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SubjectRe: abstract file (support multi-part)
On Sun, 20 Aug 2000, Mo McKinlay wrote:
> Today, James Sutherland <> wrote:
> > That all depends on your viewpoint. If you fix the two major flaws in
> > NTFS's approach, what you are actually left with are just files. Files
> > which have part of their name in common with other files, yes - but does
> > that really matter to anyone?
> What you are left with is a file made up of more than one part.

That all depends on how you define "file" - is it "an MFT record" or "a
block of data with a name"? If the latter, streams ARE files.

> Not multiple files. And not fixing the "two major flaws in NTFS's
> approach" - it's certainly the first I've heard of them, and something
> that must be shared by any other existing implementation of the same
> thing, considering what they have in common.

Why can't each stream have its own [acm]time and permissions?

> > Not really. These are NOT parts of a single file: they are independent
> > blocks of data with names, living in a directory.
> No. They ARE parts of a single file. If they were independent blocks of
> data with names living in a directory, then they WOULD be files,
> yes. However, they are not.

They are largely independent. There are three things (under NTFS) which
link streams to each other: the first part of the filename, the shared
[acm]time, and the shared ACL. The latter two are just limitations of
NTFS, which we do not need to duplicate. The former is largely cosmetic,
and is already supported by every "Unixy" filesystem anyway - so what
needs doing?

> I don't want to sound like I'm disputing everything you say for the sake
> of it (honestly, this isn't the case) - but there are fundamental
> differences between files and named streams/forks, and they must be
> treated as such.

Such as? I honestly haven't seen any distinctions which should be


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