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bug#8371: auto-revert-mode check

From: Ken Raeburn
Subject: bug#8371: auto-revert-mode check
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2011 18:22:04 -0400

It looks like auto-revert-mode in 23.2 checks the file timestamp to see when 
the file is updated.  But I often see the file as having an extra line or two 
that Emacs doesn't pick up for a long time, until something else is added to 
the file.  I don't have time to look into it right now at work, but my guess is 
either/both (1) Emacs records the "changed" timestamp after reading the updated 
content, so the timestamp could correspond to an updated version relative to 
the buffer content; (2) Emacs isn't recording/checking the timestamp with 
enough granularity (which on this NFS file server and Linux NFS client, appears 
to be a millisecond, though file-attributes appears to return no sub-second 
component), so updates within the space of a second after Emacs rereads the 
file aren't detected.

Checking file size too would help, at least for files updated by appending.

I think file-attributes needs to be able to return sub-second granularity 
timestamps for modern operating systems, though it may require using 
non-standard interfaces, like GNU libc's stat.st_atim.tv_nsec or 
stat.st_atimensec field.

I'll see if I have time to look into this later this week.


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