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SubjectRe: umsdos/uvfat
On Thu, 5 Feb 1998, Matija Nalis wrote:
> > > 1) not all world has converted yet to Win95, some still has only old DOS
> > > partitions around. Which work without ugly vfat thingies.
> > So? We convert them to vfat. All but the most low-level (defragmenters,
> > fsckers) will work fine.
> And volume labelers, disk usage statistics programs, many AV programs that
> skip dos to avoid being affected by stealth viruses, fast catalog/find
> programs, directory sorters, disk editors, some copy protected programs and
> quite a few other things.
Labelers: should work fine. They don't need to read entries at all, just
write them.
AV programs: should ignore the new stuff.
fast find: will find things in the extended names too. Feature, not a bug.
sorters: OK, I forgot about them
editors: should understand LFNs. If they don't, their users should.
copy protected programs: only if they are very piticular, and only if you
attempt to rename their files, which would mess them up irrigardless.

> > > 2) I can use any old dos tool or anything that doesn't have a clue about
> > > umsdos to zip, copy, or whatever whole directory structures, and then
> > > unzip/copy them somewhere else, and whoa, without any trouble all my long
> > > names, permissions, owners etc. are there.
> > OK. This is a valid point... but any operations within Linux will work just
> > fine, so you can "zip, copy, or whatever", so long as you do it with
> Yes. As long as I do it all from linux I may just as well format it as ext2.
You would probably be much better off doing most linux-related maintainance
from linux, yes. I don't see this as a problem.

> > lfn-aware tools from dos, or any tools from within linux.
> Yes, lfn-aware tools for dos. I may as well get ext2tools and other
> ext2-aware tools for dos and get over that dos partition. Heck, I could put
> all on ext2 disk and boot dos from DOSEMU (which I tend to do most of the
> time, anyway. Unfortunatly not all stuff works, yet)
Yes, exactly. Umsdos and uvfat are both ugly hacks: there should only be
one source of inode data. In DOS, this is source is the directory. Having
a ---linux-.--- file at all is ugly. The less information in there, the

> The point is, why should users who never used nor intend to use win95 should
> be forced to use vfat and create a bunch of problems for themselves for no
> reason other than make things even more ugly and less usefull.
Here is the way I see it:
From the POV of DOS, vfat and fat are the same thing. DOS sees some
illegal directory entries, and it ignores them. Most programs should do the
same. The exceptions are programs that are designed to re-write entries
(sorters and defragmenters, primarly), and those that are designed to test
for bad entries. Anything else that dosn't ignore them is buggy.

However, using vfat does two things:
It helps Win95 users, and it makes the whole scheme less ugly.

> Sure, win95 users may find uvfat alternative more useful for them, but than,
> I think it should only be one of the alternatives. I for one am working
> actively to get umsdosfs back working in 2.1.x so it would be in 2.2.
Rock on! If you want to do that, it's fine with me. Gordon Chaffee can
merge to his heart's content. I wish you luck.

-=- James Mastros
"I'd feel worse if it was the first time. I'd feel better if it was
the last."
-=- "(from some Niven book, doubtless not original there)"
(qtd. by Chris Smith)

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