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SubjectRe: [patch] ext2/3: document conditions when reliable operation is possible
Hi!

> > > +* don't damage the old data on a failed write (ATOMIC-WRITES)
> > > +
> > > + (Thrash may get written into sectors during powerfail. And
> > > + ext3 handles this surprisingly well at least in the
> > > + catastrophic case of garbage getting written into the inode
> > > + table, since the journal replay often will "repair" the
> > > + garbage that was written into the filesystem metadata blocks.
> >
> > Isn't this by design? In other words, if the metadata doesn't survive
> > non-atomic writes, wouldn't it be an ext3 bug?
>
> So I got confused when I quoted your note, which I had assumed was
> exactly what Pavel had written in his documentation. In fact, what he
> had written was this:
>
> +Don't damage the old data on a failed write (ATOMIC-WRITES)
> +~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> +
> +Either whole sector is correctly written or nothing is written during
> +powerfail.
> +
> +....
>
> So he had explicitly stated that he only cared about the whole sector
> being written (or not written) in the power fail case, and not any
> other. I'd suggest changing ATOMIC-WRITES to
> ATOMIC-WRITE-ON-POWERFAIL, since the one-line summary, "Don't damage
> the old data on a failed write", is also singularly misleading.

Ok, something like this?

Don't damage the old data on a powerfail (ATOMIC-WRITES-ON-POWERFAIL)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Either whole sector is correctly written or nothing is written during
powerfail.


Pavel

--
(english) http://www.livejournal.com/~pavelmachek
(cesky, pictures) http://atrey.karlin.mff.cuni.cz/~pavel/picture/horses/blog.html


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