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You might could want to pull the extended metadata out and save it somewhere. Parallel hierarchy to data/, with one metadata data file per directory?
Do we know, have .DS files changed at all recently, now that spotlight queries are copied to the cloud? This is an obscurish corner case.
Thanks for your various contributions to this thread. Its a really interesting problem, and one that we've been dealing with also. Its been really useful to see how other folks are addressing this problem.
Our current approach is to not ingest the .DS_Store files, as they are not regarded by as an artefact of the collection, more as an artefact of the system the collection came from.
Of course this view changes the moment we regard the original file store to be the collection, rather than an arrangement mechanism for the collection. That is to say, the moment we have a stated intent to capture the way a donor viewed their files on their original machine, these files become a collection item in their own right. How we might go about interpreting that information in a meaningful way is interesting question – is there a “decode” method for .DS_store files that exposes thumbnails and viewer rules?
The larger impact we have with them is the way they are handled differently by various file handling operations - this is in part I guess because of their "hidden" nature from a system perspective, but also because some tools are built to ignore them as far as we can tell. This means we can end up with different file counts when working on complex sets, resulting in a "find the delta" mission that can consume many hours as we seek to ensure that the missing files are not really missing and can be processed properly.
We have a related set of concerns with thumbs.db and desktop.ini. We also have a whole other set of dramas with MAC OS resource forks…
Jay Gattuso | Digital Preservation Analyst | Preservation, Research
National Library of New Zealand | Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa