In the mainframe world of the decade before that, people had ZAP, which later was to become SPZAP, OBJZAP, and AMASPZAP (not IAMASPZAP as the Hacker's Dictionary erroneously has it). ZAP's "NAME", "VER", and "REP" records work similarly to the process described by M. Landley: name the file, verify that the original contents at a particular place are thus, replace them with some new contents if so.
ZAP could also twiddle metadata, record patches applied, and dump contents. It has several imitators.
I had a good chuckle at 'given a choice between "system
with no battery" and "system with systemd" it's no contest'
unix: damn js that's an epoch burn