[Oberon] filesystem with directories ?

W B Hacker wbh at conducive.org
Fri May 5 08:12:22 CEST 2006

Jack Johnson wrote:

> On 5/4/06, Brantley Coile <brantley at coraid.com> wrote:
>> http://cm.bell-labs.com/sys/doc/venti.pdf
> Yep, that's definitely where I originally got the notion of using
> hashes as filenames.  Venti's use at a block level is definitely more
> disk-efficient, but something like git is pretty easy to implement
> (even given my meager skills), given an existing filesystem and some
> monkeying around with the file calls.
> Where I would be tempted to upend the git model is to dispense with
> the tree object altogether and implement the tagging discussed
> earlier, though it could be interesting to come up with a system that
> would work equally well given a hierarchical view or a tagged view.  I
> suppose the underlying system needn't be mutually exclusive.
> -Jack
> -- 

Very true!

In fact, (torn-tape aside) I don't suppose it ever was " ... 
mutually exclusive".

 From card-decks thru IBM TOS, the storage has nearly always 
been some form of 'block mode', relying either on 
de-facto/de-jure ISAM, (cards & tape), a huge amount of sorts 
and merges, (early Disk OS) or - what has largely survived - 
some form of intermediate block listings, (bit-map, FAT) raw 
lists, linked lists (hpfs?), table-driven, or ... whatever.

As said before - the so-caled "hierarchical fs' has almost never 
been such anyway - it is just the human-friendly notational 
convention imposed on the lists of blocks.

What we are looking at with Plan 9 'Venti', 'git', Google and 
other search engines, - and in this thread - is challenging what 
has come to be regardes as 'human friendly'.

There are several orders of magnitude more processing power and 
storage capacity ubiquitously available than were in reach when 
most of the common fs architectures came into being.

So - IMNSHO - the time is ripe for even a "lean" OS to embrace 
the reality that one can no longer even buy 'small' storage 
devices (look at USB stick capacity for example), or 'slow' CPU 
(mobile phones outperform yesteryear's 'workstations'), bite the 
fs bullet, and seek to implement a more easily scalable paradigm.


Bill Hacker

More information about the Oberon mailing list