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I would like to know the underlying mechanism that Snow Leopard uses to arrange files, within folders that are placed on the dock, by "Date Added." I would like to know this in order to retrieve the last added file in the Downloads folder using an AppleScript.

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Interesting question, as I don't recall Snow Leopard allowing you to arrange files by Date Added in the Finder. Lion lets you do that though. –  Paul Eccles Aug 2 '11 at 20:07
That's the strange thing. Folders on the dock have that option: cl.ly/8zdr –  Tom Elovi Spruce Aug 2 '11 at 23:01
I know, hopefully Lion solves your problem. –  Paul Eccles Aug 3 '11 at 12:16

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