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SubjectRe: NTFS-like streams?
On Fri, Aug 11, 2000 at 08:15:42PM +0200, Urban Widmark wrote:
> On Fri, 11 Aug 2000, Christopher Vickery wrote:
> > containing hello. If you copy, move, rename, or delete x
> > then y goes with it. Canonical example is x.bmp contains an
> > image and x.bmp:thumbnail contains a thumbnail of the
> Erm. What is the point?
> If you read x.bmp do you eventually start reading x.bmp:thumbnail?

Not if correctly implemented. The :thumbnail and :default streams
should be semi-independent of one another, and each should have their
own size, blocks, etc.

> % < x.bmp > x.bmp:thumbnail
> Now you have two files
> x.bmp
> x.bmp:thumbnail
> :)
> To create something you can copy, rename or delete with one operation, put
> it in a directory.

That is, indeed, one method of implementing it.

The point of the NTFS-like streams is to allow programs to record
metadata on files they may or may not know the format of, and where
the formats may or may not support metadata. For example, if KDE
wanted to keep icon and icon positional data for any given file,
it can keep it in something like .kde/<filename> or it can
write it to a stream outside the bounds of the file itself, yet
still bound to the file. With streams, the file can be copied/moved
and the streams automatically go with it.

> > image. So far as I can tell, the NTFS for Linux project is
> > not under active development, and ext3, reiserfs, jfs, etc.
> > do not deal with this issue. Am I missing anything?

Apple's HFS has limited stream support in the form of the resource and
data forks. The resource fork can be viewed as a collection of streams,
rather than just one. A matter of POV.

> Re others; it's not unixy ...

No, not yet. Then again, the vnode interface didn't appear until Sun
put it in back in 1985, which became the BSD VFS layer with 4.4BSD.
Now VFS is considered very unixy.

The big problem with it becoming unixy is that there's no API standard
or even semantic standard for it. It'll probably happen much like
the VFS layer did: some large UNIX vendor will implement it and others
will copy/adadpt/evolve it.

> If you look at such a file exported with SMB what does the client see?
> Can you do "echo hello > //server/share/x:y" ?

Not yet. I'm sure the SAMBA team will eventually put it in, tho.

John Franklin
Interlan Communications
ICBM: 35°45'17"N 78°44'11"W

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