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    SubjectRe: file as a directory
    >Following the recent discussions on the lists on "file as directory", I

    Recently I discovered that calling "joe /etc" on FreeBSD opens the directory
    itself (rather than erroring out with EISDIR). The byte string looked like a
    number of "struct dirent"s. Did it break apps in BSD? I donot think so.

    (Hell, I just voted _for_ the directory-as-a-file and vice-versa stuff, I'm
    never gonna regret it to myself :)

    >would automatically give you the glued file (without having to add the
    >.glued !) and when you access it as a directory (using readdir(), for
    >instance), you would get the components listed as a directory.
    >(I am not sure whether the access method, e.g. read() vs. readdir() is
    >sufficient to distinguish the meaning. Another way may be putting a "/"
    >after the objectname to indicate that you want it as a directory.)

    I would not rely on that. Many apps strip a trailing slash (just to add it
    later again) or vice versa!

    >If we do this, the applications don't need to know whether they are
    >dealing with an object consisting of small files, aggregated, or whether
    >they are looking at a big file with some way of accessing their parts.
    >If an old application (or user) looks for the /etc/passwd file, it will
    >still get what it expects without having to know that the file is an

    What will ls do? Consider this on a "normal" filesystem:

    ls -l /etc/passwd
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1614 Dec 12 23:57 /etc/passwd
    ls -l /etc
    [lots of files]

    What will happen on v4 then?
    ls -l /etc
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 123456 Dec 01 23:45 /etc
    ls -l /etc/passwd
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1234 Dec 01 23:45 root
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1234 Dec 01 23:45 jengelh
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1234 Dec 01 23:45 daemon
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1234 Dec 01 23:45 sys
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1234 Dec 01 23:45 stduser

    It's because "ls" checks the type of the argument to decide what to do (unless
    you add -d).

    Jan Engelhardt
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