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Re: alt-duplicate in ztw

Posted By: Walter Rassbach <>
Date: Monday, 13 July 1998, at 12:04 a.m.

In Response To: Re: alt-duplicate in ztw (Ken Meece)

I agree that doing a Prune followed by a new copy is slower, but, at least for
me, I have found I occasionally make errors unless I use something that is
utterly mechanical (plus, I am usually in the middle of something and am just
protecting myself from another error -- a mechanical solution reduces the load
on my feeble/overworked brain...). If I understand what you are looking for
it is a mechanical solution that doesn't involve recopying everything...

My only real problem with that is that I don't really trust file date/time
stamps much anymore, having been burnt a few times (and it VERY expensive
when it happens!). When I do try to do what (I think) you are trying to
accomplish, I do the following:

1) Tag the two branches (or everything on a Zip/Jaz...)

2) Do a ctrl-G

3) Do an alt-F4 and untag the result

4) I now have a tagged list of differences

Alternatively, the directory view alt-C does most of it but doesn't pick up
backdated versions, just new/unique. The other thing I do is that I keep
the Archive flags turned off on almost everything and can then identify
changed files easily... -- In other words, I use a variety of methods which
vary depending on circumstances and which provide multiple coverage...

So, I agree, something mechanical to do the job in one or two steps would be
nice if it addressed the concerns about inaccurate file time/date stamps (and,
inaccurate file attribute flags) and those regarding automatic deletion of
files in the target (that will probably always make me uncomfortable, it is at
least as dangerous as PRUNE and somewhat less obvious about being dangerous!)

Although it would be nice to have such a function in ZTree, I have seen a
number of Free-/Cheap-ware tools out on the net which purport to do just what
you are looking for... Although I expect that Kim would probably do a better
job, there is the question of whether we should ask him to his tight &
valuable time to reinvent a wheel (albeit, he would probably give us radials)

Rather than going for a full-blown function, there are maybe a few things
with wider applicability which might help, such as:

1) Options on directory level alt-Compare, like those on Compare, which let

one specify which files to tag: Older/Newer/Unique/Identical
2) Some kind of support for SUBST from within ZTree or a new directory level

command which says to treat a branch as if it were a drive, opening it

in a new window (logging should be quick!), etc.
3) A quick, internal form of file compare (rather than JFC) which just

determines whether two files are identical or not (e.g., byte-by-byte

to first difference or by using CRCs).
4) A way of "logging", displaying, and comparing CRCs -- Logging would

take a while since one has to read through ALL of the data, but I have

even old DOS programs which manage it at disk speed... Along the same

lines, a way of extracting and displaying "version info" for EXEs, DLLs,

etc. would be nice, but has the same problem of a long and expensive

logging process... My personal preference would be for such information

to be displayed in place of the time (and/or date) fields in the file

display as a variant of the alt_FileDisplay command, rather than on an

alt-Info panel, since I want to be able to see more than one at a time...

There are probably a lot of other such enhancements (anyone out there?), so
I would like to suggest that we get a discussion going and do some real
analysis as to what might be the most useful rather than jerking Kim around
with a lot of different approaches to solving the same kinds of problems...

Any takers???????

> Its taken me a long time to respond, but ... I'd like to continue
> discussing an enhancement of the alt-duplicate function ...

> Your suggestion about an alt-synchonize function is good --
> I don't care what it is called; I'd just like to have the functionality
> of being able to keep two branches identical in one simple operation
> (not the many steps now required). Maybe the alt-duplicate function
> could have a toggle, or a secondary option after finishing copying
> files to the target, to also "delete any files on the target
> that are not present on the source - Y/N". I think your suggestion
> that first one should prune the target directory defeats a major
> advantage of alt-duplicate which is not not take the time to recopy
> already existing identically dated files.

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