "Retrospect Windows 8 (and subsequent versions) provides several methods of avoiding such problems", I have a reference difficulty resulting AFAIK from political problems at Retrospect Inc.. It seems that the developers were thrown for a loss by Microsoft's making it impossible to implement Retrospect Mac 8's beautiful Engine-Console split in Retrospect Windows. They immediately responded by putting in some work-around Preferences options in Retrospect Windows 8, and then added what was supposed to be a more-comprehensive workaround to Retrospect Windows 9. The developers' intent was to have a stand-alone version of the Dashboard application pop up automatically in the case that a user tries to launch Retrospect when it is in the background—which it is if another script is scheduled to run within the default "look-ahead" time of 12 hours. Unfortunately they introduced a bug, not yet fixed 3 years later, which causes a nonsensical dialog to pop up instead. For some reason the developers didn't have time to fix the bug, yet refused to document the stand-alone version of the Dashboard application in the User's Guide until it was working properly. The point is that my friend has this story in a reply to his Support Case on the subject 3 months ago, but I can't use that reply as a ref. because the reply has only been posted by my friend on the Retrospect Forums. I used to mention the stand-alone Dashboard in a paragraph in the old "Retrospect Macintosh 11 and Retrospect Windows 9" section, but I removed that mention on 22 September when I moved the cut-down contents of that section to "Main features"—anticipating that JohnInDC would justifiably call the mention WP:OR because it relied on my noticing an absence of documention. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 03:02, 27 September 2017 Hand-backdated from Revision History because the original last half of the last sentence, along with my signature, was lost by WP when the revision was posted. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 13:11, 27 September 2017 (UTC) On second thought, I think I was researching the last half of the last sentence when I saw what JohnInDC had just done to the article; I then must have hit Save Changes without finishing the sentence or adding my sig, but the hand-backdated timestamp in the post is correct. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 13:21, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
Client server and back are two seperate concept, and should be treated as such. Your are still underlinking and putting Restrospect inc, everywhere. Everybody who is reading knows what the context is. Why the double quotes. It is ugly and is not supported in WP:MOS Taking this as an example.
data transfers between a particular "Retrospect client" computer and the "Retrospect server" may also be encrypted
Why does it have Retrospect in front of every mention of the software? People who read the article, know what the context is. That can be shorted to data transfer between the client and server can be encrypted
You just deleted the first two words from the title of the "'Backup server' Editions and Add-Ons" section of the article, but you couldn't be bothered to read the first sentence of the second paragraph in that section! That says "... a user's 'Retrospect backup server' Edition is dictated by the number of macOS Server or Windows Server computers being backed up in the installation." Maybe you are unfamiliar with macOS Server, scope_creep, but—as an evident IT professional familiar with such concepts as "heterogeneous networks", you must surely have heard of Windows Server. The whole point of that second paragraph is that, going at least as far back as EMC, the owners of the Retrospect software have had a "soak the rich" policy of charging a you a lot more money if your "heterogeneous network" includes even one computer running a Server version of either Windows or macOS. If you don't believe me, scope_creep, try running the online Product Configurator referenced in the next-to-last sentence of that section—in doing so you can verify that Retrospect charges are largely based on the edition of the Retrospect backup server licensed (which is why I had those two deleted words in the section title).
If it's not too much of a strain, you might finally try reading two sentences in the "Main features" section of the article. The first, in the "powerful new engine" item in the Performance sub-section, says "All the categories of Retrospect information for a particular 'backup server' are stored by it; when a 'Retrospect Console' (see 'User interface') process is started, its process 'synchronizes' information with all [my bolding] running LAN/WAN 'backup servers'." The second sentence, in the "All-new, customizeable [administrator] interface" item in the User interface sub-section, says "Its window has a sidebar on the left, showing each 'backup server'—there can be multiple ones [my bolding]—on the LAN/WAN."
After you've done the arduous work of reading these three sentences, you'll begin to understand why I have taken pains in the article to distinguish between a Retrospect "backup server" and any other kind of server machine in the installation. If you don't like my convention of using double-quote marks to make the distinction, scope_creep, maybe you'd like me to switch to using initially-upper-cased words per the Retrospect Inc. convention? DovidBenAvraham (talk) 02:56, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
"Certified AES-256 encryption" Why has this got quotations around it, and why is it not linked? AES-256
The cloud backup section is too long, as is the user-interface section. In cloud backup:
In "cloud backup/restore" operations, the "backup server" acts as a "second-level client" intermediary between LAN/WAN "Retrospect client" machines and the actual cloud storage.
Rewrite as: In cloud backup operations, the server acts as a gateway controller between the client and cloud storage provider.
There is a specific name for the gateway controller. Link to Block (data storage). Please start putting in proper links.
scope_creep (talk) 11:46, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
IMHO scope_creep has basically gone off the rails as far as this article is concerned. The appropriate philosophical aphorism is "If you give a man a hammer, everything will look like a nail to him." It appears that sometime in the past, scope-creep obtained two hammers. The first hammer was a course in Computer Networking (or something similar). The second hammer was an introduction to linking on Wikipedia, without any evident training in how to judge whether a particular link is appropriate to the expected audience of the article that is supposed to contain it. For instance, on 19 September 2017, scope_creep changed the term "multi-machine network" to "heterogeneous network" in the first paragraph of the article lead. In doing so, he/she made several mistakes. The first mistake is that the expected audience for the article will include many potential installation backup administrators who don't have an extensive CS background, and will therefore IME have no need for the terminology and level of detail in the article scope_creep linked to. The second mistake is that IME there are many happy administrators who simply have multi-machine networks, but not heterogeneous networks. I, for instance, have on my home LAN 4 drives booting some version of macOS (or OS X if you want to be specific about the older drives). Since I haven't had a computer on my LAN booting any variety of Windows since 2004, am I not a suitable candidate for using Retrospect? And there are hundreds if not thousands of Retrospect-using installations on networks whose multi-machine networks of clients are uniformly composed of macOS or Windows or Linux computers.
No personal attack, you will end up being blocked!!. You don't what audience, it cant be determined expect by research, and nobody is going to buy an piece of expensive software, based on what is written on WP. Nobody uses the term multi-machine network, unless they don't know what they're talking about. It is not proper nomenclature. scope_creep (talk) 15:53, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
Now let's apply this to what scope_creep is proposing immediately above. If we look at Mike Lonash's review of Backblaze B2 referred to in the "Cloud Backup" item under LAN/WAN/Cloud in the "Main features" section of the article, we see that it says "At the moment, B2’s web interface is incredibly basic, offering only standard upload, download, delete, and some reporting functions." That why I said that a Retrospect backup server as a "second-level client" would "thus [be] compensating for cloud providers who may on their own have a 'nice but limited web environment' and 'limited reporting options'." No, I'm not talking about Retrospect's ability to serve as a gateway controller between the LAN and the cloud provider, but its ability to perform much higher-level functions that the Engine and Console perform—for which I coined the term "second-level client". Otherwise, we might as well change all articles about Arq/NetBackup/SuperDuper! to speak of them as gateway controllers, and delete all mention of their other features.
second-level client is WP:OR. Don't use, it doesn't accurately reflect the type of technology and how it used. scope_creep (talk) 15:53, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
Next let's apply this to scope_creep's question on why "Certified AES-256 encryption" is not linked. Has scope_creep even looked at the WP article on the Advanced Encryption Standard? It's highly mathematical, and I'd certainly have to pull out my textbook on matrix algebra to have even a hope of one day understanding it. Why does scope_creep think it would be useful to the likely audience for the Retrospect article? IMHO most of them would be happy to know that AES-256 encryption is considered pretty good.
That is nature of life. I don't understand how quantum mechanics works, but the sun still comes up every day. This is an encyclopedia. Linking terms to other articles is one of the most fundamental aspects of the Wikipedia. Whether it is complex or not, WP is hyperlinked encyclopedia. Unlinked articles are outside WP, as no use to anybody. Link all terms that need links, and take out definitions, that have been defined elsewhere on WP. WP is not on the business of subverting itself to satisfy a particular audience. scope_creep (talk) 15:53, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
Now let me finish by answering scope_creep's question of why there are double-quotes around "Certified AES-256 encryption" and "Powerful new engine". Yes, those are quoted from an EMC announcement of the release of Retrospect Mac 8. But after a discussion of WP copyright rules in October 2016 on my Talk page in October 2016, Diannaa said "You can only copy/translate a small amount of a source, and you must mark what you take as a direct quotation with double quotation marks (") and cite the source using an inline citation." I've done that for the announced names of Retrospect features, because I'm not creative enough to beat skilled technical writers at their own game. Dianaa kept a watch on the article, and she evidently considered my paraphrases of feature descriptions acceptable. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 05:12, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
That is all true, but you can go overboard with it, and putting in far too much information, for a fairly simple product. It it is a common term, which I choose specifically AES, e.g. link to it, and then leave the definition out. Take this example,
"Console for iPhone"—application released as a view-Activities-only experiment around 2010. Later expanded to view all categories and to run and stop scripts, documented in the "Retrospect for iOS" appendix of the User's Guide
Why not say: iOS client. Released in 2010. Simple as that.scope_creep (talk) 15:53, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
Your still writing the article, as though it is a help guide for retrospect users, which it is not. This Later expanded to view all categories and to run and stop scripts, documented in the "Retrospect for iOS" appendix of the User's Guide is the manual link and currently the article still violates WP:NOT, and is slightly promotional. It is much better than it was, it definitely better. scope_creep (talk) 15:53, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
This as an example. "backup server" You have 17 copies of this statement in the Features list. Do you not thank the average reader, knows what you are talking about the server, at this point. It also breaks WP:MOS and basic common sense.
Also worth mention, nobody uses Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 products. Please take this out.
According to this article on The Register, the use of Windows XP in British NHS systems dropped from 15-18% in December 2015 to only 4.7% in June 2017. But that second figure was after the appearance of the WannaCry malware, which as it turned out didn't infect Windows XP systems because it crashed them. Also, according to this article on The Register, the British Web hosting business Fasthosts denied customers access to their backups for 6 days because it feared their Windows Server 2003 systems were vulnerable to WannaCry. Fasthosts said 82 customers were affected, "however [says El Reg] we believe those customers vary in size – for example, some are IT contractors for small businesses." DovidBenAvraham (talk) 00:27, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
These can be linked: WebDAV, Amazon S3, Archive, NTFS, AES-256, MD5, HFS+, Block, Google Cloud Storage, script,
Hi @DovidBenAvraham:, Taking each point in turn. scope_creep (talk) 15:53, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
You also have 74 Retrospect words in the article. A good 80-90% of them need to come out. That many is clearly promotional, and violates WP:NOTADVERTISING. Such advertising is against Wikipedia Terms of Use, and puts Wikipedia licence at risk. Please remove them. scope_creep (talk) 16:04, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

Wrapping this up[edit]

The discussion was endless and not productive. I decided to take the bull by the horns and reduce the article to a manageable and appropriate size. I might've deleted one or two (one or two) important "selected" features - if so, let's discuss. I acknowledge that I broke a bunch of refs - I'll get to fixing those, but of course anyone who wants to get started on it sooner is welcome to. Thanks. JohnInDC (talk) 01:34, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

I've fixed the refs. I'll also note that I didn't do anything yet to the "Editions and Add-ons" section, which is probably too much as well. JohnInDC (talk) 01:40, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

I think JohnInDC took the bull by the horns about an hour before I would have posted a proposal to guide the bull through a chute to a mutually-acceptable pasture. What I realized earlier this evening is that we have all been suffering from a conceptual problem. I agree that the "Main features" section was too big for an article on a particular backup app. Instead most of the items describe features that distinguish an enterprise backup app from a personal backup app. Look—one-by-one—at the "Main features" described in this permalink of the article before JohnInDC's edits tonight, and see if you can find them in the Backup article. In most cases you won't be able to, because they are not features required in even a full-featured personal backup app. They are instead features required by an administrator responsible for keeping an entire multi-computer installation centrally and thoroughly backed up (including rapid-recovery off-site storage—which IMHO doesn't include cloud unless you are budgeted for an AWS Snowball—see 7/2015 and 11/2016).

What should have occurred to me at least a week ago is that there needs to be a separate article named "Enterprise Backup" or something similar. It would contain those "Main features" that aren't in the Backup article. I would initially write the new article using Retrospect terminology—because I don't currently know any alternative, but would otherwise mention Retrospect as little as possible. Because I did some research on Tolis BRU a few months ago, I could write an article on that backup app—which greatly resembles a Mac/Linux Retrospect clone feature-frozen around 2006—with links to the "Enterprise Backup" article. I would then write an email to Tolis Group telling them I'd started a WP article (which they don't already have) about their app, and inviting them to improve it. This would start a terminology and completeness battle about the "Enterprise Backup" article, which IMHO is what we need. At some point or other, subject to your OK, I would enhance the Retrospect article so that its "Main features" section would also refer to the "Enterprise Backup" article. Hopefully we'd get knowledgeable editors to write about Windows and Linux enterprise backup apps in the same vein, which would undoubtedly unleash further helpful terminology and completeness battles over the "Enterprise Backup" article.

All in all, I'm not too unhappy about what JohnInDC did tonight. The only thing I'm rather annoyed about is his deletion of the last paragraph and the translation table in the "History" section. That's fundamentally unfair, because it conceals the fact that modern Retrospect Windows and Retrospect Mac are two different apps—with different user interfaces and different modes of operation that happen to share 99% of their underlying code (in answer to scope_creep's challenge, Retrospect Windows can write to "superfloppies" and has an Immediate mode—facilities that Retrospect Mac has dropped). However, at the time he did the deletion, JohnInDC had not seen my reply to his claim that the last "History" prgf. contained "unsourced claims, OR, synthesis or opinion"—it doesn't. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 04:36, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

Hi JohnInDC, DovidBenAvraham, I see you have done it. Although I think it would have been worth keeping the history section as it provides additional context for the articles, and names the manufacturer, which had some historical and could have done with an article. Scope creep (talk) 12:08, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

I've now implemented Phase 1 of what I proposed in the first two paragraphs of my 04:36, 27 September 2017 post. The "Selected features" section has been renamed the "Small-group features" section, and I've combined a couple of items in it to make room for two new items. Thus the number of items and the number of lines in that section has not been increased, although the byte-count has gone up slightly because I used each line more fully and added 4 more refs to provide complete referencing. Thank you, scope_creep, for insisting that I increase the number of links; using links to various sections of the Backup article has enabled me to use WP-standard backup terminology in the items and not have to provide explanations. Later substituted Proactive script feature for "Script Hooks" feature; Proactive scripts are widely-used and have been in Retrospect so long that Dantz's U.S. patent expired in 2016, whereas "Script Hooks" were only officially announced in March 2017—although they may have quietly been added to Retrospect Windows in 2015. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 11:22, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

Phase 2 will be, as I said above, to create the separate "Enterprise Backup" article so the the "Retrospect (software)" article can link to its items. The creation of the basic contents of the "Enterprise Backup" article is not so daunting, because it will be built from those items from the "Main features" of the old "Retrospect (software)" article that were left out of the new "Small-group features" section. The daunting part will be my searching of Web documentation for other enterprise backup apps, in order to provide the refs and alternate terminology that will turn the "Enterprise Backup" article into something that is not Retrospect-specific.

I too am unhappy, scope_creep, that there isn't an article on Dantz Development Corp.. But AFAIK the material to write such an article simply isn't available. However it occurred to me the other day that the "Retrospect (software)" article could be significantly improved by rewriting the "History" section with an extra paragraph. I realized that what evidently happened after EMC bought Dantz is that EMC management (EMC being an enterprise-oriented corporation) put pressure on the Retrospect developers to upgrade it from a small-group backup app to a true enterprise backup app. That's why new enterprise-oriented features appeared in Retrospect Windows 7.0, and why more such features appeared in Retrospect Windows 7.5 and 7.7. And then Microsoft put a severe kink in the effort, by adding security features to Windows Vista that made it impossible for the Retrospect developers to add the free-standing GUI Console that the developers felt was necessary. So, after layoffs and re-hirings, the Retrospect developers focused on Retrospect Mac 8 to show what they could really accomplish. Because of lack of time, since they were bucking EMC management, the developers released a version that had lots of bugs—especially in the Console—and was incapable of running on the older PowerPC hardware that a lot of Retrospect Mac administrators used for running "backup servers". This is not speculation; the third-party articles I used as refs for the old version of the "History" section support this interpretation. If it's not too scary for you folks, I'd like to do that "History" rewrite. Please comment. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 04:08, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

If the articles directly state what you've summarized about the history of these companies then a couple of new sentences wouldn't be bad. But if the sources merely support, or are consistent with, this interpretation as you say, then that's SYNTHESIS and not proper. You can recast & rephrase a reliable source's research and conclusions on a matter but you can't collect information from a variety of sources, construct a story that appears to knit it all together (even if the pieces seem to fit together in only that one way) and add it. Editors' own understanding, their own interpretation of facts, aren't permissible. I hope that's helpful. JohnInDC (talk) 11:43, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
I reviewed today's addition and little by little realized that nearly every assertion in it was an inference drawn from the source material, or an interpolation of facts. This is not a narrative that appears in any of the sources and is inappropriate SYNTHESIS, and so after a couple of cleanup efforts, I restored the prior version. JohnInDC (talk) 00:24, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
I may have picked the wrong sources for the section, but the assertions themselves are not inferences or interpolations. For instance, I have belatedly discovered a 2014 Retrospect Inc. Knowledge Base article that directly confirms the main assertion of my second paragraph—that starting with Windows Vista "when Retrospect auto launches [via the Retrospect Launcher service] Windows puts Retrospect into a protective desktop environment where the user will not be able view and control Retrospect". However, if you won't accept that as a reference, I can simply use JG Heithcock's December 2009 Retrospect Developers' blog post about the just-released Retrospect Windows 7.7; he mentions "others unhappy it wasn't going to be the full-blown new User Interface as the Mac product got" and then states that "Given the resources we have today, not putting a brand-new UI saved us a lot of time, both in development and testing." So in that case I can simply make a well-supported assertion that EMC developers chose to delay implementing the same GUI in Retrospect Windows as in Retrospect Mac; Eric Ullman's September 2009 blog post says the same thing. If you don't like my Release Notes reference showing that Retrospect Inc. was still trying in September 2017 to provide a workaround for the Windows Vista "protective desktop environment" problem, I'll leave that assertion out.
As for my third-paragraph assertion about the EMC developers' success in splitting the Retrospect Macintosh backup server into separate separate communicating GUI Console user-space and server root processes, I have several third-party references I can include for that. As for the terminology change in Retrospect Mac 8, the latest edition of the Joe Kissell book (the one I paid $15 plus tax to download so I could view it freely) directly says the terminology was changed in Retrospect Mac 8. And as for the assertions about EMC layoffs/rehirings and customer dissatisfaction with Retrospect Mac 8, I used to have those in the old version of the article—and can easily put them back in.
I don't want to get into a revert war with you, JohnInDC. Therefore please reply as to whether you would accept the "History" section additions as I have re-proposed them in the two prgfs. directly above. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 03:14, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
Retrospect developer blog posts are not reliable third party sources. They are first-party sources, the opinions of one or two individuals with (apparent) knowledge of particular circumstances at a particular point in time - they may be right, or wrong about why the company was doing what it did; others within the same company with equal knowledge (but no blog) might've disagreed. They might've had extrinsic reasons for posting the things that they did, or for the spin they put on them. We don't know. I don't think that, as a general matter, those posts can be used to construct an otherwise unpublished, insider's view of the history of the software and the firms that owned & developed it. Find a third party reliable source that tells this story from start to finish and summarize that. Otherwise - the lack of any such sources are a strong indication that this is not sufficiently well documented to include at all. JohnInDC (talk) 03:32, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
In this case the developers who blogged were Eric Ullman, Retrospect product manager at the time who previously worked for Dantz from 1992-2004, and JG Heithcock, director of software engineering for Retrospect at the time who had been working for Dantz/EMC since 1998. Heithcock has now been CEO of Retrospect Inc. for several years, so we know he must be a master of spin. And in fact I don't necessarily believe Heithcock's December 2009 explanation, but the "blog" was evidently EMC's semi-official way of communicating with Retrospect customers less formally than with press releases.
But I don't have to use the "blog" as a ref. at all. I just mentioned the "blog" above in case—for some reason—you have a problem with my proposed official first-party refs. from Retrospect Inc.'s website: a 2014 Knowledge Base article, and Release Notes accompanying the September 2017 version of Retrospect Windows. All I'm trying to newly establish in the second paragraph of the "History" section is that EMC/Roxio/Retrospect Inc. has still not implemented a split between the Retrospect Windows GUI and "backup server engine" processes, and as a result Retrospect Windows requires special administrator operating procedures as of 2017. All I'm trying to establish in the third paragraph of the "History" section is that EMC did in 2009 implement for Retrospect Mac a split between the GUI and "backup server engine" processes, a change to a more Mac-like GUI, and a change in terminology. That justifies the statement I made in the last sentence of the third paragraph: "Retrospect Inc. has continued to sell two flavors of backup server software that, while having nearly identical non-GUI code, are operated differently by the administrator and have different terminology." I can justify that with official first-party and third party refs. without using any "blog" posts, and I propose to do so unless I hear from you to the contrary. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 11:53, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
First, this level of detail is excruciating and I object on that basis alone. Second, you need to find a third party source that pulls all this together for us. Not your observations tying together different statements or observations by internal sources at Dantz or EMC or wherever. Finally it seems to me that if you want to mark a difference in functionality or code between the Macintosh and Windows versions, the place to do it is not in the History section but at one of the locations where you describe the different flavors of software: "Retrospect for Windows has nearly identical non-GUI code as Retrospect for Macintosh but they are operated differently by the administrator and have different terminology." (If that captures the distinction properly.) The fact of the difference seems reasonably well sourced. How and why it came to be, and why it persists, is not. JohnInDC (talk) 13:13, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
Almost certainly no such third-party source exists; I've searched. Since reviewing publications are usually targeted to particular OS platforms, why would any reviewer bother writing a review that covers what—on the surface—appear to be two differently-functioning "backup server" apps that run on two different OS platforms and simply share the same name? As to how and why the difference came to be, and why it persists, the Knowledge Base article will make that crystal-clear for the technically inclined: it's because of security features added to Windows Vista that aren't in macOS. And as for the "excruciating" level of detail, I think I can cut my additional 11 lines in the "History" section down to 6 lines. The result will be very terse, and will be festooned with refs like a Christmas tree, but that shouldn't bother you zealous Wikipedia editors. After I've written the 6 lines, you can decide where they should be moved to in the article. However I don't think they belong in the "Editions and Add-Ons" section; that distinguishes between various pricing levels of the software, not the macOS-vs.-Windows "flavors" (as I have termed them). DovidBenAvraham (talk) 21:30, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
I don't know how many times I need to say it, but if you are not repeating or summarizing what a third party source has said, then you are contributing original research or synthesis, which are not how the encyclopedia is written. Editors here edit other independent, reliable material down into Wikipedia articles; they don't connect the dots among disparate sources to devise interpretations of their own. I'm sorry you think my concerns are extreme, but this discussion has dragged on for weeks and I'm tired of making the same points over and over. Again: If a third party has written up a history of Retrospect, and that history examines the different architecture of the program on the two platforms and how they came to be, then include it; but otherwise, please don't. JohnInDC (talk) 21:59, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
Here's the Retrospect Inc. Knowledge Base article "Auto Launching Guide for Retrospect for Windows". If I simply reference that single source in a brief quote, where's the inference and connecting the dots that I'll be supposedly making? I guess I must be really stupid not to understand your concern in this case. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 01:17, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
Since I must be really stupid, here's a Really Stupid Procedure for Resolving This: (1) I clone the existing article into a "Retrospect (software) for Windows" article; there'll be less than 2 dozen words difference between the two articles. (2) A shill (possibly I myself) suggests that the two articles be merged. (3) Some kind of online committee forms to consider this question; I testify that I'd be happy to merge the two articles, but JohnInDC won't let me because of a crucial 6-line difference between the articles. (4) I may come out with egg on my face, but somebody else may come out with egg on their face instead. How about it, JohnInDC, are you ready to put your WP reputation where your mouth is?
"Due to mandatory Windows security settings starting with Windows Vista/Server 2008, Retrospect when auto-launched does not interact properly with the user. The program must instead be launched manually and be minimized, or another workaround employed." The cited source goes into more detail, but this is not a user manual, and the foregoing captures the gist of it. It still doesn't read like "history" to me, but it's only a line and a half and fairly straightforward and if you want to include that, or something like that, I won't object. JohnInDC (talk) 02:10, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
I did not intend for you to add back in all of your synthesis along with that sentence. The sentence was it. I'm going through the material that you've restored and checking it against the sources. If the sources don't say what you cite them for then I will remove it. JohnInDC (talk) 23:38, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
I pared the material down a bit, leaving in the main points (sold to EMC, Windows 7.5 good, EMC hoped to make more improvements to Windows but were frustrated by Vista, didn't focus on Macintosh, v.8 sucked) but eliminating obscure / proprietary technical terms as well as recommended "fixes", which are, in the end, entirely beside the point. Now it's reads like a story - supported by the sources - and much less a how-to. The only not-purely-sourced inference now is to say that the hopes for Windows were to make it more like the Mac version (no one really says that) but it's a small point and helps the narrative flow. JohnInDC (talk) 00:19, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
No, the hopes for Retrospect Windows were—and still are—to give it a capability that EMC management had already determined is needed for any client-server backup system designed for use in enterprises larger than 20 people; that capability is complete two-way data interchange between the backup server and another computer running a Console app. For you to understand that, I must get you to look at the way modern larger offices are administratively structured. The last office I worked in before I retired had 60 people; of these, only 3 IT people were allowed access to the locked (and fire-hardened) server room. Once multi-client backups started being done to large-capacity hard disk drives instead of to tape drives, bosses everywhere realized that they could delegate administration of daily backups to an administrative assistant (who used to be called a "senior secretary")—not a scarce and highly-skilled IT person. The actual backup server, with its attached HDDs, can be kept in the locked server room, but the administrative assistant (referred to as the "administrator" by Retrospect Inc.) needs to be able to change schedules for backup scripts and monitor scripts for correct operation. To do that conveniently, the backup administrator really needs to be able to do two-way interaction with the backup server app from another computer that is not in the inaccessible server room. Under macOS that turned out not to be a problem; the Console-Server split was successfully (although buggily) implemented in Retrospect Mac 8 at the beginning of 2009. However the security enhancements in Windows Vista basically made it impossible to implement the Console-Server split in the planned Retrospect Windows 8 at the end of 2009, because complete two-way communication between two user-space processes is no longer allowed. So, as the Heithcock December 2009 blog post said (without giving the real reason why this was done), EMC instead decided to bring out a Retrospect Windows 7.7 version (for which they charged extra despite its being nominally a "point release") without a Console-Server split. Not having a separate Console makes it impossible for an administrator to do full two-way interaction with the backup server, unless the administrator is allowed physical access and account access to the backup server machine—which in most offices the administrator is not allowed. The two sentences JohnInDC deleted in my second "History" paragraph were an attempt to mention the only two practical operating alternatives for Retrospect Windows, and to say—briefly and relatively-non-technically referenced to the Knowledge Base article—that both these alternatives are unsatisfactory. If JohnInDC lets me put that statement back in, I can give a ref to the Preferences section of the Retrospect Windows User's Guide that demonstrates that "launch[ing] the program manually, leav[ing] it open, and minimiz[ing] it ... [also] causes administrator problems". As I've said above, Retrospect Inc. tried to implement one-way communication between the backup server and a stand-alone view-only Retrospect Dashboard app in 2014, botched the implementation, and refused to officially document the stand-alone Retrospect Dashboard app through 2017—although they claim to have finally fixed the implementation in September 2017 (as shown in the Release Notes ref that JohnInDC left in). BTW, note that—in order to keep as close as possible to my promised 6 additional screen lines—I've left out any mention of the differences in GUI and terminology between current Retrospect Windows and current Retrospect Mac. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 03:08, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'm sorry, but all of that is far beyond the scope of this article, which is about the existence, basic function, and general history of a piece of retail software; on top of which, none of what you've just laid out, really and truly none, is in any of the sources at hand. What EMC or Dantz was trying to do, the needs they were seeking to meet, and your highly technical descriptions of appropriate backup architecture as manifested in Retrospect (or not) - that's all your own inference, based on your own understanding of the industry, and how mid-sized enterprises work and what their needs are; and the material about how users should work around these limitations are precisely the kind of how-to guide that Wikipedia is not. Please stop now. The article, and its history section, are now comprehensible, they line up with the sources, and they're appropriate to the subject at hand. JohnInDC (talk) 03:21, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

OK, but you should be aware that all the client-server backup apps I've looked at so far have Consoles. NetBackup has one. Tolis BRU looks like it has more than one type of Console. Just sayin', but you'll be able to read more about this cross-app feature when I write the "Enterprise Backup" article. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 03:52, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

"Advertising" and "marketing" terms in Retrospect, and other disputed matters[edit]

I had to fix a whole bunch of stuff, again, yesterday, including taking out a whole bunch of the word Retrospect, and linking stuff that was previously linked. Leave the article as it is. No one cares who did what. Leave it. If you put more in, I'll revert it. scope_creep (talk) 07:51, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

I can’t find any Wikipedia standard that justifies scope-creep “taking out a whole bunch of the word Retrospect.” The use of a product name in itself is not advertising, marketing or public relations, so long as information about the product is “written in an objective and unbiased style, free of puffery"—which is true of what I’ve written. scope_creep’s editing-out of mentions of “Retrospect” has gone beyond adding clunkiness into adding inaccuracy in his/her editing of the last sentence in the “Success validation” item in the “Small-group features“ section of the article. I had written “Monitoring with 'Retrospect for iOS' is also available.”; scope_creep changed that to “Monitoring with an iOS client is also available.” [Here’s] the app on the iTunes store; it’s named "Retrospect for iOS" as the latest Retrospect Mac User’s Guide—which I used as a ref—says it is. The app is not a “client” in the sense of “small-footprint client applications running on the other computers being backed up” as the second sentence in the article’s lead says (it can’t be used to backup the iOS device on which it is running); instead—as will become crystal-clear if you click …More on the iTunes page—it is really a mostly-read-only version of the separate management console mentioned for Retrospect Mac in the first paragraph of the “History” section of the article—although it also connects to a Retrospect Windows backup server.
In the original article, before it 74 Retrospect words in the main article, and 21 or 31 in the refs. I think it was 21. Overkill and clearly violating WP:NOTADVERTISING. The number started to increase, which made it unreadable. Its now reduced to a readable level. Regarding the 'Retrospect for iOS'. No one cares what it is called. I made a mistake not classifying it as a client dashboard, which can be changed by yourself. Please don't add in extraneous details, which is not neeeded. scope_creep (talk) 21:24, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
In addition, scope_creep made—misled by JohnInDC—what is IMHO a legally-dangerous unsourced edit to the single-sentence second paragraph of the “History” section of the article. When I wrote “… resulting in the release of a version of Retropect Macintosh that was ‘not fully baked’ …”, my ref directly after those quoted words was to the TidBITS Adam Engst “Retrospect Backup Software Acquired by Sonic” article. JohnInDC, in his 00:11 7 October 2017 edit, did a “consolidate references” that eliminated that ref. Thus, when scope_creep did his/her 00:22 7 October 2017 “Minor fixes to remove weasel words” edit, he/she changed “not fully baked’ to “not correctly designed” without realizing that the “weasel words” were a quote from a third-party review. By the 8.2 release a year later Roxio had put back the PowerPC compatibility intentionally left out of Retrospect Mac 8.0 and developed a workaround for an OS X DVD-writing problem—things which IMHO as a programmer with 40 years experience they wouldn’t have been able to do so quickly if it were “not correctly designed”. scope_creep should be aware that many of the people who built Retrospect Mac 8 still work at Retrospect Inc. (of which JG Heithcock has been for several years the CEO), and Eric Ullman has moved on to become a CCXP-qualified Senior Customer Experience Improvement Leader at Adobe. IANAL, but people in their position could sue Wikipedia for professional libel for “not correctly designed”.
Unless scope_creep can give an acceptable explanation of why he/she is justified in making these edits, I’ll have to take this to Dispute Resolution. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 20:13, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
By Monday 18 October 2017 scope_creep must do one of two things: (1) Give an acceptable explanation of why he/she is justified in making the “taking out a whole bunch of the word Retrospect” edits based on Wikipedia rules—not his own, or (2) agree to follow Wikipedia rules in the future for articles in which I am involved. Otherwise I will have to (3) take this to Wikipedia:Dispute_resolution#Third_Opinion. The reason I have set this deadline is that I'm about to embark on writing the "Enterprise Backup Features" article. That article will inescapably consist of a lot of items of the form "Feature doing W: Retrospect calls this feature X, Tolis BRU calls this feature Y, NetBackup calls this feature Z etc.." Obviously I would have links to applicable documentation for each of the backup apps, but the "Enterprise Backup Features" article would be gibberish if I couldn't name the backup apps because scope_creep considers that naming to be Advertising. I've pointed out previously that the use of a product name in itself is not advertising, marketing or public relations, so long as information about the product is “written in an objective and unbiased style, free of puffery"—which is true of what I write. But scope_creep does editing based on his/her own rules, and doesn't bother to actually read the Wikipedia rules—or sourced material.
Here's an example of how scope_creep edits based on his/her own rules, taken from my personal Talk page. At 20:40 on 19 September 2017 scope_creep posted "... needed a copyedit, which I did, taking out all these pseudo statements, the dashes, which are not standard and don't conform to WP:MOS ...." I had to reply "First of all, you probably should read about 'Dashes' in the MOS yourself. That gives an example of using the em-dash .... It is exactly the way I use the em-dash ....", to which scope_creep replied at 21:51 on 19 September 2017 "Sorry, your right on that." Scope_creep had evidently invoked WP:MOS without bothering to read it.
Here's another example of how scope_creep edits based on his/her own rules, again taken from my personal Talk page. Also at 20:40 on 19 September 2017 scope_creep posted "Please don't put the dodgy language back, which is from the manual." Presumably by "the manual" scope_creep was referring to one version or another of the Retrospect User's Guide, but he/she never actually pointed to an example of "dodgy language" in the source—which IMHO means he didn't bother to consult the ref'd source and search for the "dodgy language". Even though I admittedly quoted the Retrospect names of features from the UGs because it would be tough to paraphrase those tech-writer-devised names, Dianaa had told me in October 2016 it was OK to do that so long as the quote was only a few words long and properly referenced. Instead I think scope_creep has created his/her own rule, in which words taken from sources should not be wrapped in quote marks. I've dealt with that scope_creep rule in my post of 01:17 13 October 2017 below. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 03:48, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
Please don't issue ultimatums, particularly over trivial issues like how many times "Retrospect" appears in the article, or what another editor may do in connection with an article that hasn't even been drafted yet. Sometimes editors can't agree, or just don't get along. Rather than escalate issues that in the end, don't matter, it's better to learn how and when just to decide that it doesn't matter, and move on. Now, as for this future article, when you do get around to drafting it, I would emphasize yet again that you can't simply write down things that you know or believe or have concluded, and link to various sources supporting isolated statements, in connect-the-dots fashion. You will need to find third party sources that already say what you are saying, which already draw the conclusions or connections that you draw, otherwise - again, it's going to be OR, or Synthesis, and not acceptable encyclopedic content. Wikipedia is not a place in which to publish original essays, or new thoughts, or different or better ways of looking at things. We summarize things that reliable sources have already said. The idea of describing a backup concept, then tying it back to terminology used by different brands of software based on (presumably) your own assessment of those functions is already close to the edge and makes me despair of ever conveying this concept in a way that will reach you. JohnInDC (talk) 11:44, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
I think scope_creep has already given his/her response to my 03:48 13 October 2017 ultimatum in his/her 09:55 13 October 2017 post below. To the extent that I understand it (it is rather incoherent; I'll read it again), scope_creep is saying "Yes, I edit according to my own rules [not WP rules], one of which is that if it sounds to me [my italicized interpolation] like a marketing term I'll delete it or substitute something something else for it." That attitude IMHO calls for Wikipedia:Dispute_resolution#Third_Opinion, since the overall result of that attitude has not been a trivial issue. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 13:41, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
I don't have time at the moment to explain what I intend to do in the proposed "Enterprise Backup Features" article. Consider this prgf. a placeholder; I'll replace it later today if possible. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 13:41, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
You don't have to. Probably it'd be more productive and a better use of your time to start writing what you want to write in your Sandbox, and solicit comments from folks after you have something on paper (as it were). JohnInDC (talk) 15:00, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
No, it wouldn't be more productive, because—as I'll proceed to explain—drafting an "Enterprise Backup Features" article to the point where it would be minimally acceptable to others would be a lot of work. I'm not going to do all that work and then have it shot down, either by JohnInDC for good-faith reasons having to do with compatibility with Wikipedia standards or by scope_creep because he/she "doesn't like the cut of my jib"—which after a second reading of his/her 09:55 13 October 2017 post seems to his/her underlying objection.
As I implied in the second paragraph of my 04:36 27 September 2017 post, the major problem with my 04:36 27 September 2017 version of the article was that it was too long for an applications software article because it included too many "Main Features". Working more or less collaboratively we then cut that section down to 12 lines (on my screen) of "Small-group features" by eliminating (with the exception of Cloud Backup) any feature that chronologically followed EMC's insistence on expanding Retrospect Windows from a backup app for small groups to a backup app suited to at least medium-sized organizations. By my count tonight that eliminated 18 features while leaving 12 features in. What made it possible to describe those 12 features in 12 lines was the use of extensive links—for which I give scope_creep full credit—mostly to the Backup article.
The problem in my writing an "Enterprise Backup Features" article, which would be Retrospect-independent but would describe those 18 eliminated features, is that AFAICT there are no Wikipedia articles to link to that describe those 18 features. The Backup article certainly doesn't, which is not surprising considering that most of the writing in that article seems to have been completed by 2007 and discussed on the Talk page by 2008. (And, BTW, that article seems to have been written more based on somebody's IT knowledge than on the still-checkable refs; IMHO it's in many ways an excellent article, but it wouldn't have gotten past JohnInDC's eagle eye). So what I'd have to do to write the "Enterprise Backup Features" article is to find refs in the available online documentation of perhaps a half-dozen enterprise client-server backup apps other than Retrospect, such as Tolis BRU and NetBackup and others for Windows (about which I know nearly nothing). If I can do it, it would be IMHO a contribution to the world's knowledge approaching the usefulness of the Backup article—but it would be a lot of work.
Therefore I don't want to start doing the work until (1) I have the good-faith approval of the concept by JohnInDC and other readers of this Talk page and (2) I've dealt with what I consider to be the bad-faith objections of scope_creep. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 04:06, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
I'm not a gatekeeper so whether I approve of an article or not is kind of beside the point. And it's not easy to offer an opinion on an article that doesn't exist. What I can say, not at the risk of but in the certainty of, repeating myself, is that any such article will need to collect and restate observations that have already been made by reliable third party sources about the subject at hand. I get nervous when editors say that they're hoping to contribute to knowledge or bring a new point of view to people - Wikipedia articles by design and policy only reiterate knowledge that is already out there. We don't create; we compile. We're "editors", not "authors". So if there are articles out there, or books, or reliable websites, that describe the essential features of "Enterprise backup systems" and also connect up the different ways in which different products may describe these same core functions that each performs - then, well yeah maybe that's a worthwhile article. But if your intention is to mine a variety of sources to come up with a new, comprehensive list of features or characteristics of "Enterprise Backup Systems", and then march through the various applications in that market and translate each one's proprietary term into some kind of common terminology - well, that's all OR, it's all Synthesis, and likely a poor use of your time. I hope that's helpful. JohnInDC (talk) 15:02, 14 October 2017 (UTC)

The phrase ‘not fully baked’ wasnt clearly marked as being a quote. It is an ugly, rank phrase, the sort of thing an admin would say, instead of more accurately, prematurely released, which is nicer. Find another quote if you can, but if not, mark it as a quote. scope_creep (talk) 21:24, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

Oh come on. The review said, "not fully baked". It hardly a compliment, and whether it's rendered here as "not correctly designed" - or perhaps more accurately, "prematurely released" or "not fully user-tested" or "without sufficient quality control" - it's merely repeating what the source said, which criticism I'd add has been sitting out there for seven or eight years without the threat of litigation. Put back in "not fully baked" with the quotes, and we can ask scope to let it stand. JohnInDC (talk) 19:56, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
"prematurely released" or "not fully user-tested" sounds better, than not correctly designed for sure. Put it back in, if it is a direct quote, but please say it is a direct quote. scope_creep (talk) 20:43, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
I've changed "not correctly designed" to "premature", with a ref directly after the quoted word. In addition I've put back in a brief "development was revived .. hired back ..." quote that does not increase the number of screen lines. I'm sorry to make such a big issue of these two items, but they are vital to real-world understanding of a historical problem, which is that many former customers of Retrospect Mac abandoned it—and still have bad words for it—because of a 2009 development glitch that was partly the consequence of EMC high-level management errors. Finally I have introduced the un-official term "flavor" throughout the article to distinguish between Retrospect Windows and Retrospect Mac—which have different UIs—without excessively using the "R-word". I can't use the term "version", because that term is officially used to distinguish new releases of the same "flavor" with additional features. I can't use the term "Edition", because that term is officially used to distinguish the number of server OS computers that a particular license permits a backup server to backup. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 08:00, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
flavor is not a recognised term in software, in any software, and is an artifical construct. Software versions, and is mac version, or windows or operating system version. I would suggest you use that, or product type, or something more useful to the reader. scope_creep (talk) 11:07, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
"Variety", "variant". "Version" also works because people understand that it can have a different meaning used even in parallel with its other use (i.e., "release number"). "Macintosh version" and "Windows version" is not confusing in context. I also question whether the use of the word version to describe release numbers is "official" or formal given that the entire industry uses the term in that way. (Retrospect's peculiar use of the word "Edition" is a bit different.) "Flavor" is colloquial and not IMHO the right word here. JohnInDC (talk) 11:45, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
I've changed "flavor" to "variant", a term I like and am sorry not to have thought of. In deference to scope_creep's sensibilities, I have not enclosed the term in quotes except for the initial definition. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 14:09, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
Cool, I guess that it is finished then. Good work everybody. scope_creep (talk) 14:36, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
I'm afraid it's not finished yet, because scope_creep made an edit at 17:40 on 12 October 2017 to the article's "History" section after he/she posted the above that really raises a couple of questions about his/her following Wikipedia rules rather than ones he/she has made up. First, scope_creep removed the quote marks around "premature" in the second sentence of the second paragraph. Considering that "premature" is a direct quote from a third-party source footnoted immediately after the word, and that the word presents rhetorical language (fourth paragraph) that expresses someone's opinion, it is incomprehensible under WP rules—rather than scope_creep's aversion to quotation marks—to why scope_creep removed the quotation marks. Second, in the same edit, scope_creep moved the quote mark in the first sentence of the second paragraph in front of the word "until". The word "until" does not appear in front of "Development was revived ..." in the Macworld article referenced—it's my word, so I don't see why scope_creep shifted "until" into the quote—thus creating a minor misrepresentation of the argument in the source (third paragraph)—unless it satisfied some self-devised aesthetic rule. So scope_creep is still making up his/her own rules for quotations. IMHO this calls for a Wikipedia:Dispute_resolution#Third_Opinion; I'll discuss this above under my 20:13 11 October 2017 post. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 01:17, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
If he did it wrong then just fix it and explain what you did here. Then reconcile yourself to the fact that the article can be, and will be, edited in the future by scope, or me, or other editors and that no Wikipedia article is ever captured in a fixed state like a mosquito in amber. JohnInDC (talk) 01:59, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
That would work if you had made the edits, JohnInDC, but it wouldn't work for edits scope_creep has made—he/she would just revert my changes because he/she is operating under the compulsion of his/her own rules (read my post above yours). The latest edits scope_creep has made aren't really that significant in themselves; what is significant is that he made them after he/she wrote "I guess that it is finished then. Good work everybody." IMHO scope_creep has just demonstrated that he/she can't resist putting his/her final stamp on this article, to show that his/her rules override everyone else's—including Wikipedia's. I hope I'm not like that. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 02:30, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for your article edit of 01:56 on 13 October 2017, ‎JohnInDC. However the fact that scope_creep has let your edit stand so far doesn't prove anything about what scope_creep would do if I did such an edit. As I said in my post of 03:48 on 13 October 2017 (UTC) above, what I want is one of two possible commitments by scope_creep, either to rationally explain his/her own rules or to agree to abide by Wikipedia's rules on articles I'm involved in. One thing you should consider is what scope_creep wrote in a 12:13 27 September 2017 post on my personal Talk page: "Hi DovidBenAvraham. I hope to find you working on other articles on Wikipedia. I enjoyed the cut and thrust." I don't want cut and thrust, I just want a reasonable way of working with or around scope_creep. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 09:48, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
DovidBenAvraham, Anybody who has a user account on wikipedia and is autoconfirmed can edit an article at any time. It is not a case of putting my final stamp on it. We are a collaborative effort here on Wikipedia. When I write an article, finish it for the most part, I dont care who edits, as long as they don't destroy the content, unless they are adding better content, which has happened. It is a fact of life. That is part of life on WP. There is a huge number of programs out there, in the 100s of millions, so people, IT people talk about what software is, particulalry a software version, or variant (which is not a word I recognize, but it is used in parts), they speak in generic terms, but very IT specific, as in computer science specific, which is acceptable to them, as that is what they are taught, and is common. IT companies, don't talk in computer terms. All the time, they are driven by branding and marketing. The software guys don't like it, but it is a fact of life. You come along, read the manual, and write an article that is completely outside the standard of acceptable writing on WP, and how things are spoken or written about. The way you write, is a direct way, in the way that is written by the branding guys, hence Retrospect for IOS. The software guys never wrote that. They would say something like, Dashboard release v1.0.2.9 for IOS. Branding guys come along - Retrospect for IOS, even though it is not Retrospect for IOS. Retrospect is the backup software, so how can it be the dashboard UI? So you are translating the marketing terms, doing the marketing guys a favour, their work on to WP, which is against WP:PROMO. And writing an article, which reads like a marketing skit. As regards the statement, the term used in this article, for lack of an official one I can't tell you how bad that is. Two people come along, tell you it is not acceptable to use branded language, and tell you what is normal and acceptable, but you still refer back to the language used in the manual, instead of searching for a term on WP, which explains it. The official term is version. On WP which is really a law unto itself, calls it revision (which has now been changed). Here is the link: Version control. Why do you insist on not looking for links? Version is the correct term, variant is acceptable as well. I've spent far too much time on this. I'm not a diplomat like JohnInDC. I need to get it finished. If I see any more marketing driven terms on it, when there is perfectly acceptable term on WP which can be used, or it starts to drift to back to what it was, I will revert it. Hopefully the Guild of Copyeditors will come along. Lets try it again: Cool, I guess that it is finished then. (in this time frame). Good work everybody. scope_creep (talk) 09:55, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
scope_creep, with the immediately-above post (to which I've stored the permalink elsewhere) you have confessed to tendentious editing. "Tendentious editing is editing with a sustained bias, or with a clear viewpoint contrary to neutral point of view." IMHO this absolutely justifies my immediately initiating the process for Wikipedia:Dispute_resolution#Third_Opinion, but I'll give you until Tuesday a.m. British time to realize that you have been editing the article under the grip of several erroneous concepts and promise not to do that again.
Let me first deal with some of your lesser erroneous concepts. First of all, it is true that "Retrospect for iOS" is a name thought up by Retrospect Inc. marketing people; I would have preferred "Retrospect Read-Only Console for iOS" but they didn't ask me because I don't work there (and my name wouldn't have a marketing ring to it). I just used in the article the name that's in an Appendix to the Retrospect User's Guides, one of which I used as a ref. However it is not true that "flavor" was a term devised by those marketing people (who IME actually like to gloss over the unusual-in-the-industry operating and terminology differences between Retrospect Windows and Retrospect Mac backup server apps); I devised "flavor" all by myself—it is not in any manual, and substituted "variant" as soon as JohnInDC suggested it. Second, before I retired I was an application software programmer for 40 years; applications software, as opposed to system software, is designed to be used by people who are not IT professionals—administrative assistants in the case of Retrospect as I said in my 03:08 7 October 2017 post. I happen to have a very-quickly-acquired degree (for which I returned to school 26 years after dropping out) in the Computer Science "field of concentration" from an Ivy League university, followed by a non-PhD-track (I'm really not that good in math) night-school Master of Science in Computer Science degree from the highly-reputed New York University. So I can speak that way and read such things as the Retrospect Mac 14 Release Notes, but I wouldn't dream of communicating in those terms to a Retrospect administrator user—or to a non-IT reader of the article.
Now we get to your really pathetic erroneous concept, which is that you don't seem to understand what the function of a technical writer is. "A proficient technical writer has the ability to create, assimilate, and convey [my emphasis] technical material in a concise and effective manner." Yes, technical writers are hired by marketing people, but they are hired because the marketing people know that it is essential to convey technical information to application software users—since the users will tell their bosses not to buy the software if they can't understand how to use it. The Retrospect Windows and Retrospect Mac User's [my emphasis] Guides were originally written by able technical writers, and I got Diannaa's permission in October 2016 to use short phrases of their language provided I enclosed it in quotation marks and ref'd it. Where necessary I paraphrased more of their language, which Diannaa said was OK; I do not have access to go behind the User's Guide language and read Retrospect Inc. internal technical documents. Please be good enough to point me to an article substantially written by you where you have done this for an applications program, scope_creep.
I think that erroneous concept justifies a guess on my part that you, scope_creep, have never written an production applications program despite your having "worked in the computer industry in the UK for 25 years" and having "a BSc and MSc" (I habitually View History of pages for which I'm writing) . Instead I think you have worked at some level in system programming, which "aims to produce software and software platforms which provide services to other software, are performance constrained, or both".
As far as links are concerned, I've already thanked you in my 11:22 4 October 2017 for insisting that I increase the number of them; "using links to various sections of the Backup article has enabled me to use WP-standard backup terminology in the items and not have to provide explanations." I don't think initially resisting using links, because some you originally provided were IMHO too general to increase the reader's understanding—combined with my other good-faith initial errors—justifies the hostility to my having written the article that permeates your immediately-above post. And that's tendentious editing. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 03:00, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
How about linking AFP/SMB as well. DovidBenAvraham, it is unwise to cast aspersions on WP, and it can get you permanently blocked. scope_creep (talk) 15:10, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
My 03:00 16 October 2017 post doesn't cast any aspersions on you generally, scope_creep; it just says you've been editing this article based on erroneous concepts. I notice you're not denying the only guess I made in that post. However it would not in any way be casting aspersions on you to say that your experience might have been exclusively as as a system programmer.
Thanks for the suggestion about links to AFP and SMB. I originally had such links, but the mentions of AFP/SMB were temporarily deleted from the article. I'll put the links back in tonight. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 19:35, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

For completeness in the Third_opinion request I am about to file, I am including here a link to the Retrospect section of my personal Talk page. I am including the link because IMHO the first paragraph spells out in the second and last sentences scope_creep's idea that I have lost any rights to edit the "Retrospect" article by virtue of the RfC decision to reduce its size, and also because the third-from last sentence in the first paragraph spells out scope_creep's idea that any language taken from the Retrospect User's Guide "manual" is ipso facto "dodgy".

I am also including here a link to the reversion scope_creep made to the article at 01:30 on 18 October 2017‎, because "No consensus for filing editor to update article" in the Edit summary essentially states his/her belief that—as per the last sentence in the preceding paragraph—I have no right to update the article without getting consensus from other editors. Nobody has told me that the results of the RfC imposes that requirement on me, and indeed JohnInDC has usually after-the-fact accepted edits I have made since his big edits on 27 September provided that what I do is consistent with the RfC guidelines for the article. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 04:00, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

scope_creep's reaction to this has been to create a new section (formerly with misspelled heading) two sections below this, and to post there. IMHO that may be an attempt to hide discussion from the Active disagreement I have already initiated. I doubt that anything enlightening to the Third Opinion is going to be posted there, just a lot of misstatements by scope_creep. However, before I comment succinctly there, let me emphasize here that I have never been shown any consensus resulting from the RfC—nor have I—except in one justified case noted in the next paragraph—rearranged any comments on this page (I just put in a new section header between existing comments). DovidBenAvraham (talk) 09:52, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

As noted below under "Consensus", I owe a slight apology to scope_creep. I forgot that I did move his/her 15:10 16 October 2017 post to this section. But that's where he/she should have put in the first place; it has nothing to do with "Favorite Folder". DovidBenAvraham (talk) 16:48, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

As a general matter you shouldn't edit others' Talk page comments even if it improves them. JohnInDC (talk) 17:04, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
OK, I certainly understand that. However this Talk page has a big problem that it didn't used to have, which is that since 6 September we all have continued to post chronologically under the last section until the length of text under that heading becomes ridiculous—at which point one editor creates a new section named according to what the editor wanted to discuss at that time. Why don't we try to get back to topic-specific sections with much fewer posts under them? We can all use View History to see any new posts, then use Compare Versions to see where the new posts are in the Talk page, and finally use the page's Table of Contents to get to each section that contains a new post.

Now I need to re-discuss another disputed matter from far above this section. At 15:34 on 20 September 2017 scope_creep wrote "Nobody talks about multi-machine network or mixed-platform networks. I think they are probably a hangover from the 90s, possibly left in the manual." I did another Google search yesterday on "multi-machine network", and found 5 Web pages discussing multi-machine network rendering using After Effects. The latest of these pages—a YouTube tutorial—was uploaded in early 2015, although—if you look at the History section of the Wikipedia article—you'll see that the capability was added to After Effects by Aldus in January 1994. After Effects is now a product of Adobe, a company scope_creep may have heard of. So I'd like to change the first occurrence of "heterogeneous network" in the article lead back to "multi-machine network" (even though scope_creep will be upset because there isn't an applicable WP article for the term to link to), which IMHO will again make the wider usefulness of the Retrospect software much easier to understand for non-IT readers of the article who don't habitually use the term "heterogeneous". I think the insistence on the change to using "heterogeneous network" could well have been a consequence of scope_creep's presumed systems programming background. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 21:20, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

All networks are "multi-machine". Use "multi-platform". It's accurate and immediately comprehensible. See if you like what I did. JohnInDC (talk) 22:31, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
I guess the right term is "mixed platform". Adjusting accordingly. JohnInDC (talk) 22:32, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

 Note: A request for a third opinion has been declined since multiple users are involved in this discussion. Users are recommend to pursue dispute resolution or to file a Request for Comment. Nihlus 02:22, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

I guess the "multiple users" must have been deemed to include JohnInDC. I have now filed a Request for mediation, since IMHO the disputes seem no closer to resolution. That Request basically re-states the two disputes between scope_creep and me that were in the Request for Third Opinion; I've just put the WP "handles" of the disputants in. I have included JohnInDC as an additional party; however I have said that his concern only seems to be that I don't do anything that would expand the article again—I have not said that JohnInDC has taken any position in the disputes between scope_creep and me. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 04:29, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

Is there a reason you went with Mediation and not another request for comment? JohnInDC (talk) 10:44, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
Hell, yes. First, the RfC was a Kafkaesque process of which—as I stated in Issue 2—I still have never seen any written result, only scope_creep's assertion that I've lost all editing rights. I hope the Mediation process will be fairer. Second, the essence of Issue 1 is that IMHO scope_creep has come up with his/her interpretation of WP standards relating to the article by pulling it out of his/her posterior (possibly because of an inability/unwillingness to read at a university level). I hope the Mediator will engage in a dialog with scope_creep that will convince him/her that his/her interpretation has been incorrect. BTW, JohnInDC, if you can see your way clear to doing it I hope you will promptly enter your Party's Agreement to Mediation. Getting scope_creep's Agreement may be a more painful process. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 13:21, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
I don't agree with your framing of the issue between you and scope; I think the particular issue you've identified is trivial in relation to the article at large; and as between you and me, there's nothing really to mediate. TBH these matters are way below something that a mediator should spend time on and, bearing in mind that Wikipedia operates by consensus, not by fiat, I think an RfC would be far more appropriate - all we need is another couple of editors to weigh in. If my assent is the determining factor in going forward with the Mediation process, I won't withhold it, but I'm not going to hop right onto the train. In the meantime perhaps it would help all of us if rather than speaking in generalities you'd describe the precise edits you want to make. I'm still sort of a third voice here and maybe we can just work through it. JohnInDC (talk) 18:44, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
First, as I'm sure both you and scope_creep know, my Request for Mediation was rejected this afternoon, so that process is now moot. Second, work on this article is now pretty well finished; I only want permission to make this change in the "History" section—which scope_creep reverted—and the one I have requested in my 20:35, 19 October 2017 post below. Third, as I've said below in my 12:17, 18 October 2017 post under Consensus, I'm mainly concerned now about the "Enterprise Backup features" article I proposed above. I now think it's feasible, as I'll discuss below in more detail in a new "Preliminary Discussion of 'Enterprise Backup features' article" section. However it definitely won't be feasible if scope_creep believes he/she has the right to edit "advertising" and "marketing" terms out of that article as he/she has done for this article. I maintain scope_creep's criteria for these terms are not based on a correct reading of any WP standard, and we need to come to some resolution—with your help and/or help from outside editors. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 22:18, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
Also, given the stunningly opaque way the previous RfC for this article was done, I don't have any confidence in the RfC process any further than I could physically throw you and and another couple of editors in one effort (not that I want to physically throw anyone, but IMHO it's the appropriate metaphor). However I hope that scope_creep's announced departure from editing the article implies an end to the issue of scope_creep's idiosyncratic interpretation of the WP rules on Advertising. If OTOH he tries to apply that same interpretation to the "Enterprise Backup features" article, we'll have a real dispute on our hands again. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 00:46, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
I realized the other day that the Comments in the Survey sub-section of this Talk page were in fact the "written result" of the RfC. However my Internet was down for 3 days as a result of Verizon stupidity, so my apology had to wait until it was back up. I'm sorry, the way the RfC was done was not opaque; I'm just dense. However, in those comments nobody said I should not be allowed to edit the article without prior consensus, which is what scope_creep has been recently claiming in reverting my edits. DovidBenAvraham (talk) DovidBenAvraham (talk) 14:41, 26 October 2017 (UTC)

"Favorite Folder"[edit]

This is an OS X-specific word for the more general and commonly understood term, "subvolume". Retrospect (for both Mac & Windows) backs up subvolumes. On OS X these subvolumes are called "Favorite Folders". The function is the same, just the word is different. You don't need to introduce the Mac-specific terminology, define it in terms of the common word, so that you can use it a single time later in the article. It adds nothing to the understanding of the functions of the software. Again - again, again - this is not a user manual, it's not a glossary or lookup table. "Retrospect can be configured to back up subvolumes." That's all that needs to be said. Please stop making this change. JohnInDC (talk) 15:09, 15 October 2017 (UTC)

You're wrong in this specific case, JohnInDC; Favorite Folder is not an OS X term—I've Googled it. Instead it is an EMC-coined term for a subvolume that is defined and distinguished only within Retrospect. It is therefore distinct from a Btrfs subvolume, which AFAICT is—once it has been defined—more generally visible within the filesystem. I'm pretty sure that's why EMC changed the terminology for Retrospect Mac 8; subvolume is the older Retrospect term that is still used within Retrospect Windows. That's why I used the term Favorite Folder, and took pains to put in a ref to the Joe Kissell book—and improved that ref to show the page number corresponding to the definition for Favorite Folder (the actual ref is for "subvolume", because the only copy of the Kissell book that is freely accessible on the Web predates Retrospect Mac 8). DovidBenAvraham (talk) 16:13, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
I didn't mention that I'd also searched for "Favorite Folder" in posts over many years to the Ars Technica Macintoshian Achaia forum. I found none. I did the same search in all Ars' Operating System and Software forums; it found 5 posts with the phrase, all in the Microsoft OS & Software Colloquium. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 21:25, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
If it's a Retrospect term then it's only worse. It's simple: Restrospect can back up a volume, or a subset of that volume (aka a subvolume). We don't need the special Retrospect name to convey that concept. It's not necessary and it clutters the article with proprietary terminology that adds nothing. Better without it. JohnInDC (talk) 22:14, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
OK, but if scope_creep mindlessly tries to link "subvolume" to Btrfs subvolume I'm going to edit the link out as soon as I see it—because it's misleading in the article. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 23:50, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
Right after the word "subvolume", I've added a link to the latest version of the Retrospect Mac User's Guide. If anyone tries to find "subvolume" in that, they'll be taken straight to a Glossary of Terms entry that says "In previous versions of Retrospect, a folder you designate as an independent volume for use within Retrospect. Retrospect uses the term Favorite Folder." DovidBenAvraham (talk) 09:48, 16 October 2017 (UTC)


DovidBenAvraham, we have consensus, which came about from the Rfc, to simplify the article, to remove what was essentially a manual, and create a new article, which JohnInDC did, to keep it simplified, salient and linked to WP. We updated the article to put in salient sections in history, which provided additionall context, linked it per WP:MOS for those terms that needed it, and removed all the advertising per WP Terms of Use. You now seem to adding more more stuff, which is outside the consensus, which nobody wants, and is breaking the article again. It is almost 6 weeks now since the Rfc, and you are still not sticking with it. If you continue to work on the article, against concensus, and adding more more detail which is well beyond what is required, its going to an administrator to sort, likely to WP:ANI. Also please stop reordering these comments, it is bad form and i'm sure it is illegal on WP. scope_creep (talk) 08:23, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

First, I have never been shown any consensus (I, at least, know how to spell "consensus" consistently) resulting from the RfC, and I prefer to see it as pointed to by someone other than scope_creep. Second, my article edits from 00:25 through 01:17 on 18 on 18 October added no detail except the two words "overly complicated" (with ref for the quote); everything else was actually a clarification of what was already in the "History" section—namely attempts to clarify (without adding a single screen line) that Windows Vista's changes prevented EMC from creating a fully-interactive console for Retrospect Windows. Third—as I have already stated above, there never was any "advertising" in the article except by scope_creep's definition—which as I have noted above is not Wikipedia's definition. Fourth, I have never rearranged any comments on this page; I just put in a new section header between existing comments. Finally, I posted an Active Disagreements entry at 04:28 on 18 October 2017, and then clarified its last sentence (while changing the date) at 05:18. Let's wait until that concludes before proceeding to any WP:ANI. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 10:24, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
Cleaning up this article has been long and laborious and exhausting. DBA, you've been communicative all along and I appreciate that but progress throughout has been so slow, and so incremental, with so much back-and-forth and with oh-so-many-words that when you come back and make just one small change back in the direction we're trying to move the article away from - well, I can appreciate scope's losing patience. We'll see what the Third Opinion request produces as regards this latest episode but really the best thing would be for you to turn away from this article and see what you can contribute to one of the other 5.5 million articles that are here on English Wikipedia. JohnInDC (talk) 10:45, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
That good. Some more progress. Let's get the Third opinion sorted out. I not sure what it is, but it has got to be better than this. I would like to draw your attention to JohnInDC suggestion about working on other articles. There is over 200k articles on WP, which don't have sources. They desperately need some help. scope_creep (talk) 11:24, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
First of all, JohnInDC, I'd appreciate it if you would show me the written consensus reached by the RfC. It's customary in the English-speaking world to give the defendant a copy of the judgement against him/her. The WP:ANI surely can't blame me for violating a judgement I never saw.
Second, as I said four paragraphs above this, my only "one small change back in the direction we're trying to move the article away from" was adding the two words "overly complicated" in my attempted first edit. My attempted second edit was entirely to clarify what was already in the article; in fact it was enough of a clarification that IMHO I now think the link to application isolation would enable me to eliminate the ref to the Retrospect Knowledge Base article—which is mostly an overly-technical description of how to get around the lack of a fully-interactive console in Retrospect Windows. I believe scope_creep wasn't thinking properly when he/she reverted that second edit.
Third, the only other Wikipedia article I want to contribute to at the moment is the "Enterprise Backup features" article I proposed above. But there's no point in my starting to draft it if scope_creep later decides that it is a pure extension of the "Retrospect" article, and that therefore he has the right to apply his non-WP standards on "advertising" and "marketing" to it. That's why I requested the Third Opinion, not that I enjoy the fight.
Fourth, I have a suggestion for something scope_creep can do in the meantime. By my count there are 31 occurrences of the phrase "Time Machine" in the article Time_Machine_(macOS). That is surely a "marketing" term ("Time Machine" certainly has a marketing ring to it, and everyone is a marketer over at Apple) in a backup app article by scope_creep's standards just as much as "Retrospect" is. Why doesn't he/she edit out most of those phrases, changing them to "the program" or something similar? I think the resultant reaction among Apple fans on Wikipedia would justify the phrase "came down on him like a ton of bricks".
Finally, I owe a slight apology to scope_creep. I forgot that I did move his/her 15:10 16 October 2017 post to the preceding section. But that's where he/she should have put in the first place; it has nothing to do with "Favorite Folder". We are all of us capable of using View History to see what changes have been made to a page, even if a new post was added to a section other than the last one. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 12:17, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
I realized the other day that the Comments in the Survey sub-section of this Talk page were supposed to be taken together as the "written result" of the RfC. However my Internet was down for 3 days as a result of Verizon stupidity, so my apology had to wait until it was back up. I'm sorry, there was no other "written result" that JohnInDC should have shown me. However, in those Comments nobody said I should not be allowed to edit the article without prior consensus, which is what scope_creep has been recently claiming in reverting my edits. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 14:43, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
Please, may I have consensus to add the words "GUI-scripted" (with a link—which I think was previously deleted from the article—to the GUI article) in front of "backup" in the last single-sentence paragraph of the lead? The article as it is has no hint that operations must be scripted (Retrospect Windows kept Immediate operations, but Retrospect Mac 8 replaced those with equivalent GUI buttons that create scripts and immediately run them) until the last three items in the "Small-group features". The word "GUI-" in front of "scripted" is my sneaky single-word way of inserting the fact that Retrospect (both variants) has a GUI for creating scripts. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 20:35, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
Since I hadn't heard any approval or objection in two days, I have made this edit—which included a link for GUI. I then did two more edits re-arranging the single sentence, for clarity. I've also made "Consensus" a section on the same level as "Favorite Folder" in this Talk page, since the discussion in this section has nothing to do with Favorite Folder. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 19:06, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
I assume that the consensus allows me to clarify or add mentions of features, so long as this doesn't add to the number of screen lines in the article and doesn't go into any more detail about a feature than what's already there. In conformity with that assumption, I have today squeezed in brief mentions of three additional "Small-group features": non-Desktop Editions can simultaneously backup to multiple destinations using different scripts, backups can do file exclusion, and there can be separate MD5 validation scripts. In addition I have today clarified that the Windows Add-On for Dissimilar Hardware Restore automatically adjusts drivers, and clarified for what kinds of tape library the Advanced Tape Support Add-On is required and for what kind it isn't. These edits have completed putting into the article all "Small-group features" that don't belong in the forthcoming "Enterprise Backup features" article; all of them happen to be features that—with the exception of Cloud Backup—were all present in Retrospect Windows before the release of Retrospect Mac 8. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 19:56, 28 October 2017 (UTC)
Please make sure that by adding detail you are not rendering the prose more technical and harder to follow. I'm not convinced, for example, that adding the sentence, "Using non-Desktop Editions of the backup server, multiple scripts can simultaneously backup to different destinations" really tells the reader anything that they need to know. Here as in so many other instances, detail is not good simply for its own sake. At some point it just becomes clutter. JohnInDC (talk) 21:46, 28 October 2017 (UTC)
Similarly, "clarifying that Windows Add-On for Dissimilar Hardware Restore extends the Emergency Recovery CD" is a matter for a user manual, not a high-level overview of a particular piece of backup software. This is not the place for that kind of stray - indeed trivial - observation. JohnInDC (talk) 21:50, 28 October 2017 (UTC)
I've since clarified the language of the last sentence of the Backup Destinations "Small-group features" item to say "If run on non-Desktop Editions of the backup server, multiple scripts can simultaneously backup to different destinations." That says in non-techncal language that those Editions are multi-threaded, which is an announced 2016 feature of the Arq personal backup app. (Actually multi-threading works in the Desktop Edition too, but you have to reset a Preference each time you start the Retrospect backup server to use it.)
The article used to have one item saying "Retrospect Emergency Recovery CD—a single generic boot disc that uses WinPE to provide bare metal recovery of most Windows computers ...." It used to have another item saying "'Dissimilar Hardware Restore Add-On'—giving Retrospect Windows the capability of restoring an entire machine to a completely different computer—including after-the-fact automatic adjustment of drivers to account for differences in the hardware." Imagine you are Sam the manager of a small office, and the hard drive on Suzy's ancient Windows computer suddenly dies. So you pull a new computer out of the office closet and put it on Suzy's desk, but it isn't even the same brand as Suzy's old Windows computer. Wouldn't you like to use a combination of these two features to re-establish a bootable hard drive with all of Suzy's files on it? DovidBenAvraham (talk) 19:13, 29 October 2017 (UTC)
Sure. And Retrospect can tell us all about it in their ads. JohnInDC (talk) 20:17, 29 October 2017 (UTC)
Is there any reason I shouldn't add the Windows Emergency Recovery CD as an item in "Small-group features"? It's certainly not an "Enterprise Backup feature", even though it's available only for Retrospect Windows, and as such it has just as much right to be listed as any other "Small-group feature". And is there any reason not to put the Windows Add-On for Dissimilar Hardware Restore back in "Editions and Add-Ons", where it used to be until you removed it, JohnInDC? I added the feature to the Add-On in "Editions and Add-Ons" because they are related, and it would save an item screen line in "Small-group features". The terse language I used was so as not to add an extra screen line to "Editions and Add-Ons". DovidBenAvraham (talk) 03:59, 30 October 2017 (UTC)

I'll make my last comment, as it has been 6 weeks to the day since the Rfc went in and I'm not committing any more time to this article. Lastly, no one uses the term GUI. The last time I heard GUI being used was about 2007. It is now UI and if it is mobile it is UX. Also console. The last time that word being used in action was the early 1990's. Anybody under 40, will think it is games console, your talking about. Truly. Your manual hasn't been updated for many years, perhaps 20+ years more It is woefully out of date. Anyway do what you want. Some other editor can deal with it. scope_creep (talk) 23:45, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

Ah, scope_creep, how kind of you to leave us with another of your justly-famous "nobody ..." statements (for which other editors can search the Talk page). You may be right; only one of the two doormen I have surveyed knew what GUI meant (a third doorman may—since he has a side business doing video recording and editing, but he's in the hospital with 5% kidney function). However GUI goes straight to the Wikipedia "Graphical user interface" article, and UI goes straight to a disambiguation page from which in two steps you can go to user interface types—which lists GUI as the second bulleted item. UX, on the other hand, goes to a disambiguation page which says "UX refers to user experience[my emphasis], a person's behaviors, attitudes, and emotions about using a product, system, or service" at the very top.
As for "console", all the enterprise backup applications whose reviews/documentation I have surveyed have what some of them more fully term an "administrative console". EMC introduced its Retrospect Console with Retrospect Mac 8, which was released in early 2009. I guess lead developers of enterprise backup applications in the late 2000s—many of whom must have been in their 40s by then—spent too much time imitating each other, and not enough time playing video games with their kids.
I'd love to know the sociological profile of the people you associate with in your job as a presumed system programmer. However, thanks for your help on the article. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 03:25, 21 October 2017 (UTC)

Preliminary discussion of "Enterprise Backup features" article[edit]

As I've explained above, creation of the new article would be a substantial amount of effort. The article would be built around a discussion of the 18 features that we eliminated from this article, but presented in a fashion that would not favor Retrospect or any other enterprise backup software application. It would be based on my realization that, starting around 2004, a number of makers of what were conceptually personal backup applications that had been expanded to handle small groups decided to expand them to be able to handle larger groups in enterprises. The expansion process required the developers to talk to potential users, and also impelled them to keep close tabs on what their competitors were developing. Thus a constellation of enterprise backup applications emerged in the mid-to-late 2000s that had essentially similar new features, even though in some cases the terminology for those features varied from seller to seller. If I'm to write an article discussing those new features that will be acceptable on Wikipedia, the article will have to mix refs to user manuals with refs to what reviews exist for these enterprise backup applications. Before starting to write the article, I need to get confirmation that—if written according to generally-accepted WP standards—the article would be acceptable to such editors as JohnInDC. That's why I've started a discussion on this Talk page. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 01:10, 22 October 2017 (UTC)

This really isn't the place to discuss this. Not too many editors follow this Talk page. I have no particular expertise in the area and haven't got much inclination to gain it; plus TBH I'm tired of trying to convey the same basic points again and again. You should go visit WP:HELP and follow the links about your first article, and where to ask for assistance. WP:Teahouse perhaps. You need a broader audience, who doesn't bring any preconceptions to the process, I think. JohnInDC (talk) 01:39, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
I do now understand "the same basic points again and again" that JohnInDC mentioned directly above. In particular, one thing I did yesterday is to look for reviews of other competitive enterprise backup applications. Of course the first problem was to identify them, since I haven't used Windows since I retired in 2004 and there doesn't seem to be another competitive enterprise backup application for Mac (Archiware seems oriented toward tape rather than disk, and Tolis BRU seems oriented toward media production enterprises). I decided that Retrospect Inc. must know who its main competitors are, and therefore looked at its "Competitive Analysis" Knowledge Base articles to identify those competitors. To my pleased surprise there are some real Web reviews (not just repeats of press releases) of the competitor products. Of course the information in those reviews will have to be supplemented with information from product user manuals (some of these manuals are behind "signup walls", so I guess I'll be deleting myself from e-mailing lists for a while), but that's the kind of thing I've already done in the Retrospect article. So I now think I'll just go ahead and create a sandbox version of the new article, and let other editors take a look at it at some point. I hope I don't have to put in too much work before getting a verdict. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 08:47, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
Just to be clear, I expect the new article to be revised and added to by other editors more familiar with primarily-Windows enterprise backup applications—indeed I welcome that. I just don't want the new article to be revised in the way that scope_creep tried to, with spurious interpretations of Wikipedia rules. All I want to be left with is an article I can link to from a brief new section in this article, saying something like "Retrospect has most of the Enterprise Backup features, excepting only ...." DovidBenAvraham (talk) 10:33, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
Just by way of reminder, again - whatever article you wind up writing can't be your own compendium of features you deem important to the class. Find articles that say, "these are the important features of Enterprise Backup Software" and summarize the lists they provide. And bear in mind, again, that Wikipedia articles aren't buyers' guides - it isn't the place to list a bunch of features alongside a list of products with checkboxes "yes" or "no". That's for Consumer Reports or Computerworld or whoever is helping consumers decide what software is best for them. And finally I'll state my original suggestion a little more strongly. The Talk page for Retrospect is not the right place to develop a related, but entirely separate, article. Please find a more suitable place for the discussion than here. You'll likely get better input at that spot too - you can always direct them back to these discussions for a primer. JohnInDC (talk) 12:05, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
Good point about articles that say "these are the important features of Enterprise Backup Software", JohnInDC. There's a 2016 Gartner report that sounds from the title as if it might be promising; there was a problem with the Gartner site as of this morning, but I've just looked at the 2017 version courtesy of a vendor that's mentioned in it. As for a buyers' guide, there's already one for backup software on Wikipedia (Retrospect is there; many of the competitors aren't) but I've no wish to enhance it. I took a brief look at WP:Teahouse last night, but I'm not sure I'd find the kind of editors I need frequenting it. Thanks to your past guidance on this article, for which I'm extremely grateful, I actually think I know what I've got to do to make the new article acceptable. Speaking of "articles that say, 'these are the important features of ... Backup Software'", the WP article Backup has proven extremely useful for links in writing this article,but (as I've said above) it seems to have been written based more on editors' knowledge than ref'd sources and probably wouldn't pass muster with you. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 16:22, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
Following a Teahouse discussion, I've followed a suggestion from Nick Moyes and replaced the former "In society" section at the end of the Backup article with a new "Enterprise client-server backup" section. As you can see from my initial comments in this section of that article's associated Talk page, I've been faithful to the lessons I've learned from JohnInDC and scope_creep. I've now added a one-line section to this article, linking to the new section in that article. Thanks, folks. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 01:14, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

Editions and Add-ons[edit]

I never tried to shorten that section but now that I'm paying attention to it, I realize that it's cumbersome and confusing and after reading it three times I still don't have an idea what an "Edition" is. It should be about 4 sentences long: "Retrospect also sells Editions and Add-ons, which are thus-and-so." I'm going to see about making this better. JohnInDC (talk) 19:39, 29 October 2017 (UTC)

Here's a possible new first paragraph: "Retrospect also sells Editions and Add-Ons. Editions are Retrospect Inc.'s 'soak the rich' strategy for making installations backing up any computers running Windows Server or macOS Server pay a great deal more for the same product. Add-Ons are Retrospect Inc.'s 'soak the rich' strategy for making either Windows installations that need to backup NTFS files for continuously running systems such as Quickbooks, or Windows installations that need to backup various server applications, or Windows installations that need to restore boot volumes to dissimilar hardware, or any installations that need to backup to a tape drive other than a single non-autoloader/non-library one pay a great deal more for the same product." Using this would enable you to eliminate the existing second paragraph in the section.
Here's a possible new second paragraph, replacing the existing first paragraph: "To avoid the need to distribute many versions of the executable for the backup server, activation of Editions and additional Add-Ons is governed by license codes. There is only one server executable distributed for the Macintosh variant and one distributed for the Windows variant. In addition, one client executable is distributed for each applicable combination of machine architecture and operating system."
Let me note in passing that there is an error in your existing second paragraph in the section. To backup to a single-slot tape library, usually known as an autoloader, requires either at least the Single Server Edition or the Advanced Tape Support Add-On. Let me also note in passing that, by deleting the former next-to-last paragraph in the section, you have omitted all the Windows Add-Ons for backing up three kinds of servers, and the Windows Add-On for Dissimilar Hardware Restore. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 04:56, 30 October 2017 (UTC)
If my reworking the section has introduced an error then the solution is fewer words and a higher level of generality, not more words and more specificity. I'm beginning to wonder why we need to describe "Editions" at all, if in the end it's just Retrospect pricing strategy. JohnInDC (talk) 10:43, 30 October 2017 (UTC)
Actually, given the elimination of any specific discussion of the Retrospect Mac Console and the elimination of the "Documentation" section, we could entirely do away with even mentioning Editions. There would be only minor costs in accuracy: in the last sentence of the Backup destinations item in the "Small-group features" section, and in any proper discussion of the Advanced Tape Support Add-On. There would, however, be a substantial cost in human lives: the deaths from "sticker shock" of readers going from this section in the article to the online Product Configurator its last paragraph references.
What I really suggest is: An abbreviated three-sentence version of the first paragraph I suggested in my "04:56, 30 October 2017 (UTC)" comment. It would have a NPOV-friendly substitute for "soak the rich", and would not enumerate the Add-Ons. This would be followed by the three short Add-On description paragraphs that were in the section prior to your 29 October edits. Those would be followed by what was the third paragraph prior to your 29 October edits, which starts out "Each Edition marketed ...". Following that would be the second paragraph I suggested in my "04:56, 30 October 2017 (UTC)" comment. The section would end with the final paragraph as you shortened it in your 29 October edits. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 12:51, 30 October 2017 (UTC)
Knowing what you would say, JohnInDC, I even found a third-party review that mentions Retrospect Editions and who the various Editions are designed for. Obviously the review doesn't discuss Retrospect Inc.'s motivation. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 18:31, 30 October 2017 (UTC)
Instructions and / or guides to what editions, etc. are appropriate to a particular user are the province of PC magazines, not Wikipedia. "A single Retrospect Edition supports a specified number of workstations. Retrospect also sells "Add-ons", which provide additional functionality such as X or Y". That's all. JohnInDC (talk) 11:45, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
I think the reason you don't understand the concept of Retrospect Editions, JohnInDC, is that you don't know what a "server OS" is or was. "macOS Server, formerly Mac OS X Server and OS X Server, is a separately sold operating system add-on [my emphasis] which provides additional server programs along with management and administration tools for macOS....A separate 'server' operating system is no longer sold [my emphasis]; the server-specific server applications and work group management and administration software tools from Mac OS X Server are now offered as macOS Server, an add-on package for macOS sold through the Mac App Store .... These tools simplify access to key network services, including a mail transfer agent, AFP and SMB servers, an LDAP server, a domain name server, and others." By contrast "Windows Server is [still] a brand name for a group of server operating systems [my emphasis] released by Microsoft."
Apple now sells the macOS Server add-on for a whopping $20; I think this is primarily because many of its most-widely-needed capabilities can be provided instead by a NAS—which many Mac installations have bought because it's less trouble. I can't say what Microsoft charges for a Windows Server OS—which varies depending on the "member of the family" you buy, but the price is probably falling for the same reason.
Meanwhile, if you use Retrospect Inc.'s Product Configurator, you'll find that the price of Retrospect Mac jumps from $119 for the Desktop Edition to $659 for the Single Server Edition—whether or not that single macOS Server add-on is on your "backup server" or a client machine. For Retrospect Windows the same Edition jump is only to $559, even though Windows Server is a distinct OS rather than an add-on. And it gets much more expensive if you're running more than one "server OS" machine on your LAN.
It's pretty obvious that, whatever the "server OS" development effort was many years ago, Retrospect Inc. is continuing a long-standing policy of having one low price for presumed personal/tiny-enterprise customers while having a much-higher range of prices for presumed better-heeled SME customers. That's what I was referring to as "soak the rich" in the partially-tongue-in-cheek first paragraph of my "04:56, 30 October 2017 (UTC)" comment. The policy is in stark contrast to that for the Arq backup product, which is $50 whether you're running it on multiple LAN workstations or on a LAN from a single "server OS" machine. I strongly believe the article should have just enough explanation of Editions to prepare potential Retrospect customers for the shock. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 15:39, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
Here's what I now seriously propose as the new first paragraph: "The backup server Edition is dictated—and priced—by the number of macOS Server or Windows Server computers being backed up in the installation. If there are no such "server OS" computers being backed up, the installation can use the much-cheaper Desktop Edition. Add-Ons are backup server features that are mostly used by larger installations; they are separately priced." Each of the two uses of the word "priced" in the paragraph would be directly followed by a ref to the Product Configurator on Retrospect Inc.'s website; thus the current final paragraph in the section, beginning "The combinations of Editions and Add-Ons marketed ...", could be eliminated. The other paragraphs in the section would be as I proposed in the second paragraph of my "12:51, 30 October 2017 (UTC)" comment, but with the final paragraph eliminated as proposed in the preceding sentence. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 07:20, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
"The backup server Edition is dictated and priced by the number of server computers being backed up. The less-expensive Desktop Edition can be used where desktop units, and not servers, are not being backed up. "Add-Ons" are separately priced additional server backup features." JohnInDC (talk) 11:25, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
I'm glad you like my proposal, JohnInDC, but your version of the first paragraph has a problem because it's not precise enough. As the last sentence of the first paragraph in the article lead says, "The company's backup server application runs on either a macOS or a Windows computer, but there are also versions of the client application that run on Linux [my emphasis] or classic Mac OS." If you go to this page you can download Retrospect Client for Linux x86 or Retrospect Client for Linux x64. Now there may be a few enthusiasts running a Linux computer strictly as a desktop unit, but almost everyone who runs a Linux computer is using it as some kind of server. (There never was any "server OS" version of Classic Mac OS.) Nevertheless Retrospect Inc. and its predecessors have never made any attempt to identify such Linux servers so as to charge more for them. Remember, as I have said above, the Edition pricing differential has always been designed to "soak the rich"—"the rich" being arbitrarily defined as any installation that is backing up one or more computers that run macOS Server or Windows Server. That's why my version of the first sentence in first paragraph specifically names those "serverOSes", and the second sentence says you can use Desktop Edition at any installation that doesn't run them. Also, your proposed third sentence has a double "not" in it, which I assume you didn't intend. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 12:35, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
Again - not a buying guide. This bit of information barely warrants inclusion in the article at all; so solutions should lean toward less detail, not more. Accordingly: "The backup server Edition is dictated and priced by the number of servers being backed up. The less-expensive Desktop Edition can be used where desktop units (or Linux servers) are being backed up. 'Add-Ons' are separately priced additional server backup features."
Sorry, the resultant first paragraph is going to get a bit klunkier. For one thing, does "number of servers being backed up" mean Retrospect backup servers or "server OS" machines? I used to put "backup server" in quotes, but scope_creep insisted on taking the quotes out. For another thing, "desktop servers" is going to have to be expanded to include "mobile computers", because backing those up has been a feature of Retrospect since 1996 when Dantz applied for a patent on Proactive scripts. I think you'll end up preferring my proposed version, even though it provides desperately-needed brand-name advertising for Tim Cook and Satya Nadella instead of Linus Torvalds. BTW, wasn't it scope_creep who came up with the idea that merely mentioning a brand name in a WP article is Advertising, marketing or public relations ? As you can see, it's not—especially in a paragraph that comes as close to saying "soak the rich" as is compatible with NPOV.
Nevertheless I'll now proceed to rewrite the section as we have agreed. The easiest way for me to do that is to start by reverting JohnInDC's 19:45, 29 October 2017‎ edit, and then proceed from there. So don't panic. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 16:13, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
I don't know why we need to say anything more than the Desktop edition backs up desktops and Linux servers, and the Edition versions are for OS X and Windows servers and are priced based on number of machines being backed up. Again this level of detail is stupefying. JohnInDC (talk) 17:57, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
I don't understand. Are you going to leave it in the cumbersome, multi-paragraph format, or reduce it back to the two or three sentences I'd whittled it down to? JohnInDC (talk) 19:36, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
I've reduced it, again, to the essential definitions of "Edition" and "Add-on". We don't need more. JohnInDC (talk) 19:40, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
(This is a comment I was about to save, whose timing overlapped with JohnInDC's 19:36 and 19:40 comments.) No, JohnInDC, the Desktop edition backs only desktops and mobile computers and Linux servers; I have now put into the article an "only" that you left out and I missed. IMHO the level of detail in the first paragraph was much less stupefying with the version I proposed in the first paragraph of my "07:20, 2 November 2017 (UTC)" comment; try reading it again. But you didn't like that version because its first sentence explicitly named the two "server OSes" that require more than the Desktop Edition to be backed up by Retrospect. You preferred a version of the paragraph whose second sentence specifies (mostly by implication) the OSes that don't require more than the Desktop Edition, purely to satisfy some cockamamie interpretation of the WP Advertising rule apparently thought up by scope_creep. If you want I'll substitute my version of the paragraph; with "that are mostly used by larger installations" removed from the third sentence, it actually takes the same three screen lines that your version—with necessary additions I made for accuracy—takes. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 19:56, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
No, I don't like it because these are simple concepts that can be conveyed simply, without breaking it down to OSes, pricing, the number of servers, "license codes", the various flavors of add-ons or any of that. These are very simple concepts. Retrospect has a consumer (and Linux) version, and a more expensive one for enterprise that is priced based (generally) on the number of machines or servers being backed up. That, and "add-ons" add function. This section on pricing and Retrospect's price discrimination model doesn't need to be here at all; and if it is, then it should be limited to describing, in general and quickly grasped language, what these terms mean. If people want to know more they can go to the Retrospect website. JohnInDC (talk) 20:12, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
You could even say (if the sources support it) that Retrospect markets both consumer and enterprise editions, with the latter's pricing related to the number of machines being backed up. I don't much care. What I do care about is an article that obscures simple concepts with Retrospect's own weird terminology and arcane pricing - it's not helpful, it's not clear, and it's not necessary. JohnInDC (talk) 20:19, 2 November 2017 (UTC)
To answer your 19:36, 2 November 2017 question, JohnInDC, I thought I did have implicit permission to implement my multi-paragraph 07:20, 2 November 2017 (UTC) proposal—since all you were questioning was the wording of the first paragraph. I'm sorry I made that assumption; I should have explicitly asked for permission.
A key question I should have asked before, JohnInDC, is what do you think is the knowledge level of a reader who makes it all the way down to the "Editions and Add-ons" section? The first barrier that reader would have to have enough knowledge to get past is the last sentence in the lead (as rewritten by scope_creep to insert a System Programming term): "The product is used for GUI-scripted backup in a heterogeneous network, primarily by small and medium-sized businesses." Anybody who can get past that can get past the "History" section, but would then have to get past the "Small-group features" section. Even with the links that scope_creep insisted that I insert, the density and terseness of that section would deter anyone who doesn't have a fairly-good overall knowledge of small-group computer technology and a fairly-good grasp of computer backup procedures. So we shouldn't assume that the "Editions and Add-ons" section has to be written so that every Wikipedia reader could understand it, any more than we have to assume (as scope_creep did) that the reader would have enough mathematical knowledge to understand (as I no longer completely do)—or a need to understand—the Checksum article he linked to in a "Small-group features" item.
To be frank, JohnInDC, I don't think you have that knowledge level—as is indicated by your past editing errors on this article. I tried to give you some of that knowledge in my "15:39, 31 October 2017 (UTC)" comment, but you then demonstrated that it wasn't sufficient in your "11:25, 2 November 2017 (UTC)" proposal for the first paragraph of the "Editions and Add-ons" article section—which lacked enough precision to show you now had enough knowledge to understand and rephrase my 07:20, 2 November 2017 proposal. Thank you for accepting my enhancements to your rephrasing. However I also think you lack the knowledge level to understand the basic concepts in some of the Add-Ons, particularly the 4 you omitted from your latest edit. For the first 3 that's not totally surprising; as an application programmer working in a Windows installation from 1999 through 2004, I used Microsoft Exchange constantly and at one point considered using Microsoft SQL Server—but I have only a slight theoretical knowledge of VMware because it became popular about the time I retired. However if you had used Windows computers for more than one hardware generation I'm sure you would have some idea what Windows boot volume drivers, which are adjusted by the Add-On for Dissimilar Hardware Restore, are.
I think any reader who makes it all the way down to the "Editions and Add-ons" section would have enough knowledge to understand my 6-paragraph 15-screen-line version. In the first two of the three paragraphs describing Add-Ons, I added one or two sentences of explanation in which there is no "weird Retrospect terminology" ("autoloader" is a standard IT term I linked to in a WP article)—but I could delete those if you insist. I thought a reader might be puzzled at the end of reading the section by whether Retrospect Inc. has to distribute an exponential number of backup server executables, so I put in a three-screen-line paragraph at the end saying they eliminate the need for that with license codes—but that too could be deleted. If—on the other hand—I crammed a mention of the four unmentioned Add-Ons into the last sentence of your first paragraph, my 8th-grade English teacher would rise from the grave (if he's not still alive at 105 years old) to smite me for creating the mother of all run-on sentences.
So please let me put back in my extra 9 screen lines, JohnInDC. The section will be the better for it. As for a supporting ref, the article I externally linked to in my "18:31, 30 October 2017 (UTC)" comment provides the support you asked for. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 01:54, 3 November 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────TBH many of your comments I don't read with an eye to detail. When an edit requires paragraphs of explanation to justify it, it is - in my estimation - likely not a sound edit. Tell me. What precise information is to be conveyed in the "Editions and Add-ons" section? What information are you trying to impart to the reader there? Not to the "systems admin who wants to know how Retrospect is priced", but, someone who doesn't know much about the software and wants to learn more? Because, again and again, this is not a user manual, it's not a buyer's guide; it's a high-level article about the software, its functions, use and purpose. The question is not whether more can be said about "Editions & Add-ons" - surely there is - but whether any of this "more" is necessary, or improves the article. This section (if we bother with it at all), IMHO, needs to answer two quick questions: 1) What does Retrospect mean by "Edition"?; and 2) what does Retrospect mean by "Add-on"? Those answers take two sentences, and any reader who after seeing that wonders whether Retrospect is a suitable "software solution" for their small business needs can just go and click on the company web page linked in the article and learn all about it. JohnInDC (talk) 02:34, 3 November 2017 (UTC)

OK, I've solved this problem in a way that should satisfy both of us. I've added mention of the remaining three (see next paragraph to learn which one has disappeared) Add-Ons to the last sentence of the first paragraph (while cleaning up the punctuation and grammar), which only adds one screen line. I've also added a sentence to the second paragraph saying that Editions and Add-Ons are also activated by license codes; this sentence is so cut-down that it doesn't even add an extra screen line.
The Add-On that has disappeared in the 2017 version of Retrospect Inc.'s Product Configurator is the one for VMware servers. Evidently there are now so many home and tiny-enterprise customers using VMware servers, especially under Windows, that Retrospect Inc. decided requiring an Add-On for them boosted the price in a way that reduced total sales revenue. That they didn't announce this is in line with their corporate sensitivity on such subjects. I see Retrospect Inc. as having become financially "hooked" many years ago on the "soak the rich" Editions and Add-Ons pricing policy, and painfully having to "kick the habit" now. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 12:12, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
Better, but we still don't need to (all?) 4 Add-ons to convey the concept; and readers can go to the website to find out whether Retrospect with or without the extra cost add-on will meet their particular needs. I'm inclined to remove the list and reduce it to an example - if any. Which do you like best? JohnInDC (talk) 17:46, 3 November 2017 (UTC)
I cannot believe, JohnInDC, that we are having this dispute over mentions of important Add-On features that, including the features you left in, total only 2.5 screen lines of space as part of a single sentence. It surely cannot be because the Add-Ons are extra-cost items; the NetBackup article explains—not just mentions—an Auto Image Replication (AIR) feature that—if you read page 7 of the Veritas document linked to in its reference—turns out to be an extra-cost add-on.
Indeed Retrospect's Emergency Recovery CD mentioned in that sentence is a non-Add-On feature. It uses the WinPE released by Microsoft a few years before for Windows XP/2003; according to the Ullman reference "the WinPE method will allow for a single, generic boot disc to provide bare metal recovery for any computer supported by WinPE." I discussed it in the last paragraph of my "19:13, 29 October 2017 (UTC)" comment as surely being worthy of inclusion in "Small-group features", from which you deleted it at "01:31, 27 September 2017 (UTC)"‎ "to remove excessive detail, operating tips, etc.". If you reread that comment, you will surely realize that the feature is just as useful if Sam and Suzy are married with computers at their home, and if Sam runs down to his local Best Buy instead of pulling a new computer for Suzy out of the office closet.
Therefore please state for the record, JohnInDC, what WP rule allows you to delete the Add-On items that take up only 1.5 screen lines additional space beyond what you yourself put in. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 11:59, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
It's not a matter of a rule, or screen space, or word count, but just simple English prose. Copy editing. You need a single short sentence to say what Add-ons are, and a single example helps convey the concept. Punto. Identifying and describing them all is cluttery and list-y and makes even the very short paragraph a slog - and unnecessary. That's why I asked you above - what is so important beyond the simple notion of Add-on that you are trying to convey with the exhaustive list - bearing in mind again and again and again, that the article is not a Feature List or a User Guide or a Manual or Usage Tips or a Marketing Brochure. Less can be more, and this is one instance. JohnInDC (talk) 12:39, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
Now you're complaining about a run-on sentence, but that's exactly what I predicted we'd get in the fourth paragraph of my "01:54, 3 November 2017 (UTC)" comment. In 3 minutes (I've already tried it to the point of doing a Show Preview) I can convert that sentence, which takes 3.2 screen lines, into a 5-line paragraph of one "heading" line followed by 4 one-line bulleted items. I'll even delete the mention of QuickBooks, although I put it in because it's an extremely-common case of a continuously-running (hence open NTFS files) app on a Windows system—so I considered mentioning it a helpful "heads up" to a likely reader of the "Editions and Add-Ons" section (as I described him/her in the second paragraph of my "01:54, 3 November 2017 (UTC)" comment).
As far as "what is so important beyond the simple notion of Add-on that you are trying to convey with the exhaustive list", you should ask that question of Glst2, who at 15:08 on 20 February 2017 added the 2017 entry to the table of Acronis True Image Versions—a table that you and scope_creep pointed out to me in several comments above as a sterling example of how I should list the Retrospect features. And what we see in that 2017 entry is an "exhaustive list" of all the features in the Acronis True Image 2017 "premium version", and only those features. We see that Acronis True Image's Premium Subscription is just a name for a collection of all the extra-cost features that would individually be labeled Add-Ons in Retrospect. I believe that a major feature of an app is a major feature, regardless of whether it is bundled in or extra-cost. Separating the Retrospect Add-Ons into their own section in the article—which the Acronis True Image article has not done—is just a way of distinguishing features that all users would want from features that only some users would want. I can see no reason why the latter group of major features should not be enumerated just because they are extra-cost, and I'd like to see an WP-rules citation of what you believe is any such reason—especially since it does not seem to have been applied to an article that you and scope_creep have cited to me as a model. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 22:40, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
It isn’t a “major feature”. It is literally an add-on, an extra that only a subset of users may need. And I asked you what you hope to convey with an exhaustive list, not what some other editor might have had in mind in some other article. See WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. JohnInDC (talk) 03:09, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
The same "only a subset of users may need" can just as well be said for the features in the Premium Subscription version of Acronis True Image, which are described in the third and fourth paragraphs of the "Design and features" section of the latest review (and yes, they are precisely the same features described in the 2017 "Versions" entry in the WP article). Moreover, the fifth paragraph of that same review section says "All True Image versions provide bootable recovery media with the ability to restore to dissimilar hardware, i.e., not the same type of hardware that the backup was created on.", so Retrospect Inc.'s Dissimilar Hardware Restore Add-On is Acronis' essential feature.
I would certainly argue that all five Retrospect Add-Ons, especially Dissimilar Hardware Restore and backing up Microsoft Exchange servers and Microsoft SQL servers (all of which you omitted) are important to a rather large subset of Retrospect Windows users (many of whom also have tape autoloaders or tape libraries). And permit me to cite the last paragraph in this section this section of Wikipedia:Other stuff exists; "arguing in favor of consistency among Wikipedia articles is not inherently wrong–it is to be preferred." Do you want me to invoke "Whether a given instance of something can serve as a precedent for some other instance must be decided by way of consensus" for a 1.8-screen-line addition to the article? DovidBenAvraham (talk) 05:24, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Let me say it again: I don't care what the other article says. I don't think it should be there either, but I also don't feel like embarking on what might be another laborious, endless series of Talk page discussions at yet another of these pages. A Wikipedia reader doesn't need to know the function of every single Retrospect add-on to understand that they exist or what they are. A potential buyer - sure. But they're not the audience. See WP:DIRECTORY, WP:NOT. You don't need to describe every single one, and it reads poorly - and if we are going to look to the other article, it does it much better: "Added active ransomware countermeasures, blockchain-based notary services, and electronic signing (premium version only)." A simple, single English sentence. JohnInDC (talk) 12:10, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
I see that you've decided to stop talking and simply add back in the bulleted list of each of Retrospect's add-ons. I think it makes the article worse, not better, and without any benefit to the general reader (i.e. one who is not comparison shopping in backup software). I'm not going to go to the mat on this because in the end it is trivial; but really now, the time has come for you to stop adding detail and material to this article, and move on. The article remains too technical, too detailed, and too much like a User Manual or Shopping Guide but I'm sick of talking about it. You should turn your attention either to the article that you have proposed to write; or to one of the tens of thousands other articles in the encyclopedia that could use more attention. JohnInDC (talk) 17:24, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
But before that, you have to do better than this sentence: "The backup server Edition is dictated and priced by the number of 'server OS' computers being backed up." This is the first sentence under "Editions" and it doesn't tell you what an "Edition" is, but rather just what "dictates" it. Is an Edition a version of the software? By "dictated", do you mean, "determined"? Does this translate to, "Retrospect sells different 'Editions' of its software, which vary on the number of 'server OS' computers being backed up."? I intended to rewrite this and then realized that I still have no idea what an Edition is. (If that's accurate then is it really necessary to say that it's "separately priced" - doesn't it go without saying that "more computers will cost more"? JohnInDC (talk) 17:39, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
First, I'm sorry that I actually sprang adding back in the bulleted list without giving you a near-simultaneous warning. The idea for re-arranging the two paragraphs in the section came upon me just as I was doing research for a further discussion with you. I tried the re-arrangement out as an edit, and looked at it in Show Preview; it looked pretty good and only took up one more screen line than what we already had. At that point I got a phonecall from a walk-in customer of my little business, saying he was going to arrive in 5 minutes—earlier than expected. I realized I wouldn't have time to write the comment, much less post it, so I hit Save Changes using an Edit Summary I had already written. The business with the customer and its ramifications took much longer than I had expected, so I'm only writing this now.
Second, the result of the research is the WP article Obscure does not mean not notable, and the sections within it. In particular, "In circumstances where using layperson's terms and fully satisfying professional readers' needs are impossible or nearly impossible, editors should only [article author's bolding] meet professional readers' needs and just let general readers know the significance of the field to which the topic belongs." I think I established in the second paragraph of my "01:54, 3 November 2017 (UTC)" comment that any reader getting down to the "Editions and Add-Ons" section is not going to be "one who is not comparison shopping in backup software".
Third, the first page of my passport says "Nationality: United States of America". That's an arbitrary label (see this section of the "Citizenship" article for background) which carries with it certain privileges in certain places. Likewise "Edition" is an arbitrary label, conferred by a license code, which gives a particular copy of the Retrospect executable certain privileges when the code is run. "Edition" is a term thought up by the predecessors of Retrospect Inc. well before 2004 as part of their "soak the rich" concept of differential pricing. I think "license codes, beyond the one that dictates the Edition [my emphasis]" in the first sentence of the second paragraph really clarified that "arbitrariness" concept while staying NPOV, but you didn't like my using the term "license code" in the section. If you think you can convey the "arbitrariness" concept in a better way than that, you are of course free to try. In more specific answer to your question, a backup server's Edition dictates several things it has privileges to do—all of which I tried to describe in the section.
Although I hate to say it, the "license code" elimination is another example of your hastily changing what I have written without taking time to understand it—and then blaming me for the result. Another example of your hasty changing is your cutting-down the last item in the second paragraph. I have changed it back to indicate that the particular Add-On is for additional client computers beyond the maximum the backup server's Edition allows; read the second sentence in the article lead if you still don't understand what "client" means in Retrospect's client-server backup context.
If—in your fundamentally well-intentioned way—you don't mess up the article further, I think I'm done editing it. Although we have had our differences, thank you for your assistance. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 22:17, 5 November 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Four paragraphs but I am still left not knowing what a Retrospect Edition is. It's like saying, I don't know, "a mammal is defined by its skin covering, metabolism, and birth and nurturing characteristics". It tells you what defines a mammal but not what a mammal is - a warmed blooded, furred animal that gives live birth and nurses its young. What is an "Edition"? Just a simple declarative sentence - maybe two. If the answer is, "Retrospect sells tiered versions of its software, which offer varying capabilities. Retrospect calls these versions 'Editions'." then can we just say that please? Or if it's the same version but with capabilities that can be unlocked by a code, then say that. "Retrospect is sold at a variety of performance tiers, with functions unlockable through the purchase of license codes. Retrospect calls these versions 'Editions'". The first sentence of "Editions and Add-ons" should say what an Edition is. Please do that, because I can't. JohnInDC (talk) 23:40, 5 November 2017 (UTC)

Or: "Retrospect is marketed in different "Editions", which provide different features and performance depending on the needs of the user and the license code purchased". How about that? JohnInDC (talk) 23:50, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
Your wish is my command, JohnInDC. I chose the second of the suggestions in your "23:40, 5 November 2017 (UTC)" comment, but I scrunched it so it is only a single sentence that adds only one screen-line. I should note that I practically had a heart attack when I read that comment, because you were actually proposing adding a screen-line or more. And your original suggestion used the word "Retrospect" twice! Scope_creep will be running around the room screaming "Advertising! Kill it! Kill it!" when he/she sees that, even though I mercifully cut the sentence down to a single "Retrospect". Sorry, but it's been a strain dealing with the two of you since mid-September. DovidBenAvraham (talk) approximately 01:00, 6 November 2017 (UTC)

JohnInDC, why have you suddenly rejected first–paragraph wording that was based on your 5 November suggestion, and has been in the article since the day after that? The Desktop Edition darned well backs up Linux servers now, so I've put that capability back in while leaving out the mention that Retrospect Inc. intends to take the capability away in a future release. (My friend has verified with the head of Retrospect Inc. Sales that that's precisely what the Release Note means, and that the never-before-used yellow flagging of the Release Note is as close as their mixed-up Documentation Committee can come to an official statement of intentions—but you don't like it so out it comes.) As for the mention of license codes, and that they apply to the backup server, you agreed to those mentions 4.5 months ago as discussed ad nauseam directly above. I agree that one mention of price levels is sufficient to get the idea across.DovidBenAvraham (talk) 27:16, 22 March 2018 (UTC)

Let me explain more fully why I tried to put in mention of the Release Note saying Retrospect Inc. intends to take away the Desktop Edition's capability of backing up Linux clients running on "server-level" distributions, and why I insist on a mention of license codes for the "backup server". As I mentioned in my "02:56, 26 September 2017 (UTC)" comment, for many years the owners of the Retrospect software have had a "soak the rich" differential pricing policy for Server Editions. This has always applied to the "server OSs" macOS Server and Windows Server, but has never applied to clients running a Linux server. One salient fact is that "Starting with Lion, there is no separate Mac OS X Server operating system. Instead the server components are a separate download from the Mac App Store.", although there is still a separately-sold group of Windows_Server OSs. IMHO the probable current difficulty in identifying a macOS computer running the server components is a motivation for Retrospect Inc.'s trying to require a Server Edition for backing up "server level" Linux clients. It looks as if the Retrospect developers would have liked to implement this requirement for the Retrospect 15.0 release (the new version of Retrospect Windows is also 15.0 instead of 13.0, skipping two whole-number versions), but ran into a technical delay. That seems to be the only reasonable explanation for that yellow-flagged Release Note, which is the first one that has ever mentioned a future Retrospect feature. IMHO the engineers' motivation for leaving in that Release Note is rooted in the fact that a user's license codes apply to all minor versions ("dot releases") of a Retrospect major version. Thus if I upgraded to Retrospect Mac 15.0 and later downloaded Retrospect Mac 15.1 or 15.5, I might unexpectedly have my Desktop Edition "backup server" inform me that the new "dot release" does not allow me to back up my Linux client (which BTW I don't have). I wanted to give administrator readers of the WP article a "heads up", so that they could warn their bosses that they would sometime this year have to come up with the money for a Server Edition license code. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 01:29, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
Wikipedia isn’t a Buyers’ Guide or purchasing advice site, and we don’t report product changes or revisions that companies merely say they’re going to do. Please wait until it’s real. Thanks. JohnInDC (talk) 11:27, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
I understand that rule, which is why I didn't mention the Web Console that the new User's Guides' "What's New" chapters announce will be a preview release in May 2018 (which, when its control facilities are fully operational—which IMHO won't be before September and may not be until March 2019, will finally solve the problem plaguing Retrospect Windows discussed in the last sentence of the "History" section of the article). My underlying problem is that the "What's New" chapters of the User's Guides have been turned into cut-down regurgitations of Retrospect 15's marketing documents. They are so lacking in useful overview content that I couldn't use them as refs, and had to wait for Agen Schmitz's Tidbits article (which is so short it omits the significant "AI" improvement in the Proactive script feature—which fortunately has documentation with overview content in a Knowledge Base article) before I could put the Retrospect 15 features into the article. Thus Retrospect Inc. saw its way clear to announcing an upcoming good feature in a non-press-release document, but not to announcing what obviously will be an upcoming bad feature for many administrators. Evidently someone's conscience made them leave the latter announcement as a Release Note. You can at least see why I tried to publicize it for readers of the WP article. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 14:39, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
Perhaps; but if you’re ever inclined to include information in an article to “publicize” it, then odds are the edit doesn’t belong. It’s not what we’re here for. JohnInDC (talk) 16:43, 25 March 2018 (UTC)

Enterprise client-server features / self-referential text[edit]

I reduced this section to a simple statement that Retrospect provides most of the features set forth in the linked article. I changed the wording because as a general matter we don't refer to other articles as "other articles" as the original phrasing did. Rather we just wikilink appropriately to concepts discussed elsewhere in Wikipedia. I removed the sentence about the one feature that Retrospect doesn't support along with the comment that the omission wasn't that important anyhow, because we aren't a shopping guide or feature set resource; because Retrospect's comparative subset of supported features may change over time as the other article evolves, making this level of specificity a liability in this article; and because the observation that a different Retrospect capability more or less makes up for the omitted one is OR, and / or synthesis, and - again, this level of detail isn't necessary. If a reader wants to know more about enterprise client-server features, they can visit the linked article. If they want to know how Retrospect stacks up, feature for feature, with the things described there, they can visit Retrospect's website. JohnInDC (talk) 18:47, 27 November 2017 (UTC)

I've now met JohnInDC's objections by adding a sentence saying that the features Retrospect supports are shown by refs in items in the linked-to article section. This eliminates his concern about feature specificity requiring future changes to this section, because Retrospect's "comparative subset of supported features" will be shown only in the Enterprise client-server backup features section of the "Backup" article. In my added sentence I referred to that linked-to section obliquely, to meet JohnInDC's objection to my "other articles" wording. I also changed the word "Retrospect" to "The software" in JohnInDC's sentence, so that I could mention "Retrospect" once in my added sentence without being accused of advertising by scope_creep.
I just removed it. Just link to the other article. Please don't add editorial or other commentary about what the link is supposed to signify or how the other article is structured. JohnInDC (talk) 03:37, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
On top of which. The other article section isn't about "Retrospect" or "NetBackup" or any other particular software product. It's about the general idea of enterprise client-server backup software, and concepts that have emerged as important to the field. (Let's set aside the large OR problem right there, seeing as there really are no 3d party sources that say much of any of that.) So while right now that article relies heavily on the capabilities of those two programs, there's nothing at all about the general field that requires that to be the case going forward; and in the future the article may be written or revised entirely without reference to Retrospect, or NetBackup - making the promise here ("the other article will have a Retrospect cite if Retrospect supports a feature") impossible to guarantee. Articles stand by themselves. Don't create editorial cross-dependencies. Just link and be done. Thanks. JohnInDC (talk) 03:53, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
In the comment immediately above, I suspect JohnInDC violated the maxim "Do not move fingers on keyboard until brain is fully engaged" (that's an old joke from the days of having to learn to drive stick-shift). First, I don't think there's a Wikipedia requirement that any link to another article must be considered in terms of how that other article might change in the future. Second, the "Enterprise client-server backup features" section of the "Backup" article really does not rely heavily on the capabilities of Retrospect and NetBackup—other than as examples; all the features are also covered—as JohnInDC cautioned me to do in his "12:05, 22 October 2017 (UTC)" comment above—by refs to 10 third-party articles that state (sometimes interspersed with other material) the need for those features. Someone in the future could cut the examples, and the basic description of the features would still stand. Third, let's assume that someone does in the future do that cutting; there would be a simple fix to the Enterprise client-server features section of this article that would add (oh horrors!) about 6 or 7 screen lines: Look at the first two items in the Small-group features section of this article, and notice that they cover 10 Retrospect features in only 5 screen lines. I managed to do that by, following the guidance of scope_creep, making practically every mention of a feature also be a link to that feature in another article, thus eliminating the need for a description of the feature. If I simply named Retrospect's 11 enterprise client-server features that are not already mentioned as small-group features, with each name also a link to the still-extant description of that feature in the "Backup" article, I could do that in no more than 7 screen lines—even though the names of the features are longer. In that case I'd move the Retrospect documentation/review refs that had been cut from the "Backup" article into this article, but the footnoting for those refs wouldn't add appreciably to the 7 screen lines. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 03:52, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
It's not about the content of the other article but rather about express reliance on the existence and placement of specific references in that article that - as you note - aren't necessary to the article's content. It’s an easily foreseeable and easily avoided problem. JohnInDC (talk) 12:27, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
We've got a real problem here. JohnInDC seems to be saying that the only way for readers of the section in this article to find out which enterprise client-server features Retrospect implements is for them to do what IMHO is WP:OR in the corresponding section in the other article—but I'm not allowed to give them any help! If I had been allowed to leave in the sentence "Those features it supports have references to Retrospect documentation or reviews in their feature items, as linked-to in the first sentence of this section.", the reader would know that he/she could find out which features Retrospect implements by running a mouse pointer over the ref numbers. But JohnInDC is saying I'm not allowed to leave in any form of that sentence, so the reader will have to guess how to discover which features Retrospect Retrospect implements.
I'm reminded of an experience I had two years ago, while writing my initial Wikipedia article about a notable friend who had recently died. There was a key biographical fact that my friend had told me, but which had not been included in any articles published about him (the fact was trivial while he was alive, but significantly affected the course of his later life). I was first told by an editor that "as told to" is not an admissible source, but then told "Wikipedia is inadmissible as a ref source, see WP:CIRCULAR; and this whole paragraph reads like WP:OR" when I tried to imply the fact by dates and links to WP historical articles. Next I was told that "Whether it was likely that ... would have been sent overseas must be left to the imagination of the reader" was "adding unsourced opinion, see WP:NOR". Finally I had to create a 5-screen-line paragraph, in which all but the first sentence consisted of referenced-to-fairly-obscure-sources historical recitations implying why the date cited in the first sentence meant my dead friend wasn't sent overseas at the end of WWII.
It appears that the only way that allows a reader to find out—without doing what amounts to WP:OR—which enterprise client-server features Retrospect implements is for me to do now what I suggested in the last sentence of my "03:52, 29 November 2017 (UTC)" comment. Do I have your permission to add those 6-7 screen lines to the section, JohnInDC? Do you have an alternative suggestion? DovidBenAvraham (talk) 22:04, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
It would be better to have the material here than linked to footnotes elsewhere. And whether it adds 7 screen lines or 3 screen lines or 14 is beside the point if the material is cumbersome, or unclear, or repetitive - "excessive detail" isn't measured by how much screen acreage is taken up but rather by how well or poorly the article reads as a result of the addition. I suggest something like, "Retrospect also supports several enterprise client-server backup features, including..." and then listing the more important ones; and without going into whether it's "most" or "almost all" of the collection described in the other article. JohnInDC (talk) 22:41, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, JohnInDC. The only reason I haven't already listed the names of the enterprise client-server features in this article is that I know your aversion to increasing the length of this article. Unfortunately, because I run only a dinky home installation of Retrospect, I don't actually use any of the enterprise features myself. Therefore I am totally unqualified to decide which are the "more important" features; I can only judge by what my friend has seen on the Retrospect Inc. forums. For example there is a senior IT tech at the Texas A&M College of Engineering (unusually, he posted his name and employer) who is really worried because Retrospect Windows takes 18 hours to do a full-volume scan of his large NAS; he would love to use pre-scanning, but it doesn't work because the Isilon NAS runs a FreeBSD-derived OS instead of a Retrospect client under Windows or macOS . For another example, there is a tech who has spent months writing her own Bash shell scripts using the Script Hooks feature—which she has helped debug—to output backup events for her Windows and Mac clients as a file from her Mac backup server; she doesn't want to use any of the three monitoring systems for which Retrospect Inc. has already written shell scripts in the appropriate languages. Thus I think I'll have to name all the 11 features that are left, once I exclude (because they're already mentioned as small-group features) "Multi-threaded backup server" and "E-mailing of notifications" and also "Avid production tool support" (because—as I've said in the "Backup" Talk page—I'm not yet sure whether Retrospect's adding of this feature is prescient for enterprise use or just a goodie for backup administrators at Mac video-producing installations). I will not include any detail—let the reader look that up in the links and refs, and I promise not to say whether these are "most" or "almost all" of the features. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 01:40, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
Well, just don't say which are the most important. Then you can just list a few ("including"), using your editorial judgment. No one will complain about a list like that! JohnInDC (talk) 02:12, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
I ended up listing the names of 12 features, which included the 11 I had planned plus advanced network client support—added because I decided support for multiple network interfaces is vital for an enterprise with multiple LANs or a WAN. However they only took 5.1 lines on my screen. BTW, in my "03:52, 29 November 2017 (UTC)" comment I didn't mean to disparage your "03:53, 28 November 2017 (UTC)" comment that "in the future [my emphasis] the article may be written or revised entirely without reference to Retrospect, or NetBackup." It's just a difference of opinion as to how soon that future will come. I agree that the third-party refs for that section of the "Backup" article are fairly meager; I couldn't find better ones. Therefore for some years I expect that references to first-party articles from multiple developers will also be needed to support the necessity of the features described in that article section. And finally their necessity will become "received wisdom", as I think happened by 8 years ago for the discussions in other sections of the "Backup" article—which IMHO is why those discussions are allowed to exist with so few references. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 03:48, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
And now an "Enterprise client-server features" section formatting question, JohnInDC: The link to the same-named sub-section of the new section in the "Backup" article is in the words that follow "For" and precede the comma at the beginning of each sentence, except for the first sentence, in the article section. I saw no point in repeating the link for each feature name within a sentence; the link would be to exactly the same "Backup" sub-section. It would make the section read a lot better if each sentence was formatted as a separate list item. That would add about 3 screen lines to the section, because I could eliminate the words "For" and "these include" in each sentence. The question is whether I should use an unordered or description list. Description lists, which are used in all sections and sub-sections of the "Backup" article, would add an additional 3 or 4 lines to the section because they bold each item name and put it on a separate line from the rest of the item. I now think I'm immediately going to format the section as a description list and see how you like it; if it's too many lines, it'll be about two minutes work to reformat the section as an unordered list. The immediately-preceding "Small-group features" section is an unordered list. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 09:06, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
I reformatted the features in the section as a description list. That added 4 screen lines, but actually decreased the number of words—as I predicted in my "09:06, 30 November 2017 (UTC)" comment. The section looks great; it's much less "busy" as the interior design mavens used to say. I hadn't heard from JohnInDC that he doesn't like it, so I did the same for the "Small-group features" section of the article. That added 5 screen lines, but again decreased the number of words. I considered doing the same for the Add-Ons list in the "Editions and Add-Ons" section, but I rejected that idea because the items in that list work better as an unordered (bulleted) list—which they are now. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 10:25, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
JohnInDC, this morning you reverted my edit, saying "Undid revision 813868251 by DovidBenAvraham (talk) - no, this is implicit. They're blue. People know to click on them." Well, when we're talking about description list headers—which are bolded, you're totally and completely wrong. If you can see any real color difference between the bolded headers in the "Small-group features" section—which do not have any links with the exception of "Success validation"—and the bolded headers in the "Enterprise client-server features" section—which do all have links, then it may not be too late for you to let your keen eyesight qualify you for a career as a major league baseball pitcher. Blue just isn't very visible over bolded black lettering.
Just to verify most people's inability to see blue over bolded black, we've already inadvertently run a one-person test. The test was run on 4 December 2017, in this section of the Talk page for the "Backup" article. The test subject should be very familiar; it's you yourself. At 11:53 you wrote "I also don't think that Avid production support needs to be singled out. First it's not clear what's problematic about that one application that it needs its own special backup processes." At 13:14 I replied "If you'd just clicked the first three words of the bolded item title on the "Avid production tool support" item, you would have been transported to Media Composer (I changed the link yesterday from Avid Technology to make it clear to the truly ignorant). There you would have been greeted with ...." At 14:23 I wrote "Your mistake this morning, which resulted in your replacing a clunky subsection title with an inappropriate one, shows that the idea of looking for a link in the bolded item header of a description list is not obvious to all readers. Therefore ... I intend later today to add a parenthetical clause that essentially says 'To see the description of the features in a particular list item below, click on the bolded item header.'"
My intention of 14:23, 4 December 2017 is the change you just reverted. Given that it is unquestionably proper to put links to the descriptions of the "Enterprise client-server features" into that section, I can see only two possible alternatives. One alternative, which I have heretofore rejected because it is an idiotic waste of WP disk space, would be to copy the links in each bolded header into the name of each feature underneath that header. That's idiotic because every link in a feature name underneath a header would be exactly the same, since WP doesn't allow me to create links to anything smaller than a sub-section in an article. The other alternative is the parenthetical clause you reverted, which would make the current non-duplicated links solely in the bolded headers work for people without extraordinary color vision. It's up to you, JohnInDC; which alternative do you want? DovidBenAvraham (talk) 23:21, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
I can see the difference pretty easily. If you think visibility is a problem, reformat the lists to show italic. Moreover, color isn't the only cue to a link: When the mouse pointer is hovered over a link, the pointer changes shape and the text shows as underscored. These are standard Wikipedia conventions that work find throughout the encyclopedia. Editors supply the links, and people reading the article in Wikipedia, on computers or phones, know to look for and to click those links. Mirrored sites may not connect the links to their targets, and hard copy printouts (yes it happens) can't use the links at all; and text referring people to links that they can't use is undesirable. Explicit reference to article hyperlinks, as such, just isn't done in article space, so please don't do it here. (As for the Avid example you offer, I saw the link, and I clicked the link to see if it told me anything more than what I already knew - namely what Avid is - which it didn't.) The section is fine the way it is. JohnInDC (talk) 00:36, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I switched them to italics. If you don't like that look then they could also be plain text, or bulleted, or some other format that doesn't obfuscate the wikilinks. JohnInDC (talk) 00:42, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

It took a while but I found it: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Self-references to avoid; also Mystery_meat_navigation#"Click_here". JohnInDC (talk) 00:55, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
Here are some ideas for list formats - not sure which might be suitable for lists with a bit of narrative included, but maybe some are: Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Lists#Bulleted_lists. JohnInDC (talk) 00:59, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
A funny thing happened late last night, JohnInDC. My regular desktop computer, a MacBook Pro laptop, really went on the fritz (the screen went all weird and I can't turn it off). I therefore proceeded to do a restore of its Retrospect backup this morning onto a portable hard drive. While I was waiting for the restore to complete (it has to systematically delete all files already on the drive, and then the restore takes about 2.5 hours), I fired up Firefox on my Mac Pro backup server and prepared to give you hell for turning the bolded list item headings into italic—since the ones with links were just as non-blue as before. But viewed on the Mac Pro they are blue, and so are the bolded ones when I go back to the old versions via View History. Therefore what I thought was a problem with Wikipedia actually seems to have been some kind of problem with viewing blue on my MacBook Pro. I will therefore, when I get the chance after taking in my MacBook Pro for repair, revert the article to what it was before I put in the parenthetical phrase you objected to—since that phrase is really not necessary for other readers. I'm sorry for my acerbic comment yesterday. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 06:17, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
Hah, that's pretty funny. Thanks. Apology accepted, no problem. JohnInDC (talk) 11:53, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
This has gone from funny to weird. On Wednesday 6 December I took my MacBook Pro to the repair shop; the logic board was dead (and the machine is so old that Apple has stopped providing replacement parts), so I bought a new MBP to replace it. Meanwhile I was booting my Mac Pro, which is normally my Retrospect backup server, from the portable HDD Retrospect restore of my old MBP to try to carry on business as usual. Using Firefox from there, the links on this article do not show as blue. However using Safari (Apple's built-into-macOS browser) from that same boot drive, the links show as blue. They also show as blue when I boot my Mac Pro from its normal drive and use Firefox or Safari from there. And, now that I've got my new MBP migrated from the portable HDD Retrospect restore of my old MBP, the links still do not show as blue from Firefox on my new MBP, but they do show as blue from Safari on the new MBP. So there seems to be something weird about my MBP's copy of Firefox, but not the same version of Firefox in general. I've looked for Firefox preferences, and even changed a couple as an experiment, but nothing seems to help. Suggestions, anyone? DovidBenAvraham (talk) 14:00, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
Preferences -> content -> colors didn't help? JohnInDC (talk) 15:16, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
The weirdness is exorcised. Two nights ago, when I looked at Firefox's General Preferences, I experimented with changing the default font under Fonts & Colors, but failed to notice the Colors button at the bottom right. Clicking that button brings up a dialog with color-chooser buttons for Unvisited Links and Visited Links. The Unvisited Links default to blue, but the Visited Links default to black. I've now changed Visited Links to purple, which distinguishes them from blue but doesn't confuse them with red links. The reason the links were showing as blue in my Mac Pro normal boot disk's copy of Firefox is that I don't do any WP reading on that machine (the main reason I installed Firefox on it was to check LAN connectivity—if it can see the Web then its connectivity through switches and MoCA adapters to the modem in the other room is OK—back when Safari wasn't so good), so I don't visit any links from it. Safari doesn't have any Links color Preferences at all. Thanks, JohnInDC. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 19:46, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
Edited JohnInDC's pseudo-lists that used italic headings back to description lists, now that I'm satisfied those will show Visited Links in a color other than black in my main computer's copy of Firefox. I used the term "revert" in describing the edits, but I actually manually copied the item headings back from an old version so I wouldn't lose GünniX's Space Patrol changes of underscores to spaces on the pre-vertical-bar side of links. BTW I knew what unordered (bulleted) lists were last year, used them in the old versions of the article, and still use one in the "Editions and Add-Ons" section. But description lists are more suited to the preceding sections. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 03:33, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
Saturday is my big backup day, when I do full Retrospect backups of all 6 drives. I took that opportunity this afternoon to do a bit more testing of the article using my Mac Pro backup server's normal boot drive copy of Firefox. I have not yet changed that copy's Visited Links color preference from black to purple, so that when I clicked a link in the article and then went back to it its color had changed from blue to black. The underscoring still shows on a visited link, but the underscoring is then quite difficult to see on a visited link that has bolded text—such as the heading for a description list. I therefore feel more justified about my "23:21, 5 December 2017 (UTC)" comment; I of course had visited all of the description list heading links to test them as soon as I created them, and I frequently don't bother to switch to my computer glasses when doing editing. So the problem I uncovered here, with JohnInDC's advice, is really a human-factors conflict between Wikipedia's description links facility and Firefox's default for its Visited Links coloring. DovidBenAvraham (talk) 21:10, 9 December 2017 (UTC)