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Suggestion: Missing Import/Export Settings

Suggestion: Missing Import/Export Settings

Postby metal450 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:33 am

While testing the firewall, I've found myself uninstalling/reinstalling a number of times. In doing so, I've noticed that some of the settings are not included in the settings import/export, and thus need to be reconfigured manually each time. Suggestion: it would be great if they'd be included in the export too :)

These settings are:
*The state of the checkboxes on the “Settings” tab (i.e do not show balloon, low hdd activity, windows taskbar integration, etc)
*The state of the “Sync with Router” checkbox on the Port Forwarding tab
*The state of the “Computer” checkbox at the bottom
*The currently-selected mode (Normal/DisableAll/etc)
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Re: Suggestion: Missing Import/Export Settings

Postby VistaFirewallControl » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:38 am

Settings are the per-system settings, rather global settings.

>*The state of the checkboxes on the “Settings” tab (i.e do not show balloon, low hdd activity, windows taskbar integration, etc)
>*The state of the “Sync with Router” checkbox on the Port Forwarding tab
>*The state of the “Computer” checkbox at the bottom
>*The currently-selected mode (Normal/DisableAll/etc)

All the above (excepting Mode:* ) are per-user settings.
It would be hard to make exported data consistent in multi user environment.
Having 2 separate per-user and per-system backups would be confusing probably.
If you have an idea for how to combine, please share it with us.

Mode should be treated as a temporary entity to diagnose a problem or to create a specific workaround.
Taking that into account, there would be hardly a sense to include Mode: into the backup.
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Re: Suggestion: Missing Import/Export Settings

Postby metal450 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:06 am

>>It would be hard to make exported data consistent in multi user environment.

Ah - I actually wasn't aware that anything is per-user. So apps/zones settings are per-user, but those are per-system?

>>there would be hardly a sense to include Mode: into the backup.

Well, perhaps rather than include it in the backup, just not revert/overwrite the current mode when settings are imported? For instance, I'm comparing a couple configs - I have the mode on DisableAll, I import another config, & it changes itself back to "Normal."
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Re: Suggestion: Missing Import/Export Settings

Postby VistaFirewallControl » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:35 pm

>Ah - I actually wasn't aware that anything is per-user. So apps/zones settings are per-user, but those are per-system?

Apps/Zones/Domains lists are system wide.
(nearly all) Checkboxes are per-user settings as per-user UI states.



>Well, perhaps rather than include it in the backup, just not revert/overwrite the current mode when settings are imported?

Hardly possible technically at the moment.
To keep the rules consistency initial state before the import there must be “no rules” at the lowest level.
Mode:* are implemented via rules, moreover high priority rules.
Resetting the rules before the import is a batch operation that just deletes everything.
The main problem of keeping the mode related rules is we would need to delete the rules one-by-one. It takes minutes, not seconds...alas
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Re: Suggestion: Missing Import/Export Settings

Postby metal450 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:17 pm

>>Apps/Zones/Domains lists are system wide. (nearly all) Checkboxes are per-user settings as per-user UI states.

Then I suppose my suggestion would be to have the checkboxes be system wide too, like the rest of the firewall. That feels more consistent/expected anyway, no?

Though in the end, the goal is just to avoid having to configure the same "missing" setting over & over, after doing an export/import during reinstall, when moving settings between VM & main system, etc :)

>>Hardly possible technically at the moment. [...] The main problem of keeping the mode related rules is we would need to delete the rules one-by-one.

...Why not just store a single "mode flag" upon clicking Import to remember whatever the mode was, do the import exactly as now, then after it's done, check the flag & if it isn't "Normal," toggle the mode switch programmatically...?
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Re: Suggestion: Missing Import/Export Settings

Postby VistaFirewallControl » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:35 pm

>Then I suppose my suggestion would be to have the checkboxes be system wide too, like the rest of the firewall. That feels more consistent/expected anyway, no?

No. If user A prefers disable detection prompt, user B may have other preferences.
Windows is a multi-user OS.
What's about Terminal Server, for instance?

>Though in the end, the goal is just to avoid having to configure the same "missing" setting over & over, after doing an export/import during reinstall,

Why do you reinstall. Installation on-the-top preserves the settings,

>when moving settings between VM & main system, etc

Applications lists varies, so moving the entire settings between different machines is rather senseless. Or you have several absolutely equal VMs that are equal to the main PC as well?
If so, Net/Cloud Edition can distribute the programs settings, moreover it can automatically trace/fix the differences.

>...Why not just store a single "mode flag" upon clicking Import to remember whatever the mode was, do the import exactly as now, then after it's done, check the flag & if it isn't "Normal," toggle the mode switch programmatically...?

Hmm…. Maybe. Such mode switching may just cause the entire rules reapplying again.
This depends on the target mode however. So 30-40 secs import (for a big applications list) will cause another 30-40 secs delay for the following mode switching.
And please keep in mind that Modes are rather workarounds for specific cases. Mode:Normal is the main mode.
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Re: Suggestion: Missing Import/Export Settings

Postby metal450 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:00 pm

>>Why do you reinstall. Installation on-the-top preserves the settings,

For instance,
-when comparing the different editions,
-rolling a VM back to a prior snapshot,
-removing the logging build (per instructions: "to revert to the previous settings, please uninstall the logging version, install the regular version as new, import the previously exported settings"),
-More generally though, I have a document where I essentially keep track of my full system setup - every software I have installed, & how I have it configured. That way in case of a crash, theft, or just routine reformat, I can always follow the doc to get everything setup precisely as desired. For most apps, the instructions are simply "1) Install (with xxx installer options), 2) Import exported settings." For the firewall however, it's "1) Install (with xxx installer options), 2) Import exported settings, 3) Uncheck xx, 4) Check xx, 5) Check xx, 6) Uncheck xx," etc. So I just thought it would be nicer if exported settings were all-encompassing, to eliminate the need to manually reconfigure :)

>>Applications lists varies, so moving the entire settings between different machines is rather senseless.

I'd say just a matter of preference, not senseless. I have 2 machines that aren't *completely* equal, but they do have 95% overlap. So rather than maintaining two separate configs & anytime I change one I have to remember to change the other in the same way, I just have one config, I change it, I test it for a bit until I'm comfortable that I'm happy with the new config, then I export from one and import to the other. Sure, there are a couple entries in the Program list that aren't relevant to the given machine, but having them there doesn't really hurt anything & it's far easier to use this procedure than having to maintain two copies of a nearly-identical config.

Yeah, I do realize Net/Cloud has such a feature for this purpose. However, again just as a matter of preference, I prefer to explicitly make each change right from each PC's keyboard (i.e. no automatic/remote changes). Chalk it up to OCD perhaps, but I also rarely have both PCs powered on at the same time, and indeed they're often at different locations, so it's just preferable to be able to import as-needed then to need to have them both on simultaneously to push changes from one to the other, etc.
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Re: Suggestion: Missing Import/Export Settings

Postby VistaFirewallControl » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:05 pm

>-when comparing the different editions,

Install on the top

>rolling a VM back to a prior snapshot,

The prior snapshot should have WxFC already configured. Right?

>-removing the logging build (per instructions: "to revert to the previous settings, please uninstall the logging version, install the regular version as new, import the previously exported settings"),

Can be on the top as well. The version is the same.

-More generally though, I have a document where I essentially keep track of my full system setup - every software I have installed, & how I have it configured. That way in case of a crash, theft, or just routine reformat, I can always follow the doc to get everything setup precisely as desired. For most apps, the instructions are simply "1) Install (with xxx installer options), 2) Import exported settings." For the firewall however, it's "1) Install (with xxx installer options), 2) Import exported settings, 3) Uncheck xx, 4) Check xx, 5) Check xx, 6) Uncheck xx," etc. So I just thought it would be nicer if exported settings were all-encompassing, to eliminate the need

So you have crashes in volume, need to import the settings 10 times a day and always with Mode!=Normal? Really? (all the rest setting are per-user, so a different subject)
And why you could not make the entire backup and restore everything at once?


> then I export from one and import to the other. Sure, there are a couple entries in the Program list that aren't relevant to the given machine, but having them there doesn't really hurt anything & it's far easier to use this procedure than having to maintain two copies of a nearly-identical config.

Once again, you make such synchronization 10 times a day under Mode!=Normal?


Maybe it would be just more suitable to backup/restore
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\sphinx-soft\Vista-Wall
And
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\sphinx-soft\Vista-Wall
And restart after that?

Or use the portable version that keeps all the settings in a set of files.
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Re: Suggestion: Missing Import/Export Settings

Postby metal450 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:20 pm

Yes, often when I import, Mode != Normal, & I re-set the state after the import reverts it. No, I don't do any of these "10 times a day."

While I have responses to each of these, I'm not sure why this discussion has veered off into trying to prove/disprove each specific example of why I might think it would be valuable for "Export Settings" to export all of the settings. It's just a suggestion, so feel free to take it or leave it. Summary: From the perspective of a user (not the developer), it felt unusual for some settings to be missing or unaffected after an import, and yes, I have manually reconfigured them a number of times. I don't at all doubt that there are other workarounds to achieve similar results, like manually backing up the registry or using portable editions. But my suggestion, that I think a "complete" import/export would be more user-friendly & intuitive, remains the same.
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Re: Suggestion: Missing Import/Export Settings

Postby VistaFirewallControl » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:18 am

The questions from our side are pretty explainable.
We have no unlimited resources/budget to implement all the suggested features unconditionally, in spite of how useful the features may look to you personally.
So we are trying to realize your usage scenario and perceive how useful the suggested feature could be for the other users.
If your usage scenario is typical the priority to implement the feature will be increased.
If the usage scenario looks unique enough we are trying to ask for the details, just to be sure we have not missed something important.
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