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An unexpected perf feature
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POSIX manual is not little ;-)
Seriously, we tell Microsoft that going out of spec is bad, bad, bad. But, we can go out of spec no problem. There is a word for that:
> What we have seen with XFS is how some anal-retentive developers lost most of their user base while trying to argue such points as "POSIX-compliance", and then they finally give in.
Yep, blame the people that _didn't_ cause the problem. We've seen that before.
Sorry, but I don't see it this way...
Posted Mar 15, 2009 22:08 UTC (Sun) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
I'm yet to see anyone who asks Microsoft to never go beyond the spec.
It'll be just insane: if you can not ever add anything beyond what
the spec says how any progress can occur?
When Microsoft is blamed it's because Microsoft
1. Does not implement spec correctly, or
2. Don't say what's the spec requirements and what's extensions.
When Microsoft says "JNI is not sexy so we'll provide RMI instead" the
ire is NOT about problems with RMI. Lack of JNI is to blame.
I don't see anything of the sort here: POSIX does not require to make
open/write/close/rename atomic but it certainly does not forbid this. And
it's useful thing to have so why not? It'll be best to actually document
this behaviour, of course - after that applications can safely rely on it
and other systems can implement it as well if they wish. We even have nice
flag to disable this extensions if someone wants this :-)
Posted Mar 15, 2009 22:24 UTC (Sun) by bojan (subscriber, #14302)
Which is exactly what our applications are doing. POSIX says, commit. We don't and then we blame others for it.
This is the same thing HTML5 is doing
Posted Mar 15, 2009 22:33 UTC (Sun) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
Sorry, but it's not the problem with POSIX or FS - it's problem with
number of applications. Once a lot of applications are starting to depend
on some weird feature (content sniffing in case of HTML, atomicity of
open/write/close/rename on case of filesystem) it makes no sense to try to
fix them all. Much better to document it and make it official. This is what
Microsoft did with a lot of "internal" functions in MS-DOS 5 (and it was
praised for it, not ostracized), this is what HTML is doing in HTML5 and
this is what Linux filesystems should do.
Was it good idea to depend on said atomicity? May be, may be not. But
the time to fix these problems come and gone - today it's much better to
extend the spec.
Posted Mar 15, 2009 23:37 UTC (Sun) by bojan (subscriber, #14302)
Time to fix these problems using the existing API is now, because right now we have the attention of everyone on how to use the API properly. To the credit of some in this discussion, bugs are already being fixed in Gnome (as I already mentioned in another comment). I also have bugs to fix in my own code - there is no denying that :-(
In general, I agree with you on extending the spec. But, before the spec gets extended officially, we need to make sure that _every_ POSIX compliant file system implements it that way. Otherwise, apps depending on this new spec will not be reliable until that's the case. So, can we actually make sure that's the case? I very much doubt it. There is a lot of different systems out there that are implementing POSIX, some of them very old. Auditing all of them and then fixing them may be harder than fixing the applications.
Why do we need such blessing?
Posted Mar 16, 2009 0:05 UTC (Mon) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
Linux extends POSIX all the time. New syscalls, new features (things
like "According to the standard specification (e.g., POSIX.1-2001),
sync() schedules the writes, but may return before the actual writing is
done. However, since version 1.3.20 Linux does actually wait."), etc.
If application wants to use such "extended feature" - it can do this, if
not - it can use POSIX-approved features only.
As for old POSIX systems... it's up to application writers again. And
you can be pretty sure A LOT OF them don't give a damn about POSIX
compliance. They are starting to consider Linux as third platfrom for their
products (first two are obviously Windows and MacOS in that order), but if
you'll try to talk to them about POSIX it'll just lead to the removal of
Linux from list of supported platforms. Support of many distributions is
already hard enough, support of some exotic filesystems "we'll think about
it but don't hold your breath...", support for old exotic POSIX systems...
Now - the interesting question is: do we welcome such selfish developers
or not? This is hard question because the answer "no, they should play by
our rules" will just lead to exodus of users - because they need these
applications and WINE is not a good long-term solution...
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