April 28th, 2007
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, inik.net published a disk image with metadata-laden files for test purposes. Based on this set of files, inik.net 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.