I searched “timestamp” and “Last modified” in help docs and in this Forum, but couldn’t find what would help.
When, using a shell or other file manager, I move files and folders around in an Obsidian vault, Obsidian changes the “Last modified” timestamp on those moved files to the current time. Does the community have a workaround so I can keep the timestamps invariant (since nothing has actually changed in those files)?
The same thing happens if you rename the top folder in the shell or other file-manager: Obsidian updates the “Last modified” timestamps on everything within. I can understand the subtlety ("well, those files are, as far as Obsidian is concerned, newly modified, so of course they should have their “Last-modified” timestamp updated). However:
- When you make those moves using Obsidian’s own filemanager, the timestamps are unchanged - so there’s some inconsistency in that the before and after system states are identical, but the difference only surfaces depending on whether it was Obsidian that operationalized the move. Consistency, for me, seems to say that if before and after system states are identical, so should the “Last modified” timestamps, in this case, the files and folders showing the old timestamp when nothing in them has changed.
- If Obsidian is not running and you make the file/folder moves using the shell or some other file manager, the timestamps remain unchanged even when Obsidian afterwards is then run. I’m not asking Obsidian to go through and update everything relative to when it last saw the vault. Quite the opposite: I prefer this outcome. But I also think consistency implies that if the system states are identical, then the “Last modified” timestamps should too, regardless of whether Obsidian is running when the system is changed. I prefer the outcome when Obsidian is shutdown, the move is made, and then Obsidian is brought up again, but this is obviously a kludge.
I appreciate there is a subtlety here, and I’m not arguing one behaviour is dogmatically always right and the other always wrong. (I have a preference for unmodified files not to have their “Last modified” timestamps unchanged, so my
find and other operations work as expected, but I can also see the argument from Obsidian’s point of view: those files did change.) Nonetheless, however, I do think there should be consistency and no-unexpected surprises.
Any other views on this?
PS I am not using Obsidian Sync; the system is basically standalone.