File Attributes/Properties

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snowshed1
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File Attributes/Properties

Post by snowshed1 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:17 pm

Personally, I've gotten tired of the arguments I see online about what is generally referred to as attibutes/properties of flies. And, what is included in the file itself, such as jpgs contain, and are strictly part of an individual operating system.

I've started looking into this, because I want to know, and have concluded most of the time people simply don't know what they are talking about. :-( Or, they aren't talking about the same thing. The word "created" come to mind here. People are arguing over a verb, and talking about different subjects.

The screenshot below is a sample of the information I'm referring to. This screenshot is from my Mac, and Apple calls them Attributes. Microsoft apparently calls them Windows Properties.

File Attibutes.jpg

Without getting into the technical programming terms/code, is there a similar list for Linux/Mint somewhere I can download, and hopefully create myself a cross reference list/table in order to keep things straight/correct?

Thanks.
Ken
Linux Mint xfce 19.0
“Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.” George Bernard Shaw

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Re: File Attributes/Properties

Post by Pjotr » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:26 pm

Tip: 10 things to do after installing Linux Mint 19.2 Tina
Keep your Linux Mint healthy: Avoid these 10 fatal mistakes
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Re: File Attributes/Properties

Post by gm10 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:11 pm

Pjotr wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:26 pm
http://bfy.tw/LkbK
What, you don't have a page about that on your site (yet)? :D

And OP, what he means to say is that Linux file systems support extended file attributes, which means you can store as much meta-data with your file as you want, named whatever you want.

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Re: File Attributes/Properties

Post by snowshed1 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:06 pm

Pjotr and gm 10
gm10 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:11 pm
Pjotr wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:26 pm
http://bfy.tw/LkbK
What, you don't have a page about that on your site (yet)? :D

And OP, what he means to say is that Linux file systems support extended file attributes, which means you can store as much meta-data with your file as you want, named whatever you want.
Thanks to Pjotr's post, I think I'm looking for extended file attributes, but I'm not sure that is the correct phrase. I had done Pjotr's suggestion already, but that does not give me the answers I'm looking for. The attributes I'm looking for would include the EXIF information in contained in a JPG, as well as other types of files, and what terms Mint and others call the embedded information when it's displayed on the screen. For instance, the date and time of a photo is included in the jpg. When that info is displayed by my Mac, it's called Created Date. (It's in the screenshot.) But Windows calls that data Date Taken (In XP it's Date Photo Taken, a much better phrase, IMO.) If that data can be displayed by Mint and/or others, what is it called there?

There's an example of the data I'm after, and what Mint calls it, in the Example section here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exif

The basic reason for searching out this info is, how does any user make intelligent use of data and information, if you don't know what that information really means? And so far, in my search, Apple's Macs do the best job, but even then, not always good enough so there is no chance of misunderstanding what a phrase or sentence means.
Ken
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“Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.” George Bernard Shaw

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Re: File Attributes/Properties

Post by gm10 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:03 pm

EXIF data is file format-specific meta-data and has nothing to do with extended attributes. Whether you can display them in your file browser depends on what file browser you're using - for Cinnamon/Nemo install nemo-media-columns.

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Re: File Attributes/Properties

Post by snowshed1 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:34 pm

gm10 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:03 pm
EXIF data is file format-specific meta-data and has nothing to do with extended attributes. Whether you can display them in your file browser depends on what file browser you're using - for Cinnamon/Nemo install nemo-media-columns.
<G> "Extended attributes"... This is a perfect example where language with no standards and/or definitions can get in the way of understanding. Here, it seems the meta-data is not considered an attribute. But on the Mac, it is. It's easy to see how some very heated arguments can ensue because the participants are using a different definition for a word.

I have xfce installed, I like the "Start" menu better. I haven't used it enough to know if Nemo is there, I'll check tomorrow. If it isn't, I'll install it, assuming at the moment, it's in the repository.
Ken
Linux Mint xfce 19.0
“Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.” George Bernard Shaw

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Re: File Attributes/Properties

Post by gm10 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:09 am

There is only one meaning to the term, and EXIF data isn't one of them on any OS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extended_file_attributes

Xfce's file manager is Thunar. I'd have to search to see if there's a plugin for that one as well but then so can you. ;) You can also install nemo along with its plugin though,

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Re: File Attributes/Properties

Post by rene » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:45 am

snowshed1 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:34 pm
Here, it seems the meta-data is not considered an attribute. But on the Mac, it is.
Might be dealing with an issue with a fairly specific history here. Yes, EAs, Extended Attributes, share many characteristics with the historic Mac concept of resource forks. Can in fact be sort of said to be the conceptually very same thing, save limited size of EAs versus unlimited size of a resource fork. Indeed also metadata "at the EXIF level" could be, was or is stored into a resource fork on Mac OS (which I've never run myself, hence the language of uncertainty) but in specifically Linux the fork concept has been historically denounced. Personally never really liked such; the high-level concept is quite nice, and has as said now found its way into Linux in the form of EAs.

Not yet long though, which certainly is part of the reason why on Linux metadata still tends to be very file format specific. Also don't expect that to change anytime soon; actual use of EAs is still extremely limited. They still count as a new and advanced issue/feature. Which sort of makes sense at least from an implementation level, what with UNIX more or less going out of its way to have "files" be the basic concept; forks don't really fit that basic nature. But I would've personally liked a little less resistance to them.

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Re: File Attributes/Properties

Post by Hoser Rob » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:03 am

snowshed1 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:17 pm
... I've started looking into this, because I want to know, and have concluded most of the time people simply don't know what they are talking about. :-( ...
ANd one of them is very likely you.

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Re: File Attributes/Properties

Post by Hoser Rob » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:05 am

I think you're maybe a bit confused about the talk of file creation times as a file attribute. This is actually NOT supported in Linux/Unix, and understandably causes confusion and frustration in new Linux users, for whom that attribute has become a normal everyday way to sort through thingsd.

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Re: File Attributes/Properties

Post by rene » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:30 am

Hoser Rob wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:05 am
I think you're maybe a bit confused about the talk of file creation times as a file attribute. This is actually NOT supported in Linux/Unix
That is not in fact true. Creation time being stored depends on the file system and Linux current "default" filesystem ext4 does. Getting this integrated in standard tools seems to be taking forever, but:

Code: Select all

rene@hp8k:~$ touch foo && sleep 10 && touch foo
rene@hp8k:~$ sudo debugfs -R "stat <$(stat -c %i foo)>" /dev/sda2 | cat
debugfs 1.44.1 (24-Mar-2018)
Inode: 2891691   Type: regular    Mode:  0664   Flags: 0x80000
Generation: 3964583238    Version: 0x00000000:00000001
User:  1000   Group:  1000   Project:     0   Size: 0
File ACL: 0
Links: 1   Blockcount: 0
Fragment:  Address: 0    Number: 0    Size: 0
 ctime: 0x5c39f9c3:76cf4a0c -- Sat Jan 12 15:29:23 2019
 atime: 0x5c39f9c3:76cf4a0c -- Sat Jan 12 15:29:23 2019
 mtime: 0x5c39f9c3:76cf4a0c -- Sat Jan 12 15:29:23 2019
crtime: 0x5c39f9b9:76caed70 -- Sat Jan 12 15:29:13 2019
Size of extra inode fields: 32
Inode checksum: 0x11a6dbc3
EXTENTS:
See "crtime".

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Re: File Attributes/Properties

Post by cliffcoggin » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:27 am

Ken's argument can be extended to all terminology in the world of computing which has no standards at as far as I can see. Take for example the panel in Linux. It's called task bar in Windows, shelf in Chrome and Lord knows what in Apple. It seems to me that every OS tries to invent new names for features that differ from the opposition's in a desperate attempt to distinguish itself from the others, though to the eye of a user like me they are identical. The result is confusion that obstructs understanding. The circular rubber-tyred objects that cars run on are always called wheels (in the English speaking world) whether made by Ford, Honda or Audi. It would be helpful to see a similar agreement on computing terminology amongst the developers of operating systems, though somehow I doubt it will ever happen, it would be akin to fraternising with the enemy.
Cliff Coggin
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Re: File Attributes/Properties

Post by snowshed1 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:37 pm

gm10 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:09 am
There is only one meaning to the term, and EXIF data isn't one of them on any OS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extended_file_attributes
Those attributes I know about. I learned of their existence with DOS 3.x But they aren't the one's I'm researching, regardless of what we call them. I don't remember seeing the word "extended" attached to them before.
gm10 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:09 am
Xfce's file manager is Thunar. I'd have to search to see if there's a plugin for that one as well but then so can you. ;) You can also install nemo along with its plugin though,
I found Nemo and it's plug in, and they are installed. What the plug-in author is calling media columns is exactly the information I'm researching. I really like the fact that the source of some of the information is identified, I.E. EXIF xxxxxxxxx. I need to go peruse the GitHub site to see if I can find out which of the other pieces of data are from music or from PDFs.

Just searching on Thunar didn't seem to bring up an equivalent. But I really don't know what a good search phrase would be.
Ken
Linux Mint xfce 19.0
“Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.” George Bernard Shaw

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Re: File Attributes/Properties

Post by snowshed1 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:51 pm

rene wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:45 am
snowshed1 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:34 pm
Here, it seems the meta-data is not considered an attribute. But on the Mac, it is.
Might be dealing with an issue with a fairly specific history here. Yes, EAs, Extended Attributes, share many characteristics with the historic Mac concept of resource forks. Can in fact be sort of said to be the conceptually very same thing, save limited size of EAs versus unlimited size of a resource fork. Indeed also metadata "at the EXIF level" could be, was or is stored into a resource fork on Mac OS (which I've never run myself, hence the language of uncertainty) but in specifically Linux the fork concept has been historically denounced. Personally never really liked such; the high-level concept is quite nice, and has as said now found its way into Linux in the form of EAs.

Not yet long though, which certainly is part of the reason why on Linux metadata still tends to be very file format specific. Also don't expect that to change anytime soon; actual use of EAs is still extremely limited. They still count as a new and advanced issue/feature. Which sort of makes sense at least from an implementation level, what with UNIX more or less going out of its way to have "files" be the basic concept; forks don't really fit that basic nature. But I would've personally liked a little less resistance to them.
I've seen the resource fork on old Mac floppies, this is prior to OS X, but never knew anything about them, and still don't! LOL

I'd "brushed up" against Macs way back, and in fact now have a 3 old ones with System X.X installed. Oldest is System 6, newest is 9.1 They aren't the only antique systems I have.

The only Mac I've ever bought for myself came with 10.5 Leopard, I now have 10.11.6, and the system is going to be replaced. I'm no great Mac expert, but I've never seen anything called a resource fork, and I have hidden files showing.

One of my core frustrations, which led to this research, is the frustration of having the data available to you for use. But, if you don't accurately know what the data means, regardless of the OS, how can you accurately use it?
Ken
Linux Mint xfce 19.0
“Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.” George Bernard Shaw

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Re: File Attributes/Properties

Post by snowshed1 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:52 pm

Hoser Rob wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:03 am
snowshed1 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:17 pm
... I've started looking into this, because I want to know, and have concluded most of the time people simply don't know what they are talking about. :-( ...
ANd one of them is very likely you.
Exactly!!! Which is why I'm here asking questions. :D
Ken
Linux Mint xfce 19.0
“Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.” George Bernard Shaw

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Re: File Attributes/Properties

Post by snowshed1 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:04 pm

rene wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:30 am
Hoser Rob wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:05 am
I think you're maybe a bit confused about the talk of file creation times as a file attribute. This is actually NOT supported in Linux/Unix
That is not in fact true. Creation time being stored depends on the file system and Linux current "default" filesystem ext4 does. Getting this integrated in standard tools seems to be taking forever, but:

Code: Select all

rene@hp8k:~$ touch foo && sleep 10 && touch foo
rene@hp8k:~$ sudo debugfs -R "stat <$(stat -c %i foo)>" /dev/sda2 | cat
debugfs 1.44.1 (24-Mar-2018)
Inode: 2891691   Type: regular    Mode:  0664   Flags: 0x80000
Generation: 3964583238    Version: 0x00000000:00000001
User:  1000   Group:  1000   Project:     0   Size: 0
File ACL: 0
Links: 1   Blockcount: 0
Fragment:  Address: 0    Number: 0    Size: 0
 ctime: 0x5c39f9c3:76cf4a0c -- Sat Jan 12 15:29:23 2019
 atime: 0x5c39f9c3:76cf4a0c -- Sat Jan 12 15:29:23 2019
 mtime: 0x5c39f9c3:76cf4a0c -- Sat Jan 12 15:29:23 2019
crtime: 0x5c39f9b9:76caed70 -- Sat Jan 12 15:29:13 2019
Size of extra inode fields: 32
Inode checksum: 0x11a6dbc3
EXTENTS:
See "crtime".
Just so I don't get confused, and possibly others reading this, is Creation Time the date and time a file is written to the storage medium?
Ken
Linux Mint xfce 19.0
“Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.” George Bernard Shaw

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Re: File Attributes/Properties

Post by snowshed1 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:25 pm

cliffcoggin wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:27 am
Ken's argument can be extended to all terminology in the world of computing which has no standards at as far as I can see. Take for example the panel in Linux. It's called task bar in Windows, shelf in Chrome and Lord knows what in Apple. It seems to me that every OS tries to invent new names for features that differ from the opposition's in a desperate attempt to distinguish itself from the others, though to the eye of a user like me they are identical. The result is confusion that obstructs understanding. The circular rubber-tyred objects that cars run on are always called wheels (in the English speaking world) whether made by Ford, Honda or Audi. It would be helpful to see a similar agreement on computing terminology amongst the developers of operating systems, though somehow I doubt it will ever happen, it would be akin to fraternising with the enemy.
Cliff,

You are so right!!!

I'm retired, and I do part-time computer tutoring, for those that want to learn. I cover the basics of an operating system and software. The kind of stuff like how to simply manipulate the windows on the screen. You'd be surprised how many people don't understand that. Hile management... Huh? I don't teach Word, I teach what word processors can do, so the individual can choose the one that fits their needs, and then get the most out of it. The same for email, spreadsheets, etc.

I long for the days of Apple ][, Commodore 64, Atari 400/800 when you could go to a book store and find all kinds/types of books that explained the basics of a computer. They don't exist anymore. Even the vaunted "Dummies" books are now too advanced for a lot of users.

Panel=task bar=shelf=Dock on a Mac.

I think you're right about everyone trying to use different names. It makes me wonder if some of that is because, in some country, a particular word or phrase has been copyrighted, which I see as a detriment to everyone.

As I've said before, people argue over a verb, when they are actually talking about different subjects. Yet they seem unable to realize or acknowledge that fact. If they would just calm down and actually communicate, they might solve the user's problem.
Ken
Linux Mint xfce 19.0
“Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.” George Bernard Shaw

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Re: File Attributes/Properties

Post by rene » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:35 am

snowshed1 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:04 pm
Just so I don't get confused, and possibly others reading this, is Creation Time the date and time a file is written to the storage medium?
The time of birth of the file, and with "storage medium" explicitly replaced by "file system". I.e., it's important to note that this is a file system level concept; that not all file system types support storing birth time (btime aka. crtime) and that it's on UNIX a recent addition to the historic (atime,mtime,ctime) triple.

If your question is to be interpreted as explicitly asking in the context of caching or alike, note that any time between a file being "really" created and "actually" written out to storage is irrelevant at this conceptual level; is a mere optimization. "Really" is what counts.

Also note the example I gave; file "foo" was created by touch, and then after 10 seconds touched again; the latter updated mentioned historic triple but left the creation time alone.

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Re: File Attributes/Properties

Post by snowshed1 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:47 pm

rene wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:35 am
snowshed1 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:04 pm
Just so I don't get confused, and possibly others reading this, is Creation Time the date and time a file is written to the storage medium?
The time of birth of the file, and with "storage medium" explicitly replaced by "file system". I.e., it's important to note that this is a file system level concept; that not all file system types support storing birth time (btime aka. crtime) and that it's on UNIX a recent addition to the historic (atime,mtime,ctime) triple.
OK, so some of your reply is "over my head". :D And, that is absolutely not a complaint.

Let me ask the question in a different way... Is "birth time" the date and time a file is written to a hard drive, or some other location?

rene wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:35 am
snowshed1 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:04 pm
Just so I don't get confused, and possibly others reading this, is Creation Time the date and time a file is written to the storage medium?
If your question is to be interpreted as explicitly asking in the context of caching or alike, note that any time between a file being "really" created and "actually" written out to storage is irrelevant at this conceptual level; is a mere optimization. "Really" is what counts.
If I understand this correctly, no, I'm not talking/asking about a file that has been cached while in use. Just the date and time that is written when the file is closed, copied, etc.

rene wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:35 am
snowshed1 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:04 pm
Just so I don't get confused, and possibly others reading this, is Creation Time the date and time a file is written to the storage medium?
Also note the example I gave; file "foo" was created by touch, and then after 10 seconds touched again; the latter updated mentioned historic triple but left the creation time alone.
I do not know what "touch" does.
Ken
Linux Mint xfce 19.0
“Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.” George Bernard Shaw

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Re: File Attributes/Properties

Post by rene » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:19 pm

snowshed1 wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:47 pm
Let me ask the question in a different way... Is "birth time" the date and time a file is written to a hard drive, or some other location?
I shall admit to having some trouble fathoming what exactly could not be immediately clear from the phrasing "creation (or birth) time". And that such is not a complaint either. Fascinating; my mind no doubt out of sheer familiarity seems to disallow me to connect synapses in any order in which such is not obvious.

If at time N but not any earlier time a given file exist on a given file system, N is the creation time of said file on said file system. The moment of a file's non-existence morphing into existence. The (time of the) poof of creation. The time the file was "enlisted" in the filesystem for the first time. The old mtime would be a modification time, a time a file's content was modified, and as such more the "time a file is written to" [ ... ] as you put it.

If that still doesn't help we're going to need the services of someone brighter than me :?
I do not know what "touch" does.
I'd be very careful with that in these #MeToo times. But in this context "touching" a non-existing file creates it and touching an existing file merely updates its (historic) timestamps to the current time. Note that manpages on UNIX are nearly always available for the basic tools. I.e., man touch provides you with a short manual for the "touch" command.

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