Friday, January 28, 2011

Hobocopy Lives!


It’s hard to believe it has already been almost over four years since I wrote
a little tool called hobocopy. The name was a pun on the truly-awesome robocopy, which does a great
many things and is a truly useful tool. Hobocopy doesn’t do a tenth what
robocopy does, but it does do one thing that robocopy can’t:
copy files that are currently in use. It does that by using the Volume Shadow
Service, which is the same facility Windows uses to create Restore Points. You
can read more about hobocopy here
and here.

I worked on hobocopy for a while, but as often happens, I got pulled onto
other things. I tried to see if someone else would pick up the torch, but was
unable to find anyone. Still, at least some people were able to get some use out
of it: there have been something like 100,000 downloads from SourceForge as of
this writing, and I get regular but infrequent questions about its use. So I
felt bad that I had let development languish.

Well, now I work for Relevance, and
they have a
very progressive policy on open source work
. Of course I have far more
projects I want to tackle than I could do in a decade of Fridays, but still, I
figured that hobocopy deserves some love. So I’ve been spending a bit of time on
it lately. I've created the hobocopy Google group, and I've moved the code to its
new home on GitHub

As you might imagine, there’s still a lot to do, but I’ll be
chipping away at it as I’m able to. Help of any sort (including bug reports!)
is, of course, welcome.