[lug] File replace thought

Ben Burdette bburdette at comcast.net
Tue Sep 18 18:43:36 MDT 2007

Lori Reed wrote:
> Sean Reifschneider wrote:
>> On Mon, Sep 17, 2007 at 08:18:39PM -0600, Andrew Diederich wrote:
>>> What I realized is that what I /really/ want to know, is "are the
>>> files different?"  Does KDE or Gnome do something similar, or with an
>>> embedded diff call?  The next time someone on the list is designing a
>> Have you submitted this feature request to KDE or one of the other 
>> desktop
>> environments or file-managers?  If not, you should.  I don't use drag 
>> and
>> drop file management, but I think this is a really good idea.
> I really don't think you'd want this, since it more than doubles the 
> execution time to copy a file. And if you happen to have two files 
> with the same name, size, and time stamp, but are in fact different, 
> the software will still need user input as to what to do with the file 
> being copied.
> I considered this problem over 20 years ago and concluded that same 
> name, same date, and same size equals same file. I haven't, to my 
> knowledge, been stung yet.
> And most of the time, thanks to dumb-assed software like ftp, browser 
> downloads, and the cp option "-p" being not the default, same name and 
> same size almost always equals same file.
I think this is true - size and date and name == same file.  That said, 
I think the diff would be handy when you have the same name but 
different mod dates or sizes.  Then you get the replace prompt, and on 
that dialog would be a 'diff' button.  Press that button to see what the 
differences are in the files, then you can make an informed decision on 
whether to replace.  This also unobtrusively makes the noob user aware 
of the existence of a diff utility. 

So if you drop "Latest Dissertation Revision.odt" into a folder with 
another "Latest Dissertation Revision.odt", you can click diff and 
hopefully see that the one that is there has the footnotes, while the 
one you are copying has extra pages, and they need to be merged. 

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