BSD is dying

Paul Richards paul at
Thu Jul 28 15:58:48 BST 2005

On Thu, Jul 28, 2005 at 03:41:14PM +0100, Robert Watson wrote:
> On Thu, 28 Jul 2005, Paul Richards wrote:
> >On Thu, Jul 28, 2005 at 03:05:25PM +0100, Robert Watson wrote:
> >>
> >>Not that we shouldn't work to make it better, but I think that there are
> >>some fundamental missing pieces, and those pieces aren't at the OS level.
> >
> >Actually I think they are. Unix hackers are ultra conservative when it 
> >comes to fundamentally changing the "unix way". If it was left to the 
> >choice of unix hackers then email would remain strictly text based.
> >
> >Would spotlight be a realistic possibility in FreeBSD. It requires 
> >hooking into the kernel filesystem API and indexing files as they're 
> >changed. That sort of digression from unix thinking is virtually unheard 
> >of in the traditional BSD environments. We have very poor sound support 
> >or gadget support, whereas Linux is very good and OS X is virtually 
> >flawless.
> The big problem with introducing Spotlight on a system like FreeBSD (or 
> Linux for that matter) is actually the underlying file system.  Files in 
> both Linux and FreeBSD don't have names, names instead point at files. 
> The hook APIs in the Darwin kernel to support notification of changes for 
> Spotlight rely heavily on HFS+ providing a "strong" name space.  I don't 
> see that any of the Linux file systems of note have this capability 
> either, although Hans is always waving his hands in this direction.

In the sense that is shows up how a fundamental OS issue hampers
innovative desktop advances then it was an ideal example then :-)

I think I'd swap hardlinks for spotlight from a users perspective.

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