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Re: Web browsers should preserve the file system Last-Modified time of downloaded files

From: Scott Penrose <scottp@dd.com.au>
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2011 13:59:46 +1100
Cc: Brolin Empey <brolin@brolin.be>, "www-tag@w3.org List" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <E468485C-F1A4-4E37-8581-D415C5962CB9@dd.com.au>
To: Karl Dubost <karld@opera.com>
> 
> Le 4 nov. 2011 à 19:18, Brolin Empey a écrit :
>> The Web browser should preserve the file system last modified time by default because this time cannot easily be recovered after it is discarded.

I have been thinking about this over the last week and which way it should happen.
It is interesting to note that many older backup systems use last modified as a method to work out if files need incremental backup.

The problem is that once you download a file, they are not linked. The file on your system does not match the remote system. So what does modified mean? 

Lets put 3 systems into play.

* Server1 - file.png, last modified 2010-01-01
* Server 2 - file.png downloaded, last modified 2010-01-01
* Client 1 - Download file from Server 2, use if mod since

Scenario 1 - Server 2 modifies the PNG (maybe a resize). Last modified should change to that day (2011-10-01), Client can download.

Scenario 2 - Server 1 had updated the logo in 2011-06-01; now Server 2 downloads from Server 1, preserving date modified as 2011-06-01; Client now checks if file has changed since last of 2011-10-01 - it has changed, but now client won't get it. On the other hand, if Server 2 had set last modified to today 2011-11-09 - it would not be an issue.

Scenario 3 - A client downloads a file to Download folder, has a look at recent files. User would expect to see newest files downloaded with todays date.

I don't think HTTP Clients should preserve modified date time. But there are exceptions - e.g. WebDAV / SVN over HTTP.

Scott
Received on Wednesday, 9 November 2011 03:00:19 GMT

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