Archive for April, 2007

Backup Bouncer: A Metadata Test Suite

A year has passed since I published my articles on the state of metadata conservation in Mac backup/file copying software (here, here, here, and here).

It is time for a small update on the matter. Despite the numerous justified requests, I have, unfortunately, not found the time to bake the set of hacked-together scripts that I used for testing into a full-blown test suite. As a result, I have neither amended nor updated my test results in the meantime. My apologies.

In March, published a disk image with metadata-laden files for test purposes. Based on this set of files, conducted a new survey of backup and file copying tools. See for yourself for the results; things seem to have slightly improved.

However, the following could be a true breakthrough contribution. Testing for metadata conservation has, up to today, still been somewhat of a voodoo skill, and I’m not surprised that to the best of my knowledge only one person seems to have taken a serious shot at it after my posts. But now, this gaping hole has been filled by Nathaniel Gray with a fully automated test suite for metadata conservation. This could possibly make metadata conservation testing feasible for a wide audience.

I haven’t tested it myself yet, but from what Nathaniel writes it looks very promising. It seems to replace all the tedious manual script runs and BBEdit diff runs that I went through. Great!

I’m excited to see test results for all those tools that I couldn’t test. And eventually, I hope that the state of metadata conservation on the Mac will continue to improve.

3 comments April 28th, 2007




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