I've just read on that exporting to RDF is not an exact copy of my library. I don't know what will be different, maybe someone can explain to me.

However, there should be a "backup my library" option in the settings.
  • This is very unlike to happen for many reasons: 1) There is no reason not to backup your entire use profile which will cover Zotero as well. 2) Zotero storage provides an option for off-site backups already. 3) The user guide that you point to explains how to locate the data directory so that you can do a manual backup if you want to.

    What would you like the "backup up my library" option to do?
  • We don't consider Zotero sync to be equivalent to a backup, but I'd say the main argument against this is that in 2013 there's no excuse for most people not to be doing automated backups of their entire hard drives or home directories. Manual, selective backups don't get done. People should use the automated backup software that is (hopefully) built into their OS.

    (Also, every program shouldn't need to implement its own backup function. Automated backups should take care of most people, and for anyone else this would be just be a lot of delicate code (dealing with security software, etc.) to replicate something that can be done more reliably in ten seconds in the file manager.)
  • exporting to RDF is not an exact copy of my library. I don't know what will be different, maybe someone can explain to me
    In theory it should be nearly identical, but there can be bugs that result in things being omitted or changed. At the very least, all Date Added/Modified times will be reset, you'll get duplicates if you end up syncing multiple computers that imported the same data, you'll possibly lose links to citations in word processor documents...
  • As was said in an earlier thread, the price of a second large-capasity hard drive is US$100 to $150. I know of no OS that was released in the past 4 years that doesn't have reliable automatic back-up built-in. I use Mac OS 10 and the silly sounding Time Machine is more than wonderful. Modern back-up software is not just for crashes. These systems allow you to go back to an earlier version of a file 5 minutes ago, 5 hours, 5 days, 5 weeks, etc. The three or four times I've used Time Machine have allowed me to do in 2 or 3 minutes what would have required several hours. Automated back- up is a (work) life changer. A good backup is like the ultimate undo.
  • while for pure backup purposes, whole system backups are possibly superior, I still think we should make migrating a library to another computer or a fresh system install more user friendly than it is now. it's somewhere on my todo list, but I don't think it's anywhere close to the top.
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