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Subfile GSoC (Re: Implementation Proposal for ...)

Just thinking out loud on a couple of points.

On Sun, 25 May 2008, Jan Danielsson wrote:

Gerhard Sittig wrote:

The "other" systems which have this kind of feature seem to be
- MacOS and its "resource forks"
- Windows (NT style) and "alternative data streams"
- Linux and its support for NTFS ADS (don't know about MacOS resource
  forks handling on Linux)

  ..and OS/2 -- which called them "Extended attributes".

I can't help but note that everyone seems to use a different name. Do they all describe the same thing, or are there differences? "subfile" is as good a name as any, but it looks a bit like Not Invented Here syndrome.

So don't make the mistake of implementing some fall-back method for generic-filesystem-compatibility, unless you've _really_ thought it through.

Would a /path/to/file/rsrc -like scheme work in this case? "Everything is a file", etc. Copy to FAT partition (e.g. USB key) with an aware tool, end up with separate files. Copy back, and the complete file is reconstructed.

A non-aware tool would see two files, it would mean you get e.g. tar files that are at least valid on other systems, and includes all of the necessary information for reconstructing the original files.

You could still end up with separate subfiles and ... ah, forget it. End up with separate *data and resource forks*, in separate normal files, but they would be located together, in a predictable way, and could possibly be reintegrated.

Now go ahead and tell me how I'm wrong.  :-)


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