FAT, NTFS, CIFS and DOS attributes

H. Peter Anvin hpa at zytor.com
Tue Jan 4 01:48:43 GMT 2005

Nicholas Miell wrote:
> The design isn't broken, you're just missing an important detail of what
> the system namespace entails:
> xattrs in the system namespace have a format defined by the kernel and
> (more importantly -- this is the important detail) modify kernel
> behavior.
> If the xattr namespace was flat, I would have no way of knowing whether
> or not the kernel will set the Archived bit in fatattrs (or DosAttrib)
> xattr when I write to a file that has that xattr or whether or not the
> kernel will choose to enforce the ACL I store in the posix_acl_access
> xattr.
> With the system namespace, I can rely on the fact that xattrs in that
> namespace actually have a meaning and are in sync with what the kernel
> believes to be true about the file.

What you're neglecting is that there is a LARGE class of metadata where 
the important thing is that you store them; if you don't know what they 
are you merely ignore them and keep them as-is.

There is no place for those in the current design.


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