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SubjectRe: [RFC 12/26] ext2 white-out support
On Wed, 1 August 2007 15:33:30 -0400, Josef Sipek wrote:
> This brings up an very interesting (but painful) question...which makes more
> sense? Allowing the modifications in only the top-most branch, or any branch
> (given the user allows it at mount-time)?
> This is really question to the community at large, not just you, Dave :)

Only write to top-most layer.

There are two reasons for this. First it allows users to create a union
mount, test something (e.g. update the distribution) and remove every
trace from the test by umounting the top-most layer. Such a thing can
be quite valuable.

The second reason is simplicity. I personally couldn't even start to
describe the semantics. If the user does a rename, which layer will the
change end up in? What if source or target exist in multiple layers?
How to rename a directory in a lower layer containing a new file in an
upper layer?

Finding new and interesting corner cases for such a beast can be quite
entertaining. And until someone has properly documented the semantics
for _all_ the corner cases, my enthusiasm is below freezing point. Does
such a documentation exist?


A surrounded army must be given a way out.
-- Sun Tzu
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