[Pmwiki-users] File upload feature discussion

Patrick R. Michaud pmichaud at sci.tamucc.edu
Mon Nov 18 16:26:37 CST 2002

On Mon, 18 Nov 2002, Davis, James C. wrote:

> > I agree that redundancy is bad, but it's not something that PmWiki can
> > (or should) prevent.  What is better is to come up with mechanisms that
> > encourage the right behaviors at the user interface level.
> I don't know if I agree that it can't prevent it, but should it is an
> interesting question. How much do you value your disk space?  

Oh, a fair bit, actually.  But I've made some other assumptions regarding
the upload feature that I haven't officially restated since starting
the conversation:
1.  I expect that file upload will generally be configured as a "privileged" 
    operation to begin with; i.e., it's unlikely that a sane PmWiki 
    installation would allow "just anyone" to upload files as attachments.  
    The potential for misuse and liability (virus, warez) is just too great.
2.  The upload feature will undoubtedly allow the administrator to set
    per-file and sitewide size limitations on the amount of uploaded 

> Sure, space is getting cheaper all the time, but the amount of 
> information to be stored is growing even faster. 

I'm not so sure I agree with this last point.  My experience is that 
increases in storage capacity are outpacing our data generation and 
organization capability.  

> I think
> I will have to create a redundancy checker that runs as a chron job and
> replaces redundant files with sym links. Maybe this is how it should be.

I think that anytime the system "automatically cleans things up" in this
manner is inherently dangerous and suspicious.  Just because two files 
happen to be identical at the moment they are compared doesn't mean they 
should or will be identical all times in the future.  And, I know I would 
be quite annoyed if a system decided to replace my backup copies with 
symlinks to the originals.


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