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SubjectRe: The argument for fs assistance in handling archives

On Thu, 2 Sep 2004, Hans Reiser wrote:
> Linus Torvalds wrote:
> >
> >. Doing transactions on one file is
> >only the beginning - you'll find people who want transactions across file
> >boundaries etc.
> Yup, that's what reiser4 is aiming at and where things get exciting for
> version control systems and the like. We are just missing the api code
> for it at the moment, all the infrastructure is there, and the api is in
> progress in sys_reiser4.

But _my_ point is, no user program is going to take _advantage_ of
anything that only one filesystem on one system offers.

So there's no point.

It's much saner (from _any_ app standpoint) to roll their own database in
user space - that way it just works.

In other words, nobody is really ever going to take advantage of this.
This is _not_ how technical advanncement happens. The way you get people
to take advantage of something is to have a nice gradual ramp-up, not a
sudden new feature that they can't realistically use.

So before you do transactions in the filesystem, you have to be able to do
them in user space - and then make the filesystem version be _compatible_
with that user space library. That way you can get people to use the
library ("hey, it works anywhere") and then you can get them to use your
filesystem ("hey, if you use our super-duper filesystem, you can do what
you are already doing five times faster").

See? You're starting at the wrong end. Give me a portable interface to use
_first_. Then do transactions in the filesystem.

(Now, as an academic exercise and as a learnign experience and prototyping
work it migt make sense to do the filesystem first. But then you have to
really _consider_ it a prototype, and realize that to make it useful you'd
still have to do the user thing before you can "sell" people on the idea).

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