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SubjectRe: File systems are semantically impoverished compared to database
   Date: 	Thu, 24 Jun 1999 22:52:09 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Albert D. Cahalan" <acahalan@cs.uml.edu>

No, not like that at all. Structured storage adds an extra allocation
and namespace layer above the filesystem. This works in userspace,
but the performance is poor.

I'm not convinced this has to be the case (that performance will be
poor).

You can get the performance today by using directories, but that
destroys usability. Documents need to appear as files to the user,
so they must appear as files to traditional POSIX software.
It isn't enough to patch a file manager. You'd have to bloat
everything in the whole system, perhaps losing the performance!

That's why I suggested using a user-mode libc hack in cases where the
document is opened as a flat file. The assumption here is that most of the
time the (office suite) application will be accessing the albod in
directory mode, where performance will be great. The only time there
will be user-mode intervention is when a file manager has to treat the
document as a flat file, at which point the approach I suggested
should be just as performant as your NTFS "reparse point" approach ---
with the added advantage that I don't have to implement "tar" in the
kernel, which the "reparse point" approach requires. (OK, it's a
loadable kernel module --- but it's still implementing "tar" in the
kernel.)

- Ted

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