Tuesday, February 6
I still have a bunch of files to upload, but ye wala wiki thing lives again.
So it kind of looks like, as capable as rsync is, there are still problems using it as a publishing mechanism for the web if you need to do more than update a set of static documents from a master copy - say if you've got a file-based wiki.
This is not that big of a problem, if your static files live in one directory and the potentially mutable files in another. Just push to one location and pull from another. Certainly I could do that. It still seems like there should be a more elegant solution, and it'd be nice not to be stuck publishing from a single machine.
Enter Unison, a two-way file synchronizer, which uses the rsync algorithm for bandwidth-friendly transfers, and pulls in latest versions from both directories, resolving conflicts as needed. I haven't actually tried this yet, since my craptastic internet connection flaked out last night, but it sounds pretty much ideal.
...or at least ideal for a world where this sort of thing is necessary. I keep getting the sense that something has broken down as our computational universe has scaled up and fundamentally changed in character. Remember the sense of a single machine as a little self-contained world, the integrated feeling of identity/place in being luser@suchandsuch?