Explanation of snapshot file name dates

June 28th, 2007 by Chris Buechler

This has come up a few times, and I explained it on the support list earlier, but want to put it out here as well.

Our snapshot server builds images automatically every two hours from the source code in CVS at the time of the build. The update files have dates in the file name, which come from /etc/version in CVS. So this date in the file name does not change unless someone commits a change to /etc/version. Earlier this week, that file had not been changed for several weeks so the snapshots were still showing something like 06-06-2007 (as the majority of the developers are US-based, we use MM-DD-YYYY format, rather than DD-MM-YYYY that some of you are accustomed to). Scott committed a change the last couple days so the snapshots are showing the actual build dates for the past two days, but this won’t necessarily always be the case.

In short: trust the time stamp shown on the file, not the date in the file name.

Hopefully post-1.2 release we can change the build scripts to eliminate this confusion.
For now, we’re focusing on getting out the 1.2 release.

3 Responses to “Explanation of snapshot file name dates”

  1. Rupert Says:

    I live in the UK but work on both sides of the pond, so this is a common issue for the first 12 days of every month!

    These days I use YYYY-MM-DD for all dates. It removes confusion regardless of which way around you normally write months and days. Added bonus is looking at a directory full of files starting pfSense-YYYY-MM-DD.* will all be shown in date order if I’m sorting alphabetically.

    I normally rename my downloads to add dates anyway, but developers might like to consider switching date formats for universal appeal.

    Thanks for all the hard work!

    Rupert

  2. Colin Says:

    I second this, the majority of developers may be US-based, but the majority of users are probably not.

  3. Christopher Says:

    I am still not convinced that this naming scheme is the best option. Aside from the format issue, which just adds another favor.

    If there would be a unique build number in the name all confusion could go away. It gets increased (automatically) whenever a change to the CVS tree has been committed. Otherwise the snapshot server just rebuilds with the same number but maybe a new file date.

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