Subject: Re: Item of future thought: disklabels
To: Scott Reynolds <scottr@Plexus.COM>
From: John F. Woods <>
List: current-users
Date: 07/26/1996 09:11:20
> > Why not just noffs (network order ffs)?  That way you would not need
> > to worry about be/le, you just mount it...
> Aieeee!  And alienate the i386 user base?! (Among others...)

The amount of time byte-swapping metadata is insignificant compared to the
time required for disk reads and writes; the i386 user base should scarcely
notice the time.  (Unless you suspect that the i386 user base is largely
made up of the typical PC users who fascinate on pointless speed issues to
avoid admitting that their computers are grossly misdesigned; I suspect
most of those types are running Linux instead of NetBSD.[*] ;-)

However, there's scarcely any point in mandating one byte order; the same
code has to be written one way or the other, so you might as well handle the
native/non-native case for all three common byte orders (how is the PDP-11
port coming along, anyway? :-).  The FFS file system has a magic number, which
makes non-native byte order trival to detect.

(And yes, I've done a dual byte order filesystem before; it isn't hard, but
it *is* a lot of tedious detail work.)

[*] The last time I read comp.sys.mac.advocacy, about 2-3 years ago, the
brainless "MAC SUCKS, DOS RULEZ" flames were beginning to mutate into "MAC
SUCKS, LINUX RULEZ" flame, largely by recycling exactly the same text but
scratching out DOS and writing Linux in with crayon.  'Nuff said.