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Re: Subversion erase original date of files ??

From: Scott Palmer <scott.palmer_at_2connected.org>
Date: 2004-09-19 04:12:44 CEST

On Sep 18, 2004, at 1:50 PM, Steve Greenland wrote:

> On Fri, Sep 17, 2004 at 09:18:40PM -0400, Scott Palmer wrote:
>> On Sep 17, 2004, at 5:05 PM, Steve Greenland wrote:
>> But it is precisely the fault of Subversion an other software to
>> *preserve* the timestamps that causes this very problem!!!!!
> It's not just "broken" software.

Well, I think it is most of the time.

> Okay, in a perfect world, they might be fine. But it's not, and it's
> not going to be any time soon, so (IMO) pretending that the timestamps
> mean anything w.r.t version just causes pain.

It doesn't matter - it is one of the visible properties that
non-techies are shown about a file on pretty much every OS I've used.
And it's meaning (to them) is clear. You could just as easily ask why
does the system keep track of the modification time at all if it is so
It's not MY fault that the OS shows people a modification date for
files and they believe it. So the best thing to do seems to be to not
bugger it up, so that it can be trusted more often than not. Simply
because it WILL be trusted more often than not.

> If you really can't set
> a version resource somewhere in the file, then 'md5sum filename' is
> not much harder to type than 'ls -l filename', and a whole lot more
> reliable.

Except that it is meaningless to most people (non-techies), doesn't run
on the operating system that most of the world is using, and gives you
no idea (regardless of how reliable it might be) of whether a file is
newer or older.

>> I've got you beat by almost 5 years. :)
> And you still believe timestamps? :-) Well, all I can say is our
> experiences differ.

I am well aware of the problems that *might* happen with timestamps.
My experience has shown that they don't happen all that much. Though
you do need to take care with how file transfers are done.

Smart people may do stupid things with computers because they are not
in a position to understand the details that would affect their
otherwise reasonable logic. As developers making the software that
those people use, it is our job to make software that works well for
them. Saying "you're an idiot for trusting the timestamp" and ignoring
the issue is not the solution.


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Received on Sun Sep 19 04:13:15 2004

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