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Re: copied graphics become grey boxes - Reply

On Tue, 27 Oct 1998 15:29:09 -0600, Paul Schulte <paul.k.schulte@medtronic.com>

>From: Dina Davidson <DinaD@Xantrex.com>
>Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 10:44:30 -0800
>> You *absolutely must* import graphics only by reference.
>> There is no other workaround.  Importing by copying is a very
>> bad idea under all circumstances.  Just don't do it.  Sorry.
>Jeremy, please explain.  I have a manager who is reluctant to import
>graphics by reference because of such a system's extra file maintenance

There's not a whole lot to add.  When you import by copying, you are
subject to the total loss of the imported graphic at any time.  You
will have no warning and there is no recovery.  It happens with all
platforms, in all versions since at least 3.x, and with all formats.
That's why I say there is no workaround; there isn't.  It's simple.
This feature is broken.  Note that pasting is the same as import by
copying; makes no difference to the risk.

The risk seems to be higher when graphics are large and workstation
memory is small, but there are no values at which safety is assured.

I fully appreciate the reluctance on the part of managers to deal
with this fact.  Denial is much easier, right up until the day it
happens to you, and you have no backup plan...  Since the problem
appears to happen when the file is saved, without any sign of the
trouble, when you open the document and see it you may not have
an undamaged copy left.  What about your auto backup, you ask?
Fine, if the damage didn't happen before it was made; but it's
real easy to open a doc, edit something, and close it without
ever going to an affected page, and therefore without knowing
anything is wrong.  By the time you *do* see it, you may be many
backups removed from the last good copy.  Recovery from a system
backup, if you have one, may be your only recourse, and it may
be a very old copy you get back.

<more snippage>
>In the past, due to limitations in systems, we had no choice but to copy
>the graphics in instead of importing by reference. 
>Because of the multiplicity of systems and graphics types, I cannot always
>agree with Jeremy's blanket statement. If we choose to build up the
>document management systems capable of handling every situation (and none
>of them out there seem able to do this with the complexities inherent in
>Win95, Mac, and several flavors of Unix), then we can chose to migrate
>towards such a blanket statement. But we have suffered no ill-consequences
>and profited from NOT following such advice.

Many of those who have played Russian Roulette could say the same... <g>

>Jeremy's advice works well for many situations. It just doesn't fit this

I'd love to hear of better advice.  Constant backups, all maintained (not
overwritten) for long periods, would be one possibility, but the amount of
disk space required would be very large, and the discipline exacting.  No
matter how much you want copied-in graphics to work, they just don't.  As
long as you understand that risk, and are prepared to accept the loss when,
not if, it happens, go right ahead and do it.  I do not have that luxury,
myself; such a loss could be devastating.  So I import by reference...

-- Jeremy H. Griffith, at Omni Systems Inc.
   (jeremy@omsys.com)     http://www.omsys.com/
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