[OS X TeX] Re: Save date-time, not Print date

Robert Bruner rrb at math.wayne.edu
Sat Jan 6 12:20:33 EST 2007

> Surely you missed
> B. Towards the begining of the thread, Kock wrote: "In my opinion, the 
> \date command in latex is not particularly useful: often it is quite 
> uninteresting and confusing to know when the dvi or pdf file was 
> compiled -- the interesting bit of info really is the time the source 
> file was last modified. For example if you find an old tex file on your 
> hard disc and compile it, it will get today's date stamp, even though 
> the file was last modified several years ago" which is exactly the issue 
> as far as I am concerned.

The command (in Terminal)

    ls -lT air.tex | awk '{print $8" "$7" " $6" "$9}'

returns the 3 strings (in this example)

   12:19:06 10 Dec 2006

which is the last time the file air.tex was modified.
It should be simple to have TeX (with shell-escape) capture
this information and use it, rather than the time at which
tex was invoked.  I don't know this sort of tex programming,
but would be surprised if it weren't already available somewhere.

Bob Bruner

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