On Sat, Sep 18, 2004 at 10:12:44PM -0400, Scott Palmer wrote:
> 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
I didn't say modification time was useless, I said (or at least meant
to imply) that using it for determining the version of a file is
> > 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.
But the operating system that most of the world is using does, in fact,
allow you to have version resources in its executables/sharedlibs that
are accessible to end users. Documents can have the version number in
them. It's very rare that there isn't some form of versioning available
for a file format. If you are reduced to some sort of checksum, then
presumably you have or can generate a version<->checksum table.
> 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.
It's entirely possible that my client base was far more likely to
transfer the files than is usual, as the final destination machine was
almost never directly accessible. Thus my extreme distrust of file
timestamps for version determination.
Well, I'm obviously not going to convince you, and you're not going to
convince me, and I'm sure everyone else is tired of this.
"Outlook not so good." That magic 8-ball knows everything! I'll ask
about Exchange Server next.
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Received on Mon Sep 20 17:57:35 2004