how rsync works

jw schultz jw at
Tue Nov 25 06:04:36 EST 2003

On Mon, Nov 24, 2003 at 09:14:56AM -0600, John Van Essen wrote:
> On Sun, 26 Oct 2003, jw schultz <jw at>?wrote:
> >?On Tue, Sep 16, 2003 at 03:49:45AM -0700, jw schultz wrote:
> >>?
> >>?Aside from numerous other weaknesses that have crept into
> >>?the manpage i do note that there doesn't seem to be any
> >>?point where it is mentioned that rsync replaces destination
> >>?files rather than updating them in-place. ?I'm not sure
> >>?where it would go in the current manpage.
> >>?
> >>?I'm no writer but i have been toying with the idea of a
> >>?practical "how the rsync utility works for the
> >>?non-mathematician" document. ?This wouldn't be a how-to but
> >>?would instead describe in broad terms what the rsync
> >>?internals are doing, the three processes involved and a
> >>?general sketch of the protocol. ?Something that wouldn't be
> >>?obsoleted by enhancements.
> >?
> >?OK. ?Having receive tepid encouragement i have produced a
> >?first-draft of the document.
> >?
> >?As i said "I'm no writer", this document no doubt has
> >?structural defects and gaping holes as well as being worded
> >?strangely. ?I invite constructive comments and patches (on
> >?list) but if someone else wants to pick up the ball and run
> >?with it i would be pleased to hand it off.
> >?
> >?I have formatted it in HTML so if you care it can
> >?be found at
> I think a document such as this would be very helpful.
> I looked at it soon after it was announced, but now it's not there
> anymore.  Where'd it go?

I had thought so too but now i'm less sure.

I put it up on October 26th -- for discussion. 
In the next 14 days there were hits from 107 unique IPs, 73
of which were in the first 4 days.  Then it settled down to a
slow, declining, trickle that could have been naught but
robots.  But no one said anything online or off.  So on the
8th of November i took it down.  Now over two weeks after i
took it down and four since putting it up you are the first
person to even acknowledge it.

The intent was to, if there is interest, get feedback to
polish the document for placement on the web site.  Or to
let someone who is perhaps a better writer take it over.
Not to self-publish the thing.  Perhaps i had to high of
expectations but i expected at least one or two would say
something, even if it was just "yuck" or "its a start"
before knowledge of it subsided into archives.

I'll put it back up if i hear more than just a whimper.

	J.W. Schultz            Pegasystems Technologies
	email address:		jw at

		Remember Cernan and Schmitt

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