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those extended file attribute thingies of the Hurd sound rather cool. would be nice not having to think of places to put metadata.

· brutaldon · 4 · 2 · 5

@grainloom pretty much every filesystem supports xattrs or some equivalent

@ben oh dang, TIL.
i wonder how arbitrary they can be...

@grainloom @ben okay now I'm curious, would this be a terrible terrible way to implement a key-value store?

@christianbundy @ben yes. looks like the limitations aren't even consistent across file systems.

@grainloom That was one of the things I liked most about some of the preliminary ideas behind ReiserFS.
@grainloom NFSv4.1 has a strange design for attributes where you can open a Magic Directory that contains only files (no subdirectories) and each file can be opened, read, written, and sought like any other file.

This varied enough from how extended attributes were normally done, particularly in that you couldn't easily fetch a bunch of key-value xattr pairs in a single operation, that a separate xattr interface was added.

Sadly the Linux filesystem maintainers have a real dislike of xattrs overall and fought against attempts to add support for them.

@Azure @grainloom That sounds like resource forks, as implemented on basically every non-POSIX (and a number of POSIX) system(s)?

The most recent Linux patch series for that occurred soon after the CoC kerfuffle, and I think was an excellent example of the limitations of CoCs and the importance of culture.

(Namely: the response was a politely worded version of “fuck, this garbage shit again? It's garbage, NAK!” without any attempt to point out any previous discussion about the problems)

@RAOF @grainloom The initial design was basically an attempt to unify forks and xattrs in a single interface. Which isn't a bad goal, just not something that made anyone happy.

@Azure @grainloom

That's an effect of the fact that much floss is supporter by large corporations

See my other toots in this thread about this

@grainloom xattr?

Lots of limitations, but fairly usable, especially for metadata. A bunch of desktop systems use it.

@RAOF thanks (altho it was already pointed out)
what would be most interesting is how virtual file systems could utilize it...
hmm.

@alexandria @grainloom @RAOF
:owi: Added to my list! (the main alternative I currently see is TMSU)
The tutorial is nice, but the most essential thing I'd like to know before using it and seems to be missing from the docs is which file systems work with it.

@grainloom

Richer data structures make for better user experiences ✊

@grainloom

That is why the plain text based interfaces among processes of Posix are an enemy of the people

They are a device for making computing less accessibile, de facto

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