Make accessible copies of versions with Revisionist 1.0b2

Revisionist and its companion app RevisionCrawler have both been updated to version 1.0b2. The combined download is available here: revisionist10b2
and in Downloads above.

Revisionist 1.0b2 has undergone the greater changes, and can now do useful things, as well as explore document versions tucked away in the macOS versions database.


The most important improvements are that versions are now displayed in a table, rather than simply listed as text, and that you can duplicate a complete set of versions to a more accessible folder. All you have to do is supply the name of a new folder, and Revisionist will then copy all the available versions into that, providing them with more meaningful names.

I wanted to implement this feature before starting to offer any destructive operations such as removing old versions, so that you can preserve versions first. This feature should also be useful for forensic analysis, data recovery, and other purposes. It makes no alterations whatsoever to the versions database.

I have also added support for working with bundle documents such as RTFD.

The first version of Revisionist listed all versions, including those for which there was no version file. This has changed: Revisionist now tells you how many versions the versions database knows about, but only lists those for which there are still files.

When you select a version in the new table view, Revisionist displays additional information about that version, including the full path to the file within the versions database, whether its contents are stored locally, whether that version can be purged or discarded by macOS, its localised file name (as will be shown when you browse versions in an app), and (when available) the name of the Mac which wrote that version. The latter can be very helpful when accessing shared storage, including cloud storage.


RevisionCrawler 1.0b2 has one new feature: it can display the total size of the current versions database. To do that, it calls the shell command du. Because the versions database is locked away, requiring root permissions, that command has to be run as root, so requires authentication as an admin user.

I hope that these are starting to become more useful tools.