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SubjectRe: vfat patch for shortcut display as symlinks for 2.4.18
On 9 Jun 2002, Nicholas Miell wrote:

> Putting shortcut support into the VFAT driver is as bad a decision as
> the automatic text-file CRLF->LF conversions was, for several reasons.

I think these are two different cases. One is the file semantics the other
is the file format itself. CRLF->LF conversion has always been bad even on
the native windows platforms.

> First of all, some programs (WINE) will actually want to use the .lnk
> files, and transparently converting them to symlinks will complicate
> that.

Only the .lnk files that can be properly interpreted as symlinks are
showing up as symlink as far as I can tell. This is quite ok and very
helpful. .lnk file interpretation can be switched off and on as a boot
option.

> More importantly, shortcuts are a hell of a lot more complicated than
> has been implied. Not only can they point to local files or UNCs (the
> \\server\share\path notation), they can also point to any object in the
> (Windows) shell's namespace, which includes lots of virtual objects that
> don't actually exist on disk. With the release of the Windows Installer
> package manager, Microsoft has also added support for shortcuts that
> will either invoke the target application or prompt for that
> application's installation when they're activiated, leading to much more
> complexity to either deal with such a shortcut, or to recognize it and
> ignore it.

As said before the vfat fs would only display the convertable shortcuts
and not all.

> Finally, I haven't seen any justification for why symlinks on VFAT are
> needed, beyond some vague statements that it's useful when dual booting.
> Face it, VFAT isn't a Unix filesystem and introducing ugly hacks to make
> it more similar to one will only cause problems in the long run. If you
> want symlinks, use a real filesystem or use umsdos on your favorite FAT
> filesystem. (Assuming that umsdos still works...).

I cannot decompress a tarball with symlinks on a vfat volume without that
patch. With that patch I can use the vfat volume like a unix fs. I can
boot XP running Cygwin and build another binary from the same sources.

vfat with the patch can *create* symlinks that are compatible with other
oses.

The patch is a must have ....


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