[OS X TeX] OT: Spotlight and command line [was Re: status of Spotlight indexing of .tex files?]

Michael Williams williams at thphys.ox.ac.uk
Tue Dec 6 22:16:27 EST 2005

On 7 Dec 2005, at 02:33, Jan Anderssen wrote:

> Then I noticed that files disappeared from the Spotlight search  
> (and didn't reappear in subsequent searches) when I renamed them  
> from the commandline, via "mv". Is that something that happens? If  
> you do something from the command line, you loose the indexed  
> information? Are things that run scripts, like i-Installer affected  
> as well? And what do I do to keep things up-to-date in the  
> spotlight world?

The Mac-like way to shift files around the command line (i.e. the way  
that preserved all HFS's resource fork bells and whistles) used to be  
to use /Developer/Tools/CpMac, /Developer/Tools/MvMac and /usr/bin/ditto

However, since 10.4, the built-in cp and mv have done the right thing  
and preserved type and creator codes:

[with cruft snipped]

otis:~/Library/TeXShop/Templates mike$ /Developer/Tools/GetFileInfo  
type: "TEXT"
creator: "TeXs"

otis:~/Library/TeXShop/Templates mike$ cp Memoir.tex Memoir2.tex
otis:~/Library/TeXShop/Templates mike$ /Developer/Tools/GetFileInfo  
type: "TEXT"
creator: "TeXs"

otis:~/Library/TeXShop/Templates mike$ mv Memoir2.tex Memoir3.tex
otis:~/Library/TeXShop/Templates mike$ /Developer/Tools/GetFileInfo  
type: "TEXT"
creator: "TeXs"

Indeed, from the MvMac man page, "As of Mac OS X 10.4, the mv command  
preserves metadata and resource forks of files on Extended HFS  
volumes, so it can be used in place of MvMac. The MvMac command will  
be deprecated in future versions of Mac OS X."

It's my (limited) understanding of Spotlight (it has such an  
appalling UI that I don't make a habit of using it), that it should  
now index the new file. Indeed, I did something similar to the above  
thing with a regular .txt text file (created in TextEdit, as it  
happens), and Spotlight found the copy fine.

However, trying this out with my LaTeX file, I can't see Memoir3.tex  
from Spotlight. Unless the index lags the actual state of the  
filesystem by several minutes (I thought it was the point of  
spotlight that it doesn't), something very fishy is going on. I'm  
afraid I have no idea what though!

P.S. more gory Spotlight details are here, for those that are  
interested: <http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/macosx-10.4.ars/9>

-- Mike
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