[Tutor] Is this possible and should it be done?

wolfrage8765 at gmail.com wolfrage8765 at gmail.com
Mon May 21 12:38:51 CEST 2012

All, I have had a curious idea for awhile, and was wondering the best
way to implement it in Python and if it is even possible. The concept
is this, a file that is actually a folder that contains multiple files
(Like an Archive format). The actual files are really un-important.
What I want is for the folder to be represented as a single file by
any normal file browser, but to be able to access the files with-in
via Python. I will actually use the word archive to represent my
mystical folder as a file concept for the rest of this message. Some
additional things I would like to be possible: is for multiple copies
of the program to write to the same archive, but different files
with-in at the same time (Reading & Writing to the archive should not
lock the archive as long as they are different files); and for just
the desired files with-in the archive to be loaded to memory with out
having to hold the entire archive in memory.
Use case for these additional capabilities. I was reading about how
some advanced word processing programs (MS Word) actually save
multiple working copies of the file with-in a single file
representation and then just prior to combining the working copies it
locks the original file and saves the working changes. That is what I
would like to do. I want the single file because it is easy for a user
to grasp that they need to copy a single file or that they are working
on a single file, but it is not so easy for them to grasp the multiple
file concepts.

MS Word uses Binary streams as shown here:
Is this easy to do with python? Does it prevent file locking if you
use streams? Is this worth the trouble, or should I just use a
directory and forget this magical idea?
A piece of reference for my archive thoughts, ISO/IEC 26300:2006 chapter 17.2

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