How-To: Working with Development Previews

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Your data hasn't disappeared: development previews store their data in a different place. Details here.

Postby Nicholas » 03-30-14 1:20 am

If you'd like to check out the latest Synthesia has to offer, the most recent development preview is always available from the pink box at the top of this page.

Tips for better preview experiences

Here be dragons: Development previews may crash! That's alright. To get more pairs of eyes on the code is the reason these are available. Just be sure to post what you were doing when the crash happened and you'll be helping to make Synthesia better. Thanks!

Development previews store their data in a different location than official versions! The first time you run a preview, it may look like all your data has been wiped out (including your unlock key). Never fear: everything is safe. Previews use a different location just in case there are bugs that could corrupt your real data. Storing things separately is a little less convenient, but much safer!

Here's the process to copy your "real" data over to the development preview location:

  1. Hold shift while starting Synthesia to open the configuration window. Click the "Open Data Folder" button.
  2. Close the configuration window!
  3. Navigate up one folder so you can see "Synthesia" (and "SynthesiaDev" assuming you've run a dev preview at least once).
  4. Delete any "SynthesiaDev" folder that is present.
  5. Copy and paste the "Synthesia" folder, then rename it to "SynthesiaDev".
That should be it. Now development previews should start with the same data (scores, folders, unlock, and everything else) as your official version... but your real data won't be in any danger.
Nicholas
 
Posts: 11429

Postby Fr3dY » 03-31-14 8:19 am

Hi!

When upgrading to a stable version... do we have to overwrite the 'real' data with the (up-to-date) 'dev' folder too?
Fr3dY
 
Posts: 8

Postby Nicholas » 03-31-14 11:12 am

That's optional, but should be safe to do.

I was imagining a scenario where you'd be using development previews briefly as an experimental "let's see what's new" kind of thing before returning to your stable install. If instead you start using that preview exclusively until the next stable release goes out the door, then yes, you'd want to shuttle the contents of that folder back and forth.

(At that point it's a little inconvenient. Sorry!)
Nicholas
 
Posts: 11429

Postby DanClark » 03-31-14 2:55 pm

When compared with the huge advantage of keeping configuration nice and separate, the inconvenience of shuttling contents back and forth is miniscule! (IMO, of course.) Thank you for adding this feature.
DanClark
 
Posts: 39

Postby Fr3dY » 04-01-14 9:36 am

Maybe you could make the stable installers to ask the user if they want to update data with the 'dev' contents (if newer) automatically, or something like that ;)
Fr3dY
 
Posts: 8

Postby Nicholas » 04-01-14 12:21 pm

That might be helpful for Windows users. (The Mac side doesn't have an installer -- you just drag the icon to your Applications folder.)

Although I'd worry about adding complexity to the "public" side of things. In general, forum/preview users are much(!) more sophisticated than the average Synthesia user. I've already been worrying that the 4 or so clicks/decisions it takes to install Synthesia are far too many. On tablets it's a single tap. I'm wondering if the Windows installer shouldn't adopt that as its goal.
Nicholas
 
Posts: 11429

Postby 613Skier » 07-19-14 1:28 pm

I finally figured out how to do this,

Big red flashing text saying your data didn't disapperared would helped ;)
613Skier
 
Posts: 49

Postby Nicholas » 07-20-14 2:33 pm

It's in bold in the red box at the top of every screen in this section of the forum, and all three previews that have used the new system included a big, red line of text saying almost exactly your suggestion. :lol:
Nicholas
 
Posts: 11429

Postby 613Skier » 09-24-14 10:00 pm

I don't know man, between updates I keep needing to reenter my keycode, the configurations don't carry over, and this time around I seem to have lost my scores I figured it out once before, but needing to do it everytime is wearing on me.
613Skier
 
Posts: 49

Postby Nicholas » 09-24-14 10:33 pm

With any luck, the copy-over should just be required one time. After that, dev previews will always use the data in SynthesiaDev and the official version will always use the data in Synthesia. So long as you're not deleting those folders between versions, I've been successfully using the same SynthesiaDev folder for every single preview since the split without having to re-enter unlock keys (except the very first time).
Nicholas
 
Posts: 11429


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