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SubjectRe: kernel support for non-english user messages
yes, yes.  I of course agree, just saying that if someone really wanted
to do it, banging out a skeleton solution that can be filled in
shouldn't be "that" hard. Getting it "right"(tm) would be tougher, but
I think doable. The reason I think no one has done it, is because no
one is really that interested.

On Fri, 2003-04-11 at 00:19, wrote:
> On Thu, 10 Apr 2003 18:20:15 EDT, Shaya Potter said:
> > On Thu, 2003-04-10 at 16:36, John Bradford wrote:
> > > > There is a lot of anti-VMS stuff in the Unix world mostly coming
> > > > from the _horrible_ command line and other bad early memories. There
> > > > is also a hell of a lot of really cool stuff under that command line
> > > > we could and should learn from.
> > >
> > > When are we going to see versioned filesystems in Linux? That was a
> > > standard feature in VMS.
> >
> > it shouldn't be that hard, it was one of the 6 OS projects for the
> > regular 4000 level (senior/grad) level OS class here at columbia last
> > semster.
> >
> > The assignment was to modify ext2 to support versioning, basically means
> > making a copy of it within ext2's open, if it's opened O_RDWR. The
> > assignment was a little bit more complicated in that we took an ext2
> > flag bit to mean "version", so that a file would only be versioned if
> > the bit was set, as well as only allowing a single level of versioning,
> > though extending it w/ more wouldn't be that hard.
> >
> > The student solutions (as well as our sample solution) weren't that
> > "pretty", but then again, each project was only for 2-2.5 weeks.
> The problem is, as usual, in the details that almost never get handled in 2-week
> student projects. Some off the top of my head:
> 1) What happens when *multiple* programs have a file open at the same time?
> If you only handle one level of versioning, somebody is going to lose. Handling
> multiple levels is of course more "fun". And you get to worry about race
> conditions - does your code DTRT if multiple processes do an open() on alternate
> CPUs at the same time. Does it DTRT if a process open()s a file, and then fork()s,
> and both parent and child start scribbling on the file descriptor?
> 2) For that matter, should new versions be created at open() or at the first write()?
> Doing it at write() allows not creating a new version if no changes have
> actually happened - but this has its own issues.
> 3) Version a 500 megabyte file. Change one block. Do it a few more times.
> Are you better off copying the whole file (which bloats your disk usage and
> kills your I/O bandwidth), or keeping deltas (the list of allocated blocks could be
> almost identical except for the replaced/rewritten blocks). However, this DOES
> make doing an fsck() a *lot* more interesting - is a block allocated to multiple
> files in error or not?
> 4) What happens if you rename() a file? Can you open() a previous version for
> writing? If so, does it get versioned? How does a backup program restore a
> previous version?
> 5) Let's say we use VMS-style filenames to version. foo, foo;2, foo;3, etc.
> Now, is open("foo;2",...) a reference to the previous version of foo or to a new
> file that happens to be called foo;2? What happens if some other file happens
> to be called foo;2 and you create a version of foo?
> 6) OK, since anything besides \0 and / is legal in a filename, we can't use ;N to
> version. Let's steal another field in the inode to do the counting. Now how does
> userspace reference a previous version easily? Can you get into a situation where
> different versions of a file have different owners/permissions?
> 7) Userspace support. Anybody want to open that can and take up worm farming? ;)
> 8) User support issues. See (7). ;)
> That's just the first 10 minutes or so of thinking about things that could be problems
> that a student project won't address.
> Yes, VMS had to worry about a lot of these issues too - but VMS had the advantage that
> versioning was designed into the environment from very early on, and wasn't a retrofit
> as it would be for Linux. So they could make arbitrary rules like "If there's a
> ;nnn on the end of a filename, it's a version" without having to worry about breaking
> anything.

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