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Enhanced file comparisons

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Steve Fabian, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. Steve Fabian

    May 20, 2008
    Likes Received:
    1/ Size and content comparison
    A new function @COMPAREX[] would return the numeric values shown below
    if both files are accessible, but would report accessibility problems
    through its return value instead of reporting a system error on STDERR:
    return condition
    -3 neither file is accessible
    -2 file 1 accessible, file 2 not accessible
    -1 file 1 not accessible, file 2 accessible
    0 both files accessible and have identical sizes and contents
    1 both files accessible, but file 1 larger, hence contents different
    2 both files accessible, but file 2 larger, hence contents different
    3 both files accessible, and have identical sizes, but contents are

    2/ Age comparison
    A new function which would compare the ages of two files, returning
    numeric values as follows:
    return condition
    -3 neither file 1 nor file 2 exists
    -2 file 1 exists, file 2 does not exist
    -1 file 1 does not exist, file 2 exists
    0 both files exist and have the same age
    1 both files exist and file 1 is older
    2 both files exist and file 2 is older

    I could also utilize a function which combines the two functions above
    using additional return codes for each possible combination, e.g. by adding
    4 or 8 to the first function's value if file 1 or file 2 is older, resp.
    Value 0 would mean same age and content...

    All of these functions would serve the user in the maintenance of
    multiple file systems, backing up or updating, in MAKE type operations, etc.

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