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Re: Subversion, binary files, hex editors and file modification?time

From: Peter Samuelson <peter_at_p12n.org>
Date: 2007-06-17 04:18:08 CEST

[Ph. Marek]
> Well, it depends on the usage.
> There are some programs that use the mtime to detect which version of a file
> should be taken (ie. which is "newer"), and if you only want to patch a few
> bytes inside, a hex editor might be the easiest way.

It boils down to the question: what does mtime mean? Does it mean the
last time the file was modified, not counting things like backup/
restore? Or is it supposed to be a field used purely for human
information, set to a time that humans might or might not consider
sensible based on other context? (Such as "copied/converted/compiled/
stripped/paraphrased from a file whose mtime was...")

Not everyone agrees on the answer (or which of the above verbs would
justify a new mtime), but I think most of _us_ agree that mtime should
only mean what it means to the OS - set by default when a file is
copied or modified, only overridden in very special circumstances.
(Well, MS-DOS doesn't change the mtime on file copy, but to me that's

Received on Sun Jun 17 04:18:15 2007

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