Date to consider when removing backup files (related to bug #593479)

Geert Janssens janssens-geert at
Wed Oct 13 12:49:10 EDT 2010

This question is related to bug report #539479 [1]. Replies are probably best 
added as comments to the bug report instead of here on the list.

Currently, backups of data files are considered for removal based on the time 
stamp string in their name. This requires some potentially risky pointer 
arithmetics to convert this time stamp in a date that can be compared to the 
current date.

I'm working to remove the pointer arithmetics altogether. There are several 
ways to do so. But I figured the most elegant way was not to use the time 
stamp extracted from the file name, but actually using the file's modification 
In normal circumstances these should result in the same date, but the 
modification time doesn't require pointer tricks.
I know there can be cases where these two are not the same, particularly when 
the user has altered the file afterwards in some way or another. I think in 
that case it makes sense to keep the file a while longer and using the 
modification time would do the right thing (the modification time will be more 
recent than the string time stamp).

On the flip side, if the modification time is different from the string time 
stamp, it could be confusing to the user as to why a file is still there if 
the string time stamp is passed the expiration date while the modification 
time is not.

Personally I'd prefer to ignore this little drawback though.

Ok if I go ahead and change this ?


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