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SubjectRe: Driver for a different view of a filesystem
On Fri, 4 Jun 1999, Paul Tomlin wrote:

> Essentially the aim is to produce a driver which presents
> the files in a fashion similar to that used by the DPS
> Perception driver for NT.

Neat. Or course, what I always thought was the neatest part of the
Perception was the hardware, but the pseudo-filesystem is cool too :)

> You get the jist. Basically the driver, with some help from the
> HW was able to convert the video format into individual frames
> in various file formats on request.
> My thoughts are..
> Use an existing fs for the real disk work. It may be possible
> to create an fs which is ideal for video (large files) but that
> would weaken any possibiliy of extending the idea to other data
> types. It is also possible to tune existing fs types to perform
> better for various, dedicated media types. No point duplicating
> work.
> Creae a new fs type which can be mounted. The driver would then
> mount the drive using ext2, for example, and present the altered
> image.

Why not make it sort of a loopback or union type filesystem? Then you
could apply it to any existing filesystem.

> Things troubling me include implementation (I haven't written
> a driver, bar 'Hello world', before), the data conversion may
> well be extremely CPU intensive (and does that make it best
> suited to user/kernel space?), potential tie-ins with other
> drivers for real HW (say an MPEG card) which could reduce the
> CPU load, the list goes on.

How about writing most of the driver in userspace? Coda and Arla network
filesystems have hooks in the kernel that can do the same thing. Pavel
Machek has something that does this

> I am basically looking for some response about the idea. I'm at the
> point where I am trying to work out if this is a char or block
> driver so please go easy if this is a *REAL* dumb idea..

Probably neither, it sounds more like a filesystem. I think you could do
it in userspace by adding it to Midnight Commander and then either use it
directly or use Podfuk. Or write your own, using /dev/cfs0 or /dev/xfs0.

If you have a use for it, then it can't be a dumb idea...


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