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Interarchy File Converters

One of the newest features of Interarchy is its ability to transparently encode or decode files on the fly. We provide some basic ones, such as gzip and Backup, and you can write your own - people have already written encryption scripts that use gpg or OpenSSL.

File Converters are set like any other preference, and just like any preference in Interarchy, it can be set (using AppleScript or /usr/bin/defaults) on a per protocol, server, user and path basis. So for example, you can set Interarchy to use the gzip file converter on everything in your /path/compressed/ folder on your SFTP site like this:

tell application "Interarchy"
  set contents of preference "FileConverter:sftp:remotehost.com:remoteusername:/path/compressed/" to "gzip"
end tell

After that, everything uploaded into that folder (including via a mirror) will be transparently compressed. Everything downloaded will be transparently decompressed. You can even use "Edit With" to edit the remote file in BBEdit even though the remote file is stored compressed.

As mentioned, we also wrote a Backup script which encodes all the meta data in an open format, including resource fork, BSD flags and weird things like ACLs and HFS+ extended attributes (I wish we did not have to write our own format, but there simply is not any existing format that supported 64 bit and all the meta data). So if you want to backup a folder onto Amazon S3, just set up the remote folder to be encoded with "Backup" and set a mirror up as normal.

tell application "Interarchy"
  set contents of preference "FileConverter:amazons3::/mybucket/mybackup/" to "Backup"
end tell

You can write your own file converters as well, so if you have some specific encoding that needs to be done everytime you upload files to a specific place, write your own encoder and it will happen transparently. The next version of Interarchy will even allow you to chain encoders, so you can chain "Backup,gzip" for example and have your uploaded files first encoded using Backup and then compressed, and decompressed and then decoded when downloaded (in the mean time, you could write your own converter to do both).

Combined with the proliferation of mass storage solutions for WebDAV and Amazon S3, this could be a great solution for a low tech backup system (but remember that a real backup system entails far more than just keeping a copy of your files, things like full coverage, version history, and integrity checking. But if you happen to be one of the large numbers of people with no backup strategy at all, then quickly sign on to Amazon S3 and set this up before your harddisk crashes, then go and by a good backup program as well.

Posted Wednesday, November 1, 2006. Permalink. Post a Comment.

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