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Re: Is there really no way to keep the file modification time intact?

From: Frans Knibbe <frans_at_geodan.nl>
Date: 2007-02-27 15:06:50 CET

Matt Sickler wrote:
> Sorry if I sound ignorant, but what does it really matter about the
> modification time of a file?
> What tools use it and why?
First of all, I think it is a matter of principle. I think no
information should be lost if I change the storage of my files. Of
course, you could argue that the file modification time is not really
part of the file itself, but some kind of metadata that can or can not
be kept in the file system. I tend to view the file modification date as
a file attribute, just like the name for example. I also do not want the
name of my files to change or to disappear when I copy or move them.

I really don't know which tools use the time and which don't. There
probably are a few that use file modification time in some way. I know
for sure my brain uses the file modification time. For example, if I see
a file that was last modified in 1999, I know for sure that there aren't
any calls to Windows Vista functions in that code. Also, I sort files on
modification time a lot, just to see which files were recently edited.
> On 2/26/07, *Frans Knibbe* < frans@geodan.nl <mailto:frans@geodan.nl>>
> wrote:
> Hello,
> I have seen the subject pass by a few times in this list: subversion
> changes the file (modification) time to the commit time when you put a
> file in the repository. It is not possible to override this
> behaviour. I
> think is a fundamental problem with subversion. Whether I copy the
> file
> to another location, or compress it in an archive, or put it in a
> subversion repository, the time the file was last modified should not
> change. In other words: I think subversion should not tamper with
> files
> it stores. I want my files to come back exactly like they were when I
> put them in the repository. And that includes the time of the last
> modification.
> Now I have found that this problem is already an offcial issue. Its
> number is 1256
> (http://subversion.tigris.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=1256). But the
> issue has remained unresolved for a long time. I see it has now been
> postponed to version 1.5. I do hope this bug really gets solved soon.
> But I really can not wait for version 1.5. My organization is moving
> from another source control system to SVN and I have to write an
> importer. As it is now, it seems that all the files in the repository
> will wind up with the file time set to the moment they are handled by
> the importer. That means that a lot of useful and maybe vital
> information will get lost.
> Does anyone know of a way to put files in a subversion repository with
> the file time intact?
> Regards,
> Frans
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Frans Knibbe
Geodan S&R
President Kennedylaan 1
1079 MB Amsterdam (NL)
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Fax: +31 (0)20 - 5711 333
E-mail: frans.knibbe@geodan.nl
Website: www.geodan.nl
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Received on Tue Feb 27 15:09:28 2007

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