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SubjectRe: I discussed reading directories as files with jra, Stallman, and loic

> It was two separate conversations, but they both go together. I ask
> that they correct me if I unfairly summarize their words.
> Jeremy wants in the FS what he can get with Microsoft streams and
> Macintosh forks. That is, he wants to be able to name an object, and
> read it, and get something, and he wants to be able to add something
> that goes into that object, and stays with it when the object gets moved.
> He wants this because he is a Samba author, and it will make his life a
> lot easier to have it when Windows 2000 comes out.

Oops. Should not he do it himself? This will make samba non-portable
and what is worse samba will not run on ext2.

> Next files need to be able to inherit stat data, so that a file can
> share its modification time with its parent directory, so that modifying
> the file changes the mod time on the directory.

Is sharing modtime this critical? I can see samba asking for both
times and then just exporting the newer one :-).

> Now let's skip ahead to my conversation with rms and which
> came after talking with Jeremy..
> This time we discussed how you might read and edit the contents of a
> directory as an aggregation within one buffer. The examples were
> editing /etc/passwd and /etc/services within emacs, with passwd and
> services converted into directories. Imagine that passwd is converted
> into a directory, with each line being a separate file, and each file
> (line) having a separate modification time. Clearly something useful.
> Reading it is easy, you have a read on the directory return the
> concatenation of the files.

This should be done in userspace. Editing /etc/passwd is certainly not
performance critical so podfuk is just the right
answer. (


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