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Subjectgeneralizing . and ..
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Intuition tells you that /usr is not 1k. Or it did before you became
immersed in unix. The "size of a directory" is not the size of the
"file" containing the names of the files and subdirs in a directory.
It's the du of the directory. That's the size. The greenest newbie
makes more sense in this regard than the "illuminati" often do.

It's quite non-trivial to implement however, at some definite performance
hit. Not as much as doing a real du every time you access a file, but some
hit. That, of course, is why it's not like that now. I'm not yet up to
implementing such a beast, but I did fool around with pretending such a
thing existed. I wrote a script to du everything and put the output of du
in ... in every directory. The one thing about just that lame emulation
that I noticed really wanted lower level support was that a dir with ...
in it is not considered empty.

So maybe there's a simple modification to the status quo to support
playing around with such things. The status quo is not far from
"A dir containing files with names consisting only of periods is
considered empty."

I suggest ... be reserved for the du-equivalent of the dir, if such a
thing were to occur.

Can POSIX basename filenames be like 1000 characters? 666 consecutive
periods might make a nice name for some M$ stuff.

Rick Hohensee
xart cycluphonics lemming pelts



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