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    SubjectRe: NTFS-like streams?
    In article <Pine.LNX.4.21.0008121047190.14835-100000@duckman.distro.conectiva>,
    Rik van Riel <> wrote:
    >On Sat, 12 Aug 2000, Michael Rothwell wrote:
    >> Rik van Riel wrote:
    >> > So what we want are directories, and not file streams?
    >> > Oh wait, we already have those...
    >> Not really. Directories aren't the same thing,
    >> and don't serve the same purpose. They're _similar_,
    >> but not identical.
    >So what is The Big Difference(tm) that make file streams
    >so much better than directories and so much different?

    I'll talk really slowly.

    HFS has resource forks. They are not directories. Linux cannot handle
    them well.

    I'm all for handling HFS resource forks. It's called "interoperability".

    It's also realizing that maybe, just maybe, UNIX didn't invent every
    clever idea out there. Maybe, just maybe, resource forks are actually a
    good idea. And maybe we shouldn't just say "Oh, UNIX already has
    directories, we don't need no steenking resource forks".

    Put this another way: don't think about "directories vs resource forks"
    at all. Instead, think about the problem of supporting something like
    HFS or NTFS _well_ from Linux. How would you do it?

    Suggestions welcome. What's your interface of choice for a filesystem
    like HFS that _does_ have resource forks? Whether you like them or not
    is completely immaterial - they exist.

    And usability concerns _are_ real concerns. I'm claiming that the best
    interface for such a filesystem would be

    open("file", O_RDONLY) - opens the default fork
    open("file/Icon", O_RDONLY) - opens the Icon fork

    readdir("file") - lists the resources that the file has

    and I'm also claiming that the Linux VFS layer actually shouldn't have
    any fundamental problems with something like this.

    Tell me why we shouldn't do it like the above? And DON'T give any crap
    about whether resource forks are useful or not, because I claim that
    they exist regardless of their usefulness and that we shouldn't just put
    our heads in the sand and try to hope that the issue doesn't exist.


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