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Thread: Synchronized (FTP) DWG files lose their metadata

  1. #1
    All AUGI, all the time Duncan Lithgow's Avatar
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    Default Synchronized (FTP) DWG files lose their metadata

    I've been trying to implement the Danish standard for use location and naming of CAD files. One point is that descriptive name of the file should be in the TITLE metadata field as seen in explorer. That seems like a reasonable idea when the file name might be F_A_E_12_3_1_210_001.dwg (Shared model_architect_existing_building 12_level 3_plan_floor componant_uid)...

    But the metadata is being lost when one of us edits another users file. We are all using the build in 'Offline files' function of Windows XP, which stores the files on a local (school) network and synchronizes every now and then while we work.

    Metadata for all other file types works fine. Any idea what's wrong?

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    Certified AUGI Addict cadtag's Avatar
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    Default Re: Synchronized (FTP) DWG files lose their metadata

    Uhm, yes. it's an artifact of several things, based on where the metadata is stored. In the NTFS file system, you can create metadata that's in the files system, associated with the file, but not part of the file. You can also create metadata (if the file type allows it) that is part of the file. the latter is what you typically see with MS Office files, .MP3, .Jpg, and other common file types, especially for media.

    dwg is not a 'common' file type in that sense, with no commonly accepted set of attributes, so Autodesk rolled their own metadata in a couple of different ways. What you see in Explorer is the NTFS metadata, created in the file system of that computer. copying that between NTFS systems via Windows should retain that information, because the OS, FS, and transfer mechanisms are all windows.

    FTP predates windows, and of course has no access to the file system metadata. Any FS attributes will be lost using FTP. You'll see the same thing anytime you transfer a file via a file system of media that does not support the metadata. e.g. CD, Fat16 thumdrives, and so on.

    the other place AutoCAD stores metadata is in the DWGProperties -- that's part of the file itself, not editable from Explorer on winXP, and not displayed in Explorer's column view.

    Perhaps if Adesk opened up DWG as a publicly documented format, and made it available to other vendors in the same fashion JPEG is, we could end up with a common metadata scheme that could be built into windows explorer functionality in the same fashion as JPEG. The metadata in JPG files are in the files themselves, but since it's commonly used, windows reads it by default.

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