|| ||Hans Reiser <reiser-AT-namesys.com>|
|| ||Christoph Hellwig <hch-AT-lst.de>|
|| ||Re: silent semantic changes with reiser4|
|| ||Wed, 25 Aug 2004 12:53:28 -0700|
|| ||akpm-AT-osdl.org, linux-fsdevel-AT-vger.kernel.org,
linux-kernel-AT-vger.kernel.org, Alexander Lyamin aka FLX <flx-AT-namesys.com>,
Linus Torvalds <torvalds-AT-osdl.org>,
ReiserFS List <reiserfs-list-AT-namesys.com>|
I had not intended to respond to this because I have nothing positive to
say, but Andrew said I needed to respond and suggested I should copy
Let me see if I can summarize what you and your contingent are saying, and
if I misconstrue anything, let me know.;-)
You ignored everything I said during the discussion of xattrs about how
there is no need to have attributes when you can just have files and
directories, and that xattrs reflected a complete ignorance of name space
design principles. When I said we should just add some nice optional
features to files and directories so that they can do everything that
attributes can do if they are used that way, you just didn't get it. You
instead went for the quick ugly hack called xattrs. You then got that ugly
hack done first, because quick hacks are, well, quick. I then went about
doing it the right way for Reiser4, and got DARPA to fund doing it. I was
never silent about it.
Making files into directories caused only two applications out of the
entire OS to notice the change, and that was because of a bug in what error
code we returned that we are going to fix. You think that was a disaster;
I think it was a triumph.
Now a cleanly architected filesystem with no attributes and just files and
directories that can do everything attributes are used for exists. You
don't want it to have the competitive advantage. Instead, you want it to
have its clean design excised until you have something that duplicates it
ready to go, and only then should it be allowed that users will use the
features of your competitor's filesystem which you disdained implementing
for so long.
Since you never studied or understood namespace design principles (or you
would not have created and supported xattrs), you want to rename it to be
called VFS, rewrite what we have done, and take over as the maintainer,
mangling its design in a committee clusterfuck as you go. We have just
implemented very trivial semantic enhancements of the FS namespace, nothing
like as ambitious as www.namesys.com/whitepaper.html or WinFS, and you are
already pissing your pants.
Is that a fair summary?
Eat my dust. Hans
I should of course qualify what I have said. The use of files and
directories in place of attributes is not a finished work. It has bugs,
sys_reiser4() does not yet work, and there are little features still
missing like having files readdir ignores.
Still, except for the bugs, what we have is usable, and there are a lot of
happy reiser4 users right now even with the bugs. It will need a little bit
more time, and then all the pieces will be in place.
If you implement your filesystems as reiser4 plugins, and rename reiser4's
plugin code to be called "vfs", your filesystems will go faster. Not as
fast as reiser4 though, because it has a better layout and that affects
performance a lot, but faster is faster.... See
www.namesys.com/benchmarks.html for details.
Since we have such a performance lead, Namesys is about to change its
focus from the storage layer to semantics, look at
www.namesys.com/whitepaper.html for details. Semantic enhancements are the
important stuff, and finally Namesys is where we have all the storage layer
prerequisites done right, and the real work can begin. The gap between us
is about to widen further.
Christoph Hellwig wrote:
>After looking trough the code and mailinglists I'm quite unhappy with
>a bunch of user-visible changes that Hans sneaked in and make reiser4
> incompatible with other filesystems
if we leave you in the dust, run faster.... not my problem....
>Given these problems I request that these interfaces are removed from
>reiser4 for the kernel merge, and if added later at the proper VFS level
>after discussion on linux-kernel and linux-fsdevel, like we did for
If you can't help fight WinFS, then get out of the way. Namesys is on the
march. Read www.namesys.com/whitepaper.html.
Or, be smart, recognize that reiser4 is faster and more flexible than your
storage layers because we are older and wiser and worked harder at it, join
the team, and start contributing plugins that tap into the higher
performance it offers.
Microsoft tried to build a storage layer that could handle small objects
without losing performance, failed, and gave up at considerable cost to
their architecture and pocketbook.
We just broke a hole in the enemy line. You could come swarming through it
with us, but it sounds like you prefer complaining to HQ that we are
getting too far in front of you.
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