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Re: Status of meta-data-versioning (mod time)?

From: Scott Palmer <scott.palmer_at_2connected.org>
Date: 2005-07-11 20:03:32 CEST

On 11-Jul-05, at 9:21 AM, Ben Collins-Sussman wrote:

> Once the project is in subversion's repository, tell me why you
> still care about the original timestamps. I'd like to know. The
> answer I always hear is, "I have a whole bunch of scripts that
> depend on timestamps to perform copy synchronizations!"... to which
> I'm not sympathetic.

If Subversion is going to throw away metadata that most other file
operations (most copy, ftp, http file transfers for example)
preserve, e.g. mod times, then the onus is on it to justify that.
So far the answer I always hear is, "always use subversion to track
file versions"... to which I'm not sympathetic. :-)

I have no desire or ability to force everyone and everything I
exchange data with to use Subversion exclusively. Mod times would
work fine for tracking file versions, if tools like Subversion didn't
break them (and insist they were useless in the first place because
some other tool might break them as well).

There are plenty of existing tools and/or scripts out there that do
their work based on time stamps. Subversion itself argues that
'make' only works properly if the time stamps are just so. It is the
reason often quoted for NOT tracking the file mod times... and yet it
seems the developers ignore the fact that other tools use time stamps
in similar ways and work best when the mod time is accurately tracked.

Why should everyone change their workflow to accommodate the fact
that subversion doesn't save meta-data? That "whole bunch of
scripts" may be difficult or impossible to change. Filesystems keep
track of mod times for a reason. Why does subversion assume that
reason goes away completely with a VCS in place? The OS' filesystem
is still there! You don't assume 'make' is integrated with
Subversion, why assume everything else must be?

Scott

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Received on Mon Jul 11 20:11:08 2005

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