File origin metadata

Jamie McCracken jamiemcc at
Thu Jun 29 02:06:30 EEST 2006

Claes at work wrote:
> I stumbled upon the Shared file metadata spec
> (
> and came to think of something that might be useful to indexers and
> related program: file origins. When a file is downloaded, saved or
> extracted from an archive, an extended attribute (EA) could be set to
> specify the origin. For downloaded files, it could be the url where it
> was downloaded from. When an attachment is saved from an email
> message, it could be the Message-ID of the email message. When a file
> is extracted from a tar archive, it could be the path to the original
> tar file. When a file is created by any regular program, it could be
> the application name of the program. A copied file could have the
> source path as origin. This information could work for desktop
> indexers just like hyperlinks works for Google.
> Would such a recommendation be useful?

yes that stuff is called contextual metadata and is being integrated 
into Tracker(1). It does not relate to just "origin" as such because 
there are other contextual links like attaching a file to an email (IE 
the opposite of what you suggested above) or embedding an image file in 
a document.

I have not thought of exposing them as metadata attributes yet but 
"File.Origin" sounds plausible. ("File.Attachments" might be another)


Mr Jamie McCracken

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