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SubjectRe: silent semantic changes in reiser4 (brief attempt to document the idea of what reiser4 wants to do with metafiles and why
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On Tuesday 07 September 2004 23.05, William Stearns wrote:
> somone wrote
> > "..." is pretty good, but I think it has been used by others, but I
> > really forget who. I could live with "...", but I think "metas" and

In MS-DOS you can do "cd ..." as a shortcut for ..\.. but only in the cd
command. VMS used it with fileneme pattern matching to indicate a
recursive search.

> Some trojans and rootkits have used it to store files;
> /usr/lib/... , /usr/doc/... , /usr/sbin/... , /usr/local/bin/... ,
> /dev/... , and /usr/include/... are used by bobkit.
> This might trigger false positives for rootkit detection tools
> like chkrootkit and rootkit-hunter.
> Cheers,
> - Bill

Rootkit detection tools need to be updated and improved regularly anyway. If
you use old rootkit detection tools, it might be a bonus if you are reminded
of that fact. That's a feature, not a bug.

Maybe file/./attribute then. /. on a file is currently meaningless. That does
not avoid the unpleasant fact that has been brought up by others (only to be
ignored), that the directory syntax does not allow metadata on directories.

I'm not convinced that totally transparent access to meta-data actually
benefits anyone. If metadata is that useful (which I believe) it may well be
worth fixing those apps that need, and can use them. The rest should just
ignore it, even loose it.

There are too many apps that will not work properly with the metadata as file
semantics anyway. Implementing something that only works sometimes is not a
good idea. A new API would work where you expect it to work, i.e. in new and
fixed apps, just like ACL's and EA's. (Ok, the ACL's are effective
everywhere, but they aren't copied to new files or even preserved when
editing, so emacs and others needs some fixing anyway).

-- robin
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