[PATCH 02/18] xstat: Add a pair of system calls to make extended file stats available [ver #6]

Linus Torvalds torvalds at linux-foundation.org
Thu Jul 22 09:14:42 MDT 2010

On Thu, Jul 22, 2010 at 5:17 AM, Volker Lendecke
<Volker.Lendecke at sernet.de> wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 22, 2010 at 01:14:47PM +0100, David Howells wrote:
>> Jan Engelhardt <jengelh at medozas.de> wrote:
>> > Linux already has a creation time field, it's called otime (there is no "b"
>> > in "creation"), and you will find scattered fragments of that all over the
>> > kernel (foremost, fs/jfs/, now btrfs, and I also notice sysvipc having
>> > something with that name).
>> It is?  It's called crtime in Ext4.  st_btime, however, would be compatible
>> with BSD's stat, and Samba would just use it by way of autoconf magic if it
>> appeared.
> Samba has the following check:
> # recent FreeBSD, NetBSD have creation timestamps called birthtime:
> AC_CHECK_MEMBERS([struct stat.st_birthtimespec.tv_nsec])
> AC_CHECK_MEMBERS([struct stat.st_birthtime], AC_CHECK_MEMBERS([struct stat.st_birthtimensec]))
> and the supporting code around that. "birth" might also be
> where the "b" comes from :-)

Oh wow. And all of this just convinces me that we should _not_ do any
of this, since clearly it's all totally useless and people can't even
agree on a name.

Let's wait five years and see if there is actually any consensus on it
being needed and used at all, rather than rush into something just
because "we can".


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