We are upgrading our software, and two parts of the software work in
very different ways. In a bid to normalise the opening of a document,
we are trying to understand what the default, or at least, the
expected method would be.

When a user re-opens a project (after making some changes to the
project), one window tells them that there have been changes made,
asks if you want to save them before opening the projects (ala
and the other just ignores the prompt to open a project (ala Word)
returns them to how they were.

I personally believe that the first route is the best, in terms of
user interaction, as they are actually told there have been changes

I regard the second as a 'lazy' way of opening a project, with
to the user not being told of changes, and the project not opening
previously saved version.

How would you expect a piece of software to interact in this case?

Many thanks.