UI for saving workflows as xml is confusing
The following comments were relayed to me by a group of users running Kepler 1.0, and trying 2.x for the first time:
There are separate Save As and Export items in the File menu. If I want to save my workflow as xml, why can't I do this using Save As? The Save As file dialog has a combobox for file type, but only provides one choice.
Once a workflow has been saved as xml, File->Save and command-s / control-s do not resave the workflow to xml, which can lead to loss of changes to a workflow. Even more confusing is if the workflow is saved as xml, and no changes are made, a Save Changes dialog pops up when closing the window.
#1 Updated by Matt Jones almost 10 years ago
We discussed this extensively before 2.1. My 2 cents:
The main issue is that the xml format is incomplete and does not include critical information that is found in a KAR file, so it is lossy. Consequently, we decided that creating the xml file was really an export function, as it involves a lossy conversion to a format that is not the native kepler format for saving workflows (kar). By placing this function under export, it makes it clear that it is not the native format, and that an import will be needed to get it back in kepler, and that some information may be lost. File-Save and ctrl-s save changes to the current KAR file, and are not mechanisms to export the XML.
Also, after exporting, the KAR should still be marked as dirty, as the native kar format for the workflow hasn't been saved. So it is appropriate that it prompts the user to save the changes in the KAR file.
If we wanted the XML format to be the native format for kepler, then it would need to support all saved artifacts from all modules, and not just the MoML. We decided earlier that this would be hard and wouldn't gain us anything over using an archival format like KAR.