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Re: Keeping last-modified dates

From: Mike Brenner <mikeb_at_mitre.org>
Date: 2006-08-29 15:54:15 CEST

While many ftp servers do destroy the date,
you can tar/zip before ftp-ing, or you can rcp.

Under WINDOWS, the copy command does not destroy
the date modified (although it does destroy
the date created).

I disagree that modification dates "are fairly
useless". I often use modification data as
an quick method of guessing the contents of files.

In many configuration management systems
the modification date serves as important

Changing the data on a file strongly
implies that the content has changed.
When software gets more complex, we
need to know whether we have the original
version of a file or the changed version.

Stability and debugging often depend on
having an original, unmodified file
for everything except the unit under test.

We should evolve subversion towards
keeping the modified date.

Gavin Lambert wrote:
> Quoth Andrew Webb <mailto:andrew.microi@gmail.com>:
>> Speaking generally, I feel that any system that stores or
>> transmits or otherwise deals with files should honour the
>> contract of last-modified times. I.e. the time on a file
>> should be the last time its contents were changed. The fact
>> that I can import files into SVN and then export them and
>> lose that information seems wrong and unnecessary. To be
>> honest it's created a bad first impression, and I will have
>> to check with colleagues that this is lack is OK and that we
>> all still want to go ahead with Subversion. In all other
>> aspects Subversion seems excellent, and lives up to its
>> glowing reputation.
> When you 'svn export', you are creating new files, which, naturally
> enough, have both creation and modification dates set to the time
> they're created. Where's the problem?
> Uploading/downloading files from FTP or web servers results in the same
> behaviour. Even copy/move on the local OS can sometimes do the same
> thing.
> Modification dates are fairly useless as a measure of anything
> interesting. It doesn't take a lot to make a file change its date.

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Received on Tue Aug 29 16:07:39 2006

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