Re: Versioning file system

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On Tue, 19 Jun 2007, Lennart Sorensen wrote:

On Tue, Jun 19, 2007 at 02:03:07PM -0400, Chris Snook wrote:
I pointed out NetApp's .snapshot directories because that's a method that
uses legal path character, but doesn't break anything.  With this method,
userspace tools will have to be taught that : is suddenly a special
character.  Userspace already knows that files beginning with . are special
and treat them specially. We don't need a new special character for every
 new feature.  We've got one, and it's flexible enough to do what you want,
as proven by NetApp's extremely successful implementation.  Perhaps you
want a slightly different interface from what NetApp has implemented, but
what you're suggesting will change the default behavior of basic tools like
tar and ls.  This is not a good thing.
I think I used one of those systems once (or at least another one with
.snapshot feature).  It managed to completely avoid user space problems
by never actually showing .snapshot in directory listings, but you could
always cd to it or refer to it explicitly.  You never risked having tar
or find or anything else accidentally pick it up.  Very nice interface.
since anything starting with . is considered a 'hidden' file per *nix
tradition it's ignored by many programs and optionally ignored by most
others (and anything that doesn't ignore . files when presending files to
the user has many other problems on modern desktop systems anyway ;-)
the only trouble I ever had with the .snapshot approach is when tar or
find would decend down into the .snapshot when I didn't really intend for
it to do so.
David Lang
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