Beyond Pika Backup 0.3

Pika Backup is an app focused on backups for personal data for the average user. It’s internally based on borg-backup and provides fast incremental backups.

With version 0.3 out of the door, it’s time to look at the future of Pika Backup.

By far the most requested feature is support for scheduled backups. Using borg-backup as backend, even hourly backups should be no problem in many circumstances. If only Pika would support it. While the basic concept for scheduled backups is clear, the devil is in the detail. There is a huge potential for grinding somebody gears with a flood of notifications while it’s equally dangerous to let backups silently fail too often. Also, there are metered connections, laptops running on batteries, USB devices that are not connected, people that are travelling and so much more. Therefore, the main task is to find a set of rules for all of these cases with different setups that work well. I also loosely experimented with collecting Ā»user storiesĀ« to get some insight into more use cases. This already turned out to be quite valuable while creating some connections to the people that are using Pika Backup. I really liked like the approach so far šŸ™‚

Another feature that is sorely missing is a proper support for recovery. It’s a feature that’s causing me headaches. What if you want to migrate to a new computer and your uid has changed? How to read your data from an ext3 drive? What do we do if the username has changed? Those are very basic and valid use cases but they will probably need some plumbing. However, achieving a recovery dialog that greets you with your Avatar and your old user name, is a goal that keeps me motivating. Just imagine the relieve if a user sees a dialog like this after their hard drive failed.

Tentative Design for a Ā»Migration AppĀ« by Jakub Steiner (2020)

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