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Alternative File Systems

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  • User profile image
    sbc

    Do you think Windows should support different file systems? At the moment all we have our FAT and NTFS and these are very old technologies. Reiser4 is apparently unbreakable and very fast - expirimental stage though. Journalling file systems (NTFS is a Journalling file system): EXT3, XFS, JFS, ReiserFS

    What is WinFS going to be like? I remember reading somewhere that it is not going to end up in Longhorn - how long has it been in development?

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    sbc wrote:
    Do you think Windows should support different file systems? At the moment all we have our FAT and NTFS and these are very old technologies. Reiser4 is apparently unbreakable and very fast - expirimental stage though. Journalling file systems (NTFS is a Journalling file system): EXT3, XFS, JFS, ReiserFS

    What is WinFS going to be like? I remember reading somewhere that it is not going to end up in Longhorn - how long has it been in development?


    I think WinFS was in development before Windows 2000 was in development.

    By the way, I heard that it is not a file system and rather software that sits on top of NTFS.

  • User profile image
    Tom Malone

    yes of course they will have to allow the mounting of these systems as they become more widespread throughout, the distributed world most computer reside in.

  • User profile image
    SMac

    WinFS will indeed rest upon NTFS, read more about it:
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/Longhorn/understanding/pillars/WinFS/default.aspx


    And will definately be in Longhorn -- reports to the contrary (as those in businessweek) are greatly overestimated..

    http://blogs.msdn.com/jmazner/archive/2004/04/13/112822.aspx


    Doubt that WinFS has been in dev longer than Win2k as it's XML based which wasn't a standard until June '99 (although you're right, it could have been in development and they just switched to XML or used draft specs)

    what do you propose? other than interoperability with less than 1% of the market (currently) what would a new, advanced FS bring to the table?

  • User profile image
    sbc

    I'm just thinking about those that dual boot systems - not that there are many of them. For people who boot into an alternative OS they have their own partitions and can access the Windows partition as well. Also there is that patent with FAT - potentially some systems may not even be able to access the partition as it will violate the patent - even with a  cheap license fee, that OS won't be able to use it. FAT systems is really the only way of sharing data between OS's - it is the only File System that they all seem to support.

    I suppose they may not add it themselves. Maybe the ability for adding your own? Probably not possible though.

    Perhaps another file system would make the data more secure and access quicker? Or maybe a filesystem like FAT that does not have security restrictions - you may use that if there is no sensitive data and you wish to share it.

  • User profile image
    gmiley

    http://www.mount-everything.com/

    Have not tried this software yet, have only heard about it.

  • User profile image
    androidi

    WinFS relies on NTFS at this point, but reading between the lines the underlying FS is going to change also. I won't go guessing will they make the changes in the Longhorn timeframe or not.

  • User profile image
    Manip

    Thing is WinFS is just an over-hyped version of the indexing service on WinXP. It will not speed up file access much, it will just accelerate file searches. I think WinFS is a nice idea but I'm not incredibly excited by its arrival.

    The main thing about a filesystem is that it can only get SO good. Because of the limitations of magnetic disks (slow, linier) there are only so many tricks you can use to increase access times and at a point you just have to leave it alone.

    Reiser4 makes a lot of claims, but it is new technology and is somewhat untested. You need to examine where you pay for these speed improvements(CPU / RAM?). It might be our future but I don't think rolling out a new system to replace NTFS completely would be particularly welcome at the moment.  

  • User profile image
    androidi

    I'm not going into what WinFS is and what it isn't, but you bring the point about access times. I don't think WinFS search performance will help (or relate to) rapid random accesses scenarios where you have more or less static access pattern to hundreds of files (Like loading Visual Studio).

    It's hard to tell whether we have faster access times in future mainstream mass storage systems. The history of HDD does not show big improvements in mainstream IDE drive access times and it's hard to say will HDD technology change to something else in near future, not likely in a few years.

    What I do hope is that someone comes up with some background access optimizer service which looks how applications access data when starting up and then arranges and defragments the files with the access pattern data in mind.

    I definetely agree that NTFS should be gone in Longhorn but that seems a bit unlikely at this point. If they are going to keep NTFS, a service which I described above could help, though a few problems come in mind regarding how it could be implemented.

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