Notes on PMT & PCP saving (Oct 9 2013)

Types of saving

local save

Happens automatically - when a change is made either on the OS, an application, or a website this change is automatically saved for this device only. Without cloud saving, a user’s device would remain exactly how it was left the last session.

One limitation of local save is that it can only be saved to a particular device -- the burden for persistence falls on the device itself. (Note: this is one reason cloud-based saving is so important).

For example:

  • A user makes a tweak to their currently applied preferences through the PCP on an ATM. The user closes the PCP and finishes the task on the ATM - logging out of their bank account. The next session with the ATM, the same preference tweaks remain.

  • A user is on their laptop. The user just opened a PDF in French but the language hasn’t been specified in the PDF. They need to make a change to the screen reader language. The user opens up the PCP and notices this isn’t an option - so they enter the PMT to find it. The user doesn’t save this adjustment to the cloud since they only temporary need it  for this one document - so they close the PMT. However, this preference is automatically locally saved to this device. If the user were to close their laptop and move to a new location and re-open the laptop, the tweak will remain. When the user is done with the French document, they to change their screen reader preference back to English. They open the PCP and make the change. In the PCP, the language preference has now been prioritized as important and added as an adjuster.

    • If the user were to change the language using the PDF view preferences, the tweak would only persist in the application.

  • A user has come across an explore tool on a website. They make some tweaks to the page using the presets. The user closes the site. During another session the user reopens the site on the same device.  The changes made earlier persist on the site.  If the user opened the same site on a different device, their tweaks would not persist.

capture & cloud save

When a user is initially entering Cloud4All they may have set up their devices and applications already to their liking. In this case, the user would capture their existing OS and application preferences and save them to the cloud, in order to apply them on other devices. The OS preferences would become their Base Set and application preferences would become context-specific preferences if they conflict with the Base Set.

Upon logging in to Cloud4All, a user would be prompted to capture if it is detected that there are modified preferences in system and application settings and/or if the user is on a personal device. This prompt happens when a user logs onto a device new to Cloud4All (or if system or app settings have been modified since the last session?).

‘Capture & cloud save’ usually happens through the PMTs when a user is logging on, but can also happen through the Explore Tools when the user decides to save to cloud. The preferences modified through the Explore Tool are captured and saved to the cloud as a new set.

cloud save

An active decision by the user to save the current modified preference to use on other specified devices/contexts.  A ‘cloud save’ usually happens through the PMTs. When a user makes a ‘cloud save’ to a set, the changes would be made automatically to any devices/contexts using the set. In the case that a device is currently using that set but has some unsaved modifications, the user would be prompted to either: overwrite with last saved versions or keep unsaved modifications.


States of sets

Notifications appear in the PMTs to indicate the status of the modified preferences:

no notification (no account created, preferences locally saved)

Before creating an account a user can try out modifying preferences using the PMT. These modifications are automatically locally saved to the current device only. In order for the user to apply the preferences to other devices they must create an account. Creating an account saves the preferences to the cloud. A user can not create an account without modifying preferences.  

set modified (preferences locally saved)

After a set has been saved to the cloud, any preference tweaks result in a modified set. These modifications are locally saved (only available in the current device), but in order to apply them to other devices a user must actively save to cloud. “Set modified” indicates to the user that they are now working with a modified (and locally-saved-only) set.

set saved (preferences cloud saved) or set applied

“Set saved” indicates that the preference adjustments in the set are applied to all devices/contexts using the current set. “Set applied” indicates that the current device is now using a cloud preference set, and any modifications saved to the cloud from the device would be applied to other devices/contexts using the same set.   

Modifying sets

In the PCPs the user can only modify preferences on the current device, while the PMTs also allow the user to modify preferences on all devices.

(question) A user can cloud-save changes made in the PCP

on current device

In either type of tool, modifying a set applied to the current device automatically saves the modifications to the current device. If a user were to use the device at a later session the same modifications would persist. However, if the user were to use another device with the same set - the modifications would not be available unless the user saves to cloud. 

on other devices

Modifying preference sets on other devices is only possible through the PMTs. Since the set is not applied to the current device, the preferences are not device saved.  A user must save any modifications if they wish to apply their changes to other devices.   Upon exiting the PMTs, the user is asked if they wish to save.  If they do not, their changes will be undone.