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SubjectRe: silent semantic changes with reiser4
Linus Torvalds wrote:

>On Fri, 27 Aug 2004, Markus Törnqvist wrote:
>>People will say it when people stop using Linux on servers because
>>they can integrate metadata easier in other operating systems ;)
>Heh. Considering that WinFS seems to be delayed yet more, I don't think
>that's a very strong argument.
>Hell will freeze over before Microsoft does a filesystem right. Besides,
>WinFS is likely almost in user mode anyway, ie mostly a library, rather
>like the gnome people are already doing with nome storage.
>So there's really no point in trying to push your agenda by trying to
>scare people with MS activities. Linux kernel developers do what's right
>because it is _right_, not because somebody else does it.
> Linus
Apple will get it right. I promise it. I have met Dominic, and he is
very very sharp. Look at the Tiger demos on their website. Simple
interface, looks nice to me....

The one area he might screw up is performance, but I don't care to count
on that.

WinFS first tried to put it all in the FS, and then it became a user
mode library almost certainly because they are making the standard
mistakes the database guys make when they try to emulate file systems
without changing the core balanced tree algorithms, and their
performance sucked and they had to back off. It took 11 years for me to
get it right, and they aren't as crazy-err-persistent as I am.;-)

We might get lucky and have them produce another NTFS, but then again,
when Microsoft focuses on a task, they do much better at it than they do
most of the time, and they are focused on WinFS. They have hired very
sharp people. We can hope that they don't know how to use them, but
when they hire people like Gerard Salton for $1 million a year, there is
just possibly a chance that they might try to get their money's worth
out of him.

You should not be complacent about WinFS being delayed to 2007, because
even if I get funding for enhanced ReiserFS semantics tomorrow we also
can't get the job done before 2007. This is big science, not writing a
device driver.

Finally, how much harm will it be if we do it right and it is important
and they fail? Suppose I am wrong about them, and we create a powerful
unifying namespace for Linux before any other OS does? Is that so bad?

Creating a powerful namespace at the heart of Linux is the most
important enhancement you can make to the OS.

Finally the storage layer is good enough to support putting the
relationship between keywords (actually keyobjects in my scheme....) and
their documents directly into the FS without losing performance for
traditional file system usage patterns, and I get to stop tweaking
performance and go have fun with semantics in the next major release.

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