Just to warn you, this is a bit of a rant. The complaint below is aimed at the Evolution and OpenOffice.org combination that just screwed me, but is equally applicable to Outlook/Word since I’ve done the same thing there. This is an instance of just plain piss poor design, IMO.
Maybe you’ve done this too: you receive a document via email which you’re supposed to edit and make changes to. When you go to open it, the document launches seamlessly and in a second or two you’re happily editing away. Unbeknownst to you, the copy you’ve just opened is not a permanent file per se, but rather a temporary version typically located in a temp file directory located under the email client directory. Thinking you’re being very conscientious, you save then exit. The bad news? That document that you saved is as likely as not to be lost when you come back, because the temp directory you saved it to axed it.
I didn’t lose a dissertation or anything, but I did lose about an hour and a half’s work on a document with an upcoming due date. While the situation was clearly preventable, as I know how this works, I shouldn’t have to. There are two obvious approaches: don’t open documents for editing in a temp directory (or at least provide a warning), or have the office suite look for a temp directory on save and provide a warning then. Because while I know just where I went wrong, I have to believe there are thousands of people out there that don’t know how this works, and believe that their work has somehow just vanished into the ether.
I don’t care who solves this problem – PIM or office suite or both – but it really needs to be solved. The fact that this occurs on multiple products on multiple platforms, to me, is just sad.
Anyway, sorry for the rant. Just really frustrating.