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

    > 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 loic@ceic.com 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. (http://atrey.karlin.mff.cuni.cz/~pavel/podfuk/podfuk.html).

    Pavel

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