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

Joel Goldstick joel.goldstick at gmail.com
Mon May 21 13:21:36 CEST 2012

On Mon, May 21, 2012 at 6:38 AM, wolfrage8765 at gmail.com
<wolfrage8765 at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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:
> http://download.microsoft.com/download/5/0/1/501ED102-E53F-4CE0-AA6B-B0F93629DDC6/WindowsCompoundBinaryFileFormatSpecification.pdf
> 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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I'm not sure if this is exactly what you are looking for, but python
handles tar files (various compression formats) with this module:

What is your motivation for this idea?

Joel Goldstick

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