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Practical File System Design with the Be File System

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the online-knowledge dept.

258

erikharrison writes "Dominic Giampaolo's Practical File System Design with the Be Filesystem has been around since 1999 - not exactly a new book. The book has been out of print for a time now, however, so Dominic made the book available in PDF form on his website. With this public release of the book, and the BeOS rising to join the ranks of OSs that won't die (hi Amiga!) it makes sense to take a look at what the book has to offer us today." Read on for the rest of Harrison's review below to see just what that is -- it covers a surprisingly broad range.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1 Introduction to the BeOS and BFS
  • Chapter 2 What Is a File System?
  • Chapter 3 Other File Systems
  • Chapter 4 The Data Structures of BFS
  • Chapter 5 Attributes, Indexing, and Queries
  • Chapter 6 Allocation Policies
  • Chapter 7 Journaling
  • Chapter 8 The Disk Block Cache
  • Chapter 9 File System Performance
  • Chapter 10 The Vnode Layer
  • Chapter 11 User-Level API
  • Chapter 12 Testing
  • Appendix A File System Construction Kit

First thing to note is that Giampaolo is not a great writer, nor is he a bad one. He does not have the gift that some tech writers have of making both an interesting technical document and a fun read. His style is very straightforward - introduce idea, explicate idea, summarize idea. On the other hand, he knows his topic inside and out, and has an obvious enthusiasm for the material, and a real talent for saying things simply without dumbing it down, and his occasional dry wit makes the book a surprisingly easy read.

Giampaolo is doing two things - discussing designing filesystems in general and documenting the Be filesystem. He does both well. BeFS has some advanced features - arbitrary metadata, attribute queries, and indexing. The desire to support these features influences the overall design of the system, but Giampaolo shows how changes to that design change implementation details. The result is a good overview of how a file system works, the trade-offs in optimizing for a particular usage pattern, and how to design one yourself.

The book can be roughly divided into three sections: the first is an overview of how filesystems work and some of the concepts that you encounter - extents, inodes, B-trees, superblocks, and the other standard pieces of a filesystem. Included in this early section is a good high-level overview of the design of five other file systems: BSD FFS, Linux's ext2, Macintosh HFS, Irix XFS, and Windows NT's NTFS. The coverage here strikes a proper balance between too much and too little information. Giampaolo prefers to show rather than to tell, and these filesystem overviews make the connection between design, performance, and features perfectly clear, and provide a solid background to talk about a specific implementation in detail - namely BeFS.

The second section is the bulk of the book - how to implement a filesystem from the ground up, leaning heavily on the BeFS implementation for examples. This is the most straightforward part of the book. Giampaolo covers a single issue in design and implementation in a "Here's the problem, here's and overview of possible solutions and their drawbacks, here's how I did it, now lets summarize" manner. Again, Giampaolo's style makes this an easy if somewhat dry read. As a filesystem and kernel ignoramus, I would have appreciated a slightly more detailed coverage of how all of the various data structures get to disk - how are they serialized, whether endianess is an issue, etc. The BeOS was pretty portable, running at one time or another on the AT&T Hobbit processor, PowerPC, and x86 - I would have liked to have seen portability issues discussed, however, BeFS wasn't written until after the move from the Hobbit to PowerPC, and the book was written prior to the move to x86, so the lack of coverage is reasonable.

Even considering the plain Jane style of this middle section, there are a few gems. The coverage of journaling is excellent, and while I've long understood journaling from a 10,000 foot perspective, this really made me understand the underlying concepts, combined with simple code snippets that helped understand implementation. The Allocation Policies chapter showed in clear terms that disk access is a major bottleneck, and filesystems have become very sophisticated in their optimizations.

The third section of the book deals with some of the more indirect concerns in implementing a file system; specifically, interacting with the kernel, designing a user level API and the major role of testing in filesystem development. This is the one place Giampaolo's writing shines. He really is a good teacher, and this section affords him the chance to talk about the broader perspective of OS design, and even recount a few war stories. For example, in terms of parentage, the BeOS has BSD and classic MacOS as its father and mother. In a few places, such as the Storage Kit API covered in chapter 11, this heritage shows some signs of less-than-seamless integration, and this offers Giampalo a chance to wax philosophical on the nature of OS design, company politics, and the pressure of shipping dates.

In short, the book lives up to it's title. The author is a pragmatist, and offers a clear roadmap for those who have a need to work with low level filesystem implementation. His emphasis on testing, careful optimization, and data structure protection not only helps to show the pitfalls of filesystem work, but also offers a Swiss army knife of techniques to dodge them. The book concludes with a short appendix which covers a file system construction kit, allowing a would-be implementor to begin work on his own filesystem safely without worrying about killing his hard disk. All in all, a solid read.


Here's a link to Practical File System Design with the Be File System as a PDF; you can also look for a used copy at Barnes & Noble. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, carefully read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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My theory (-1, Offtopic)

etcremote (776426) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110492)

Join the jihad. join anti-slash [anti-slash.org]

Mirror with PDF (5, Informative)

BiggestPOS (139071) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110496)

http://biggestpos.com/pfs/ It took me so long to download the file I thought I'd put it on a faster server for you guys.

Re:Mirror with PDF (4, Informative)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110760)

This reminds me of the guy who put up an Adobe Golive PDF book for download. Wired article here [wired.com] . Since nobody reads links, the short story is that it was downloaded 10,000 times in 36 hours and faced a possible $15,000 bandwidth bill (which was later rescinded by Level 3, his hosting company).

Earthlink wasn't so charitable [insidemacgames.com] to a Halo fan who put up a movie previewing Halo and saw it downloaded 100,000 times. Earthlink charged him $30,000 for the 4500 gigabytes downloaded.

The moral here is that if you're going to put up anything which might be downloaded quite a lot (or if you're expecting a slashdotting), make sure your host doesn't charge through the nose for extra bandwidth. Or, if the file is over 5MB in size (and under 1GB), make a freecache.org link [freecache.org] and let others mirror it for you automatically.

Re:Mirror with PDF (1)

BiggestPOS (139071) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110838)

The file is just over a meg, and I've got tons of extra bandwidth to burn, I think :)

Re:Mirror with PDF (1)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110862)

make sure your host doesn't charge through the nose for extra bandwidth.

Or just make sure you have 95th percentile billing. That way, you could survive a short burst (up to 36 hours/month) of high bandwidth since you don't pay for the top 5% of your usage. And if you can't burst beyond a certain number, you'd best rate-shape at the firewall.

Crud more file Systems? (0, Flamebait)

LoveTheIRS (726310) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110505)

Aren't there enough filesystems? All you need is one!

Need more than one filesystem (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110533)

All you need is one!

No. You need four:

1. Ext2 or Ext3 on primary hard drive
2. IS09660 on CDs
3. minix for initrd
4. FAT for floppies/USB devices

Re:Need more than one filesystem (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110646)

Sounds like you must be a Linux-loving lus3r.

HFS is the only filesystem worth using. Mac OS 9 for life! CLI's still suck!

-1 Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110683)

You cannot put HFS on a CD and expect it to work right.

Linux has had a GUI for nine years.

Re:-1 Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110702)

HFS is the only filesystem that I have tried and failed to mount on my linux box. Where the hell am I going to find a Mac with a zip drive?

Re:-1 Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110844)

HFS is the only filesystem that I have tried and failed to mount on my linux box. Where the hell am I going to find a Mac with a zip drive?

Huh? Pretty all Mac towers have a zip drive. Meanwhile, I have a USB zip drive for my TiBook -- you can borrow it if you want.

Re:Need more than one filesystem (4, Insightful)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110749)

You know, I hope nobody ever tries a "one size fits all" approach with filesystems.

Some are good for a specific purpose, like ISO9660. It's got error correction in it, so it's good for write-once removable media.

Others are extremely widespread, like FAT. That's good for interoperability.

Others support advanced permissions like ACLs. That's good for system security.

Re:Crud more file Systems? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110609)

All you need is one!

Surely all you need is love?

Re:Crud more file Systems? (5, Funny)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110643)

isn't love a journaling filesystem? My girlfriend can remember every little issue I would like to delete.

Re:Crud more file Systems? (3, Insightful)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110673)

Aren't there enough filesystems? All you need is one!

Yes, and 640K is enough for anyone, and everything worth inventing has already been invented.

But seriously, what's wrong with creating new things? A new filesystem just might be better than the current ones. Stranger things have happened. Much stranger things, in fact. Especially in Computer Science. Remember hierarchical databases? No? Well, they used to be all the rage back in the old days, before relational databases took over. These days, the idea of using any other database model seems ludicrous. However, even those might be superseded at some point in the future.

It never hurts to keep an open mind you know...

Re: only relational databases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110713)

These days, the idea of using any other database model seems ludicrous.

The network database model is STILL attractive when excessive speed is required (which is NOT most of the time).

Keep an open mind, but look for good ideas in the junk heap.

Ill shout Troll... (-1, Flamebait)

Peden (753161) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110507)

...to anyone proclaiming this to be old news!

Re:Ill shout Troll... (1, Funny)

nazsco (695026) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110624)

Ill shout Troll..

...to anyone proclaiming this to be old news!
No, you will not, sice you already posted in this thread.

Sorry (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110517)

But ext3 is the perfect file system.

Future is relational databases (2, Insightful)

leandrod (17766) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110519)

One more backwards-looking text... it simply ignores that the future is relational databases as a filesystem.

Re:Future is relational databases (1)

YOUR SIG SUCKS! (712500) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110553)

Leandro Guimaraes Faria Corsetti Dutra
DBA, SysAdmin, Data Modeller
GNU Project, Debian GNU/Linux


YOUR SIG SUCKS!!!!!

Why, you ask? BECAUSE DATA MODELERS ARE the type OF FAGGOT who would write GNU/LINUX!

YOUR SIG SUCKS!!!!

Re:Future is relational databases (4, Insightful)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110574)

and just where are you going to store that database? on another database acting as a filesystem? or will you have a db built into the OS, right next to your flight simulator, and supercolliding monkey accelerator?

Re:Future is relational databases (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110601)

t next to your flight simulator, and supercolliding monkey accelerator?

No, it's next to the frog-exaggerator.

Re:Future is relational databases (1)

leandrod (17766) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110788)

>
will you have a db built into the OS

Why not?

Re:Future is relational databases (2, Funny)

rapett0 (92674) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110874)

Of course, you know the quote that old lady gave to I believe Carl Sagan, "its relational databases all the way down"

Re:Future is relational databases (4, Informative)

gwappo (612511) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110884)

Amusing sarcasm but there's no reason for a database not to write directly to any random access device.

Re:Future is relational databases (1)

master_p (608214) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110584)

You are right, but not only relational...the future is object-oriented databases.

Re:Future is relational databases (1)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110628)

the future is object-oriented databases.

And flying cars. Seriously, is there any decent object oriented db out there? Something that you could trust in production? I have been hearing about them for years but where are they?

Re:Future is relational databases (2, Informative)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110773)

www.objectstore.net

Amazon.com uses it.

Re:Future is relational databases (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110801)

OO databases are myriad and variegated. Yes, there are many that you could trust in production. Of course, if your current problem is convincing your boss that any non-MS-SQL solution is viable, then no, no there is not one that you can trust in production.

If your current problem is that you have important data analysis that cannot be completed with your current Oracle/whatever relational DB due to an algorithm that could lower it's order a few exponents with an OO design, then yeah. There are all kinds of production solutions for you.

Re:Future is relational databases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110585)

Agreed. Link [geocities.com]

Re:Future is relational databases (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110606)

Maybe but maybe not. There are some performance issues to look at not to mention that even if the relational database uses a raw partition it is still use some sort of filesystem to store its data on disk and to manage free space. Even if it is one of it's own design. An how do you know ti will be a realtional database? Maybe it will be an OO database.

Re:Future is relational databases (1)

leandrod (17766) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110747)

>
maybe not

Only if inertia and ignorance continue to hinder us.

>
here are some performance issues

No, this is a physical issue. The relational says nothing about the physical level, thus leaving the implementor total freedom to achieve the best performance possible. This is typically better than what is possible navigationally.

>
even if the relational database uses a raw partition it is still use some sort of filesystem

Not at all. What makes you think so?

>
how do you know ti will be a realtional database? Maybe it will be an OO database.

OO has already been laughed off [dbdebunk.com] the contest.

Re:Future is relational databases (4, Interesting)

ceswiedler (165311) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110659)

It's interesting that one of the features of BeFS is its metadata indexing capabilities (which are the beginnings of a relational model).

Clearly the BeOS designers agree with you.

It's also interesting that the author spends quite a while discussing how difficult it is to do well (particularly performance-wise) and how they almost left it out (IIRC) and/or had to limit its scope.

Clearly the BeOS developers think you're wrong.

And personally, I'll believe people who have actually tried to implement the technology in question over people who say others should do so.

Re:Future is relational databases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110785)

Maybe that's why his post was modded +5 Funny. Clearly everybody else understood the joke but you.

Re:Future is relational databases (2, Insightful)

leandrod (17766) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110818)

>
its metadata indexing capabilities (which are the beginnings of a relational model)

No, they could be the beginnings of an implementation of the relational model.

>
the BeOS designers agree with you

If they did they would have gone full ahead instead of taking half measures.

>
It's also interesting that the author spends quite a while discussing how difficult it is to do well (particularly performance-wise) and how they almost left it out (IIRC) and/or had to limit its scope.

No one ever said data was easy. But implementors usually do this particular blunder because they never understood the relational model, confounding it with SQL.

>
I'll believe people who have actually tried to implement the technology in question over people who say others should do so

No, I am not talking about their technology. I am talking about the relational model.

Re:Future is relational databases (4, Informative)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110881)

Actually, Be started with a full database instead of a file-system. They found it to be incredibly slow and crash-prone, and so they developped the marvel that is the Be file system.

Re:Future is relational databases (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110684)

Maybe you're trying to be funny, but BeFS was renowned for its database-like properties that allowed for easier and quicker searches to find data.

Re:Future is relational databases (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110692)

True. And back in 1999, BeOS was heading in that direction. Not exactly a database, but it had some nice features that are associated with databases.

Re:Future is relational databases (1)

leandrod (17766) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110876)

>
BeOS was heading in that direction

Not quite... they were more doing something SQL-like.

Re:Future is relational databases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110743)

Well that seems like such a bad idea that you would expect Microsoft to adopt it. Wait, maybe they have.
Why put a bloated product like a database between a program and the filesystem, unless you want to slow things down and obfuscate. Oh thats right, that is some peoples goal, too.

Previous Slashdot Fortunes. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110529)

Why oh why oh why don't they keep a list of old Slashdot 'Fortunes'. I accidentally pressed my browser's 'reload' button before I could finish reading one, got a new 'Fortune' and couldn't get the old one back no matter howmany times I pressed reload. At least, a new story popped up, so I might get the chance to achieve 'first post' and publicise my plight here.

Let's have a list of previously used 'Fortunes'

Re:Previous Slashdot Fortunes. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110627)

OMFG LOL STFU!!

j00 g0t pwn3d by t3h r3fr3sh butt0n!

OMFG LOL STFU!!

Like a warm hug. (2, Insightful)

hedon_elite (559044) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110716)

Amiga is like being curled up in a rocking chair with your grandmother when you're 5 years old. Total comfort and contentment. Btw, the Amiga website just got Slashdotted. I bet its been a long time since that happened. Ray Akey's gonna be p*ssed =)

Re:Like a warm hug. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110759)


Ray Akey's gonna be p*ssed =)

passed ?
possessed ?
possessedly ?
possessedness ?
prepossessed ?
professed ?
professedly ?
prowessed ?


Please clarify.

It's a nice thought. (5, Interesting)

DiscordOfFive (778099) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110535)

I generally think it's a good thing when books get put up (legally) on the web like this. My personal view on BeOS is that it's more of a hobby OS than a production one, but a book that details the workings of a complex system is useful. After all, maybe it'll help form the basis of a new, advanced FS.

But look at where he is now... (1)

T-Kir (597145) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110748)

The reason he is at Apple is that he was brought in because of his work on the BeOS FS, so a lot of the ideas and inner workings (AFAIK) are being put into OSX.

I would hunt some links out but I can't be arsed, but El Reg did a very good interview with Dominic a couple of years ago that was quite a good read.

Tell me honestly (-1, Informative)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110537)

Does this post make me look fat?

Isn't this fellow employed by Apple now? BeOS was on of those "it looks great on paper" OSes that couldn't hang with Microsoft's Monopoly OS. I hear many of the advantages of the BeFS are being worked into Journaled HFS+ (Mac OS X 10.3's filesystem of choice). Does anyone care to comment on that?

You in the back, with the face...you look like you want to say something-

Re:Tell me honestly (0, Offtopic)

azav (469988) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110756)

Oh, yes, sorry. I did want to say something.

You are correct. Your post does make you look fat.

Can you actually read this? (1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110538)

Seriously. Cover to cover. Without ripping your eyes out. I doubt it can be accomplished.

Without being too cynical (4, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110543)

He does not have the gift that some tech writers have of making both an interesting technical document and a fun read.

But for most people this is seriously dull subject matter. Oscar Wilde would stuggle to get a chuckle out of this stuff.

Re:Without being too cynical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110742)

Oscar Wilde would stuggle to get a chuckle out of this stuff.

I think Oscar Wilde would be more likely to struggle to get out of his coffin... :)

Mirrors: (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110552)

Mirrors of the PDF:

http:/beos.spb.ru/program/105/practical-file-sys te m-design.pdf.zip

http://users.aber.ac.uk/mmb9/data/practical-file -s ystem-design.pdf

http://www.funtech.org/downloads/Temp/practical- fi le-system-design.pdf

Re:Mirrors: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110575)

Take out some of the spaces the slashdot engine put in the URLs in order to get to the file.

Re:Mirrors: (3, Informative)

uberdave (526529) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110664)

Links to the mirrors:

Link 1 [beos.spb.ru]

Link 2 [aber.ac.uk]

Link 3 [funtech.org]

Really folks, is it so hard to throw a <a></a> tag around a url?

Re:Mirrors: (1)

WhoDang (750712) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110839)

Its always nice when someone makes it a easier for us lazy folk.

Mostly a good book, but one comment..... (1, Redundant)

SollyCholly (777496) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110558)

Perhaps the most annoying thing about this book though is that he doesn't finish his thoughts. I felt that often, just as he was getting to the interesting part after cutting through the fluffy descriptions of his design choices, he would leave the topic and not come back. The must frustrating part of this was that after skipping over many pertinent details of how he actually built the BeFS, he spends an excruciating amount of time describing the vnode layer and the exact API that the file system driver must write too -- something I feel would have been better left to a Be-specific API programming manual.

Re:Mostly a good book, but one comment..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110879)

This is just cut 'n paste from the amazon.com customer review here [amazon.com] by Paul R. Nash. (second paragraph of paul's review)

Silly submitter... (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110572)


the BeOS rising to join the ranks of OSs that won't die

An OS isn't dead or dying until Netcraft confirms it.

Re:Silly submitter... (2, Informative)

nocomment (239368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110690)

and since Be lives on [yellowtab.com] , it will probably be awhile before netcraft confirms it. At least Yellowtab, is releasing something whereas amiga hasn't released anything tangible (although they say they have) since os v4.

Re:Silly submitter... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110707)



It is official; Netcraft now confirms: BeOS is dying.

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered BeOS community when Slashdot confirmed that BeOS market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of its target market. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that BeOS has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. BeOS is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in recent tests.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict BeOS's future. The hand writing is on the wall: BeOS faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for BeOS because BeOS is dying. Things are looking very bad for BeOS. Their offices are dark, the tomb-like sepulchral atmosphere is all that remains. BeOS continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

The BeOS development team is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house. All major surveys show that BeOS has steadily declined in market share. BeOS is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If BeOS is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers and hangers-on. BeOS continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, BeOS is dead.

Fact: BeOS is dying

Re:Silly submitter... (1)

Power Everywhere (778645) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110774)

This is a nice effort, but I wish the various splintered post-Be BeOS update communities would unite. Precious skills and time are being pushed in different directions. Short of Palm throwing one of the groups an official bone, I think it would make more sense for the (what is it, three? four?) groups working on BeOS hacks to start working together.

Re:Silly submitter... (1)

nocomment (239368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110836)

actually be threw yellowtab and "official bone" right before palm bought them. A little zeta history [yellowtab.com] .

<snippet>
Before Be, Inc. sold its assets to Palm, Inc., we managed to close a deal allowing us to distribute the PE version and had started negotiations over the future of the Pro version. Koch Media was ready to reissue the copies of the Pro Version that they hadn't managed to resell, to make it a part of a new distribution first called BeOS NG (New Generation), now renamed to "Zeta".
</snippet>

Re:Silly submitter... (1)

Power Everywhere (778645) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110878)

This was a nice gesture, but where is Be now? Nowhere. Its assets are owned by Palm and Palm isn't extending this favor to Yellowtab, or anyone else, sadly. :_(

Re:Silly submitter... (1)

nocomment (239368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110855)

oh and ps, I think it's 4 ;-)

Just what I always wanted (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110573)

A practical file system with an impractical OS!

Holy Crap. I'm a Be-diot. (4, Funny)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110608)

All those years I've slagged off Amiga blow^H^H^H^Hdie-hards, and here am I with a rev-a. BeBox I refuse to part with. I love the damn thing. I never noticed it, but I've got Amigazoids' Disease.

Why, oh why can't someone invent a "Parallel Universe Chunnel" so I can get myself a laptop BeBox. tiBooks come close, but Apple crack is still crack!

Ah well. At least I have something else (the .PDF) to put on my Amig^H^H^H^HBeBox, beautiful and blue though it sits in the corner, gathering dust, as if there's nothing else to do with it ... ;)

Re:Holy Crap. I'm a Be-diot. (1)

doctor1 (739197) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110727)

I do love my dusty BeBox too!!! I miss watching the dual LED towers pulse as it easily played multiple looping videos, played a music file, and the many other tricks that it did simultaneously. I'm hoping to get yellowtab.com [yellowtab.com] 's Zeta installed on my SuperMicro X5DAE with dual XEON 2.2GHz soon.

ironic fact (5, Informative)

Power Everywhere (778645) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110620)

Apple considered buying Be a few years ago for BeOS and opted for NeXT instead. Now, years, later, they have hired several Be engineers to work on the Mac OS X filesystem. It looks like Apple is getting Be without having to buy the whole company. Be fans, look at Tiger as an upgrade for your favorite OS.

Re:ironic fact (2, Interesting)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110822)

...especially when you consider that both NeXT and Be were started by former Apple VPs (Steve Jobs and Jean-Louis Gassee [macobserver.com] ).

Re:ironic fact (1)

Power Everywhere (778645) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110858)

Good point, interesting coincidence, but Jobs was more than just a VP at Apple. He was founder and Chairperson of the Board.

Re:ironic fact (2, Interesting)

ckelly5 (688986) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110826)

Yes, I loved BeOS back in its heyday. When I learned that Giampaolo had gone to Apple, I figured he'd be beefing up the FS. His first work was probably the Journaling FS that is prevalent in Panther, and the rumored metadata in Tiger has his name all over it...

BeOS won't die? (1, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110647)

BeOS won't die?

What if there was a company that said it was using BeOS, and really wasn't, but just wanted people to think so until they were ready to release their product?

Bruce

Re:BeOS won't die? (1)

Tin Foil Hat (705308) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110688)

Sorry? Where are you going with this? Why would anyone want to do that?

Re:BeOS won't die? (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110722)

I can't say any more, but you can connect the dots if you think about it for a while. Surely people here can help you.

Bruce

Re:BeOS won't die? (0, Flamebait)

Shut the fuck up! (572058) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110767)

I can't say any more, but you can connect the dots if you think about it for a while.

Connecting...dots....Got it! It's your new gay porn company! Do I win a copy of your first release, "Iron Faggots: Battle Fisting!"?

Re:BeOS won't die? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110734)

Now you've got me all curious... Any hints?

Re:BeOS won't die? (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110752)

You have all you are going to get out of me.

Bruce

EARTH TO SELF-IMPORTANT JACKASS: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110796)

noone cares who says they're using beos but really arent.

I wonder if the mods are fair enough to mod you offtopic, probably not.

Re:BeOS won't die? (1)

CoolMoDee (683437) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110834)

maybe Zeta's Yellowtab? They claim to be using BeOS and such.

Re:BeOS won't die? Perhaps Palm. (1)

guidryp (702488) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110863)

Didn't Palm make some vague statements about ongoing support. It seems very unlikely at this point.

Re:BeOS won't die? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110703)

What are you talking about, stupid?

And would anyone care?

Re:BeOS won't die? (1)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110731)

What if there was a company that said [BLAH BLAH BLAH]

Why don't you just SHUT THE FUCK UP you fucking POMPOUS ASSHOLE.

Re:BeOS won't die? (1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110737)

Are you talking about Duke Nukem Forever? Because it won't die, but they are never going to be ready to release that product.

Re:BeOS won't die? (1)

Fuzzy (87584) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110813)

You mean like these guy?:

http://www.yellowtab.com/products/

You can never have too many OSs....

Re:BeOS won't die? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110837)

To whom are you reffering Bruce? SONY, Palm, Gobe, YellowTAB, Edirol, Tascam?

If you are reffering to SONY/PalmONE regarding PalmOS, please remember, everyone knows that PalmOS 6 is _not_ BeOS (the ex-Be engineers working at PalmSource didn't use BeOS code at all (just some ideas) and that's not a secret).

I know of no one else who uses BeOS for high profile products, so I don't get what you are saying here. And why these cheap shots at BeOS? Jeez Bruce, you really need to get a life, you are really not as smart as you would like people to think you are.

GAS FS (-1, Flamebait)

AnimeFreak (223792) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110656)

If the Germans wrote a journaled file system, it would be called "GAS FS," or "German Accounting System File System." I don't think it would go well with the Jewish population.

Thanks For The Reminder (2, Funny)

jacoby (3149) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110658)

I lent a copy to a friend a while ago. I just asked for it back.

When's the last time you had a PDF book as bathroom reading?

BitTorrent (4, Informative)

gspr (602968) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110691)

It may be redundant - if it is, just moderate it as such, but here is a Torrent [dyndns.org] , so that we don't completely destroy the nice BiggestPOS' mirror.
I'll seed it for an hour or so.

Interesting (3, Insightful)

0xC0FFEE (763100) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110710)

This seems like quite an interesting read. But what I wonder is if BeFS is encumbered by any patent... If so, who own them now, do they plan on enforcing it, etc. Would be oh so cool to have an open source BeFS implementation.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110821)

Yeah, if it can be made open source, that would be as near as you can get from an OSS _innovation_.

Re:Interesting (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110885)

You mean like OpenBeFS, of the OpenBeOS project?

As far as BeFS plugging into linux any time soon, I'd doubt it. Linux has enough problems with ACLs, let alone metadata indexing, etc, etc.

I love BeOS (2, Insightful)

helf (759423) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110712)

I actually use it as my main OS. I still have windows 2k loaded on a second partition incase i want to play some games. But I use BeOS for 99% of my computer needs.

Other possibility (3, Informative)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110772)

Another OS which proposed a very ergonomical approach to file system design and implementation was RiscOS [riscos.com] .
Check its Programmer Reference Manuals if you can find these.

BeOS is dying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110790)



It is now official - Netcraft has confirmed: BeOS is
dying

Yet another crippling bombshell hit the
beleaguered BeOS community when recently IDC confirmed that BeOS
accounts for less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming
on the heels of the latest Netcraft survey which plainly states
that BeOS has lost more market share
, this news serves to
reinforce what we've known all along. BeOS is collapsing in complete
disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the
recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.



You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict BeOS's future. The hand
writing is on the wall: BeOS faces a bleak future. In fact there won't
be any future at all for BeOS because BeOS is dying. Things are
looking very bad for BeOS. As many of us are already aware, BeOS
continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.
FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its
core developers.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBeOS.
How many users of NetBeOS are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBeOS
versus NetBeOS posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore
there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBeOS users. BeOS/OS posts on Usenet are
about half of the volume of NetBeOS posts. Therefore there are about
700 users of BeOS/OS. A recent article put FreeBeOS at about 80 percent
of the BeOS market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400
FreeBeOS users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBeOS Usenet
posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so
on, FreeBeOS went out of business and was taken over by BeOSI who
sell another troubled OS. Now BeOSI is also dead, its corpse
turned over to yet another charnel house.



All major surveys show that BeOS has steadily declined in market
share. BeOS is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very
dim. If BeOS is to survive at all it will be among OS hobbyist
dabblers. BeOS continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could
save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, BeOS is
dead.

Fact: BeOS is dead

-1 Troll (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110807)

Space eating troll

BeOS Books (1)

TheBadger (131644) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110815)

I have "Be Developers Guide" and "Be Advance Topics". I've also got "BeOS 3.1" and "CodeWarrior 1.5 for BeOS". I think I also have BeOS 4 and 4.5 buried somewhere.

If anyone is interested in taking them off my hands. Post a message to the guestbook of my website.

BeFS lives (4, Interesting)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 10 years ago | (#9110824)

OpenBeOS [openbeos.org] 's clone of the Be File System has been selected recently by the folks creating the SkyOS [skyos.org] .

The BFS replacement has been one of the fastest progressing parts of the OpenBeOS project. Dominic Giampaolo has actually commented to the team lead of OpenBFS, and complemented the team on the good work they accomplished.

Give it up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110842)

When an OS is compared to AmigaOS as a good thing, you know it's really time to throw in the towel.

web designers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9110894)

Has anyone got a link to the original slashdot post that describes web designers as scooter-riding, latte-drinking, roll-neck-wearing tits who peruse Kafka whilst clicking aimlessly around in Dreamweaver? It is comedy cold and I need to post it on our internal newsgroup.

TIA.
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