[Oberon] filesystem with directories ?

Thomas Frey thomas.frey at alumni.ethz.ch
Mon May 1 22:53:05 CEST 2006

Directories/Folders offer a namespace for files and a means to group
them into categories of some kind. The namespace property of the
directories means that it can contain files with names that are
completely independant of all filenames in any other directory. For
example a file named Readme.Text could be contained in several
different folders without being the same file.
The directory approach to bring order into the files is useful in many
situations but not always good enough and sometimes confusing for some
A person having two jobs and a private life might for example have
folders for Job1, Job2 and a Private folder. In each of these folders
there might be a folder for Letters and a folder for general
This is a very simple organization scheme but already there is the
possibility to turn the hierarchy the other way around : There could
be two main folders, one for Letters and one for Info with each a sub
folder for Job1, Job2 and Private. Which hierarchy is chosen is not so
important as long as everybody who uses the filesystem has the same
idea about which is the stronger grouping property.
Symbolic-Links and Hard-Links that are available in most modern
hierarchical filesystems are further evidence that the hierarchical
folders are not sufficient for all cases.
A possibly better approach would be to tag files with Group-attributes
or Labels that could act similar to traditional folders but would at
the same time remove the need for Hard/Symbolic links. (Only the real
everyday use could prove/disprove such a Label based file system)

Personally I like folders and use them extensively. On my data
partition I keep and backup more than 132000 data files (source code/
icons/ texts/ letter/ photos/ slides/ result files of some
experiments/ specifications/...)  I group them into about 6500
hierarchic folders (9 on the first hierarchy level). Of course in
theory, the files could also just be numbered or have a dotted name to
realize grouping and namespaces but with this number of files i will
stay on FAT until there is some thing better with equal tool support
for Aos/Windows/Linux.


On 5/1/06, Aubrey McIntosh <Aubrey.McIntosh at ridgewater.edu> wrote:
> Can you articulate what problem directories fix?
> -- Aubrey McIntosh, Ph.D.
>    Chemistry
> >>> p.provoost at rn.rabobank.nl 5/1/2006 1:36 AM >>>
> Maybe I should elaborate on the reason I asked about Bluebottles
> filesystem ...
> The main reason for a journaled filesystem with directories is the added
> reliability with respect to FAT and EXT2. Especially FAT is notorious
> for its vulnerability to crashes. FAT32 is just as bad IMHO.
> Reiserfs is more stable, as is EXT3, but EXT3 is quite slow.
> And of course the directories are a must when the number of files
> increases. In the days that Oberon fitted on a floppy disk, one
> root-direcotry was fine. But now that it is about 100 MB with hundreds
> of files, I think the time has come to use a more sophisticated file
> system.
> --
> Oberon at lists.inf.ethz.ch mailing list for ETH Oberon and related systems
> https://lists.inf.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/oberon

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