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WinFS Beta 1 Released Early

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 9 years ago | from the how-early-is-too-early dept.

Microsoft 582

Mouldy Punk writes "Infoworld is reporting that WinFS Beta 1 has been released. The new relational file system for Windows is posted on MSDN Subscriber Downloads. This release is designed to offer developers a preview of WinFS capabilities. WinFS will be in beta when Windows Vista ships and will RTM afterwords. WinFS, when it ships, will be available for download for Windows Vista and possible support for Windows XP is being considered. The distribution mechanism for WinFS will be through an add-on download much like the .NET framework is today. Tom Rizzo also notes that there is a new blog dedicated to Win FS."

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I wanna know (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432091)

What should Hans has to say on this fs.

Re:I wanna know (-1, Troll)

datadriven (699893) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432110)

Other than this misfortune of having to use Windows, what does WinFS offer that ReiserFS does not?

Re:I wanna know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432144)

You can use it in windows :P

Re:I wanna know (0)

hobbit126 (909964) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432180)

It's not a filesystem. That's like saying "what does Photoshop offer that emacs doesn't" (funnier if some ass probably didn't write an image editing mode for emacs..)

Re:I wanna know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432251)

Emacs is my operating system you insensitve clod!!

Re:I wanna know (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432309)

Mine too... all it needs now is a good text editor.

And ... (2, Funny)

too_poland (845066) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432362)

... does it run linux(TM) ? :>

Rushed? (2, Insightful)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432094)

Chances are, they rushed it out the door and it's going to be absolutely terrible. In other news, Microsoft released something ahead of schedule! Unlike 'Vista' (I'll always call it longhorn)

Re:Rushed? (2, Funny)

Zaulden (848844) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432118)

I'll always call Billy Gates "long horn" too. ;) Gotta love those poses in Teen Beat.

First post. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432096)

MS just found the backup disk.

bleh (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432099)

1) Offer nothing new in Vista
2) Release an add-on with "BETA" in the title
3) ???
4) Profit!

Re:bleh (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432187)

1) Offer nothing new in Vista 2) Release an add-on with "BETA" in the title 3) ??? 4) Profit!
I guess they're learning from linux after all!

Re:bleh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432208)

1) Offer nothing new in Linux
2) ???
3) Fag!

Re:bleh (5, Funny)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432342)

2) Release an add-on with "BETA" in the title

Works for Google.

Is this really a file system? (3, Insightful)

jbplou (732414) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432101)

A file system that you get by an add-on? What good will that do, most desktops in Windows have partion set to ntfs under XP what do you do with it once you added it on. Is this really a file system or is it a indexer of files.

Re:Is this really a file system? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432138)

You can convert ex2fs to ext3fs, and you can convert fat32 to ntfs. There is a good chance you will be able to upgrade ntfs to winfs.

Re:Is this really a file system? (1)

grolschie (610666) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432211)

Converting a Fat32 partition with system data on it to NTFS isn't always a great idea, performance-wise. It's usually best to format NTFS from go. I wonder if WinFS is the same? If so, it's probably not worth downloading this add-on for XP unless you can slip-stream it somehow into the XP boot CD.

Re:Is this really a file system? (5, Informative)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432241)

As I understand it, WinFS is an overlay on top of NTFS, adding metadata, much like how VFAT is an overlay on FAT, adding long filename support.

Trivia bit: Before NT4, you couldn't install NT on an NTFS partition. FAT was the only way to go. The install WOULD immediately convert the partition to NTFS on first boot, but it wouldn't actually install as NTFS.

Re:Is this really a file system? (1)

DJStealth (103231) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432311)

I think to this day, XP and 2K3 formats the filesystems as FAT32, and converts them to NTFS before installing the OS. (Win2K may have been the last OS to do this, so please verify).

Re:Is this really a file system? (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432358)

Don't know...

All I know is that NT4-2K3 give the option to format as FAT or NTFS (FAT32 is an option under 2K-2K3, IIRC). I'd assume that if you format as NTFS, it's NTFS. The only way to know for sure is to format NTFS, and then before it starts copying files, kill the power, throw in a Live CD, and use fdisk to check the partition type.

Re:Is this really a file system? (1)

Snorklefish (639711) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432326)

Sure it's a file system. In fact it's a file system about a file system. But wait for WinFS+. That's a file system about a file system about NTfs.

Re:Is this really a file system? (2, Interesting)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432345)

Well, there's really no conversion that happens between ext2 and ext3... the only difference between the two is that ext3 uses a journal. If you disable the journal on an ext3 partition, it effectively becomes ext2.

Re:Is this really a file system? (3, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432177)

> A file system that you get by an add-on? What good will that do, most desktops in Windows have partion set to ntfs under XP what do you do with it once you added it on. Is this really a file system or is it a indexer of files.

The bu^H^Hfeature is that you no longer get^H^H^Hneed to know where your files are.

Some idiot UI designer probably wrote a paper about how Windows users are confused as to where their files are located.

Rather than addressing the root of the problem -- the even bigger idiot UI designer for Windows 95 who decided to (a) by default, hide the full path to the file and (b) again by default, also hide the file extension, and (c) when users turn off "hide file extensions", still hide some file extensions like .SHS, etc -- and whose mistake was propagated to Windows 98, 98SE, ME, NT, 2K, XP, and 2K3, effectively making it impossible for nontechnical users to ever learn where their files were located...

Ahem. Rather than addressing the real problem of why nontechnical users had trouble finding where their files were, the idiot UI designer for WinFS decided to take idiocy to its most proper level: at no time should a user ever be able to find a file. At no time should a user ever be able to choose a file's location. Teh desktop is like teh Intarweb, the user should have to goo^H^H^Huse some sort of MSN Desktop Search tool in order to find "content".

Microsoft UI: Dumber than advertised, and making sure our users stay that way.

Re:Is this really a file system? (4, Funny)

Matt2k (688738) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432210)

> and whose mistake was propagated to Windows 98, 98SE, ME, NT, 2K, XP, and 2K3, effectively making it impossible for nontechnical users to ever learn where their files were located...

The root of the problem is that most people do not care where their files are located. They just want it to work.

By the way, I think something is wrong with your keyboard.

Re:Is this really a file system? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432231)

By the way, I think something is wrong with your keyboard.

You mean the ^H's? He's probably using Lunix. It's 2005 and they still can't get the freaking backspace key to work.

Give it a rest, OK? (2, Interesting)

iamnotacrook (816556) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432222)

WinFS is an innovative step forward in filesystem design.

You are (deliberately?) misunderstanding what WinFS is designed to accomplish. But like everyone else you seem to have made up your mind. Whereas you avoid mention of the numerous limitations that traditional filesystems like ext2 and even journalled filesystems have.

Re:Give it a rest, OK? (5, Funny)

DrCode (95839) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432265)

You are (deliberately?) misunderstanding what WinFS is designed to accomplish.

Locking out Linux/Samba clients and servers?

Re:Give it a rest, OK? (0, Troll)

iamnotacrook (816556) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432327)

MS have never actively tried to lock out samba users. They just haven't assisted them, which is their right.

Re:Is this really a file system? (4, Funny)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432351)

The bu^H^Hfeature is that you no longer get^H^H^Hneed to know where your files are.

One of these days they're going to invent an operating system that recognises the Backspace button. The possibilities will be endless! They might even have cars that run on electricity in that future age.

Re:Is this really a file system? (5, Informative)

xygorn (632847) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432204)

Take a look at http://channel9.msdn.com/showpost.aspx?postid=1063 56 [msdn.com]
for more information.

Basically, it sounds like the files are stored at the low level as ntfs files, with a relational database wrapping around them, allowing you to treat them as .NET objects.

Re:Is this really a file system? (4, Informative)

globalar (669767) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432306)

WinFS is essentially an intelligent metadata layer. In Windows OS parlance, an executive subsystem that utilizes an existing NTFS volume. The idea is to extend the traditional data model for files/folders and scraps of metadata into object-oriented patterns that the entire system can use (and hopefully reuse). Sort of like an object manager for the filesystem.

It's more than a file indexer for a developer, but just that for the enduser. Right now, it seems Microsoft really just wants feedback on the API's. If any real innovation for endusers is going to come from this, Microsoft seems to hope developers will figure it out.

ext3 was essentially an add-on for ext2. Point being, some of the better improvements don't take reinventing everything.

drmFS? (0, Troll)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432106)

Isnt that a bit more accurate?

No. (2, Informative)

iamnotacrook (816556) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432163)

WinFS is not a DRM product. It may be used to implement a kind of DRM, but that is not Microsoft's fault.

Check your facts please: the last thing people need is more FUD about what is and isn't DRM.

Re:No. (1, Flamebait)

wbren (682133) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432273)

WinFS is not a DRM product. It may be used to implement a kind of DRM, but that is not Microsoft's fault.
"This uzi is not a tool for killing people. It may be used to cause deaths, but that is not Israel Military Industries' fault."

Weak. (1)

iamnotacrook (816556) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432360)

That argument is simply lame. If you can't see the holes in it, you wouldn't understand if i explained them.

Re:No. (1)

Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432335)

Why shouldn't people be wary? Microsoft, Intel, and the like aren't going to be advertising the usefulness or inclusion of DRM in their products. So it's hardly surprising that "innovations" like this are met with suspicion.

Umm (3, Informative)

ad0gg (594412) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432195)

WinFS has nothing to do with DRM, its just a relational database storage system that indexes by xml meta data. I think Be had something similiar.

WinFS [wikipedia.org]

Re:Umm (2, Interesting)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432257)

Be's indexed and journalled filesystem would be the nearest equivalent to WinFS that I can think of, yes, but they didn't use XML. Just plain old metadata ...

If WinFS could do for WinAMP what BeFS allowed SoundPlay+BIYS to do, I'd be a happy camper. However, I haven't tried XP Media Center, so maybe they did better than BIYS. Who knows? :)

NTFS? (4, Funny)

Snoolas (910809) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432107)

I wonder if there is a possibility of MS releasing the NTFS specs for the FOSS community once WinFS becomes widely used? That would be great, but seems unlikely.

Re:NTFS? (1)

hobbit126 (909964) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432146)

it's not a filesystem. read before commenting.

Re:NTFS? (3, Funny)

sharkey (16670) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432237)

So which one is not a file system, the New Technology File System or the Windows File System?

Re:NTFS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432267)

There's no such thing as Windows File System. You must be getting confused with WinFS, which is Windows Future Storage. WinFS is a database layer on top of a file system.

Re:NTFS? (4, Informative)

sharkey (16670) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432305)

Really? Let's ask Tom Rizzo [microsoft.com] , shall we?

GNOME Storage? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432108)

I realize that this is a story about WinFS, but I'm hoping someone knowledgeable about GNOME Storage is reading.

I'm just wondering if any progress has been made on GNOME Storage or if it's just completely stagnated (a Seth project stagnating? Why I never!). My guess is all he did was some special natural language interface (which should have been an add-on later) and did no real work on a relational file system.

I wish that guy would finish something for once.

MOD PARENT UP: not offtopic! (1)

iamnotacrook (816556) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432128)

It's not offtopic - WinFS is an important step in filesystem technology, and it is imperative that an open source alternative is made available.

Too complicated....... (-1, Troll)

nominruil (910876) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432120)

Why even released it at alL? 99% of those idiot windows users don't even know what the heck a partition is..... How can you expect them to reformat the drive to WinFS and re-install Windows on top of it all??? Unless you can convert NTFS into WinFS, theres no hope for most users, but of course... theres always geeksquad.

Re:Too complicated....... (1)

Snoolas (910809) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432139)

This pre release is out for people who know what they're doing to get a preview of WinFS. When it comes out in full, it will probably be included in Vista from that point on, and they might have Windows Update automatically convert the filesystems for people. Or something.

Re:Too complicated....... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432157)

As far as I know, WinFS won't replace NTFS but sit on top of it, allowing you to do querries a la SQL on your files.

i might be wrong..

WinFS Is *Not* A Filesystem (5, Informative)

WombatControl (74685) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432171)

WinFS is not a separate filesystem. It uses NTFS as the filesystem, but then stores metadata on top of that (the same way other filesystems like HFS+ have for years).

You don't need to reform to WinFS, it's not a filesystem, but a relational database that carries metadata about existing files on an NTFS partition.

Re:WinFS Is *Not* A Filesystem (1)

Snoolas (910809) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432181)

Then why do the articles refer to it as a filesystem?

Re:WinFS Is *Not* A Filesystem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432314)

Because they're wrong. Most people see FS and assume (quite reasonably) that it stands for File System, when infact it stands for "Future Storage" (buzz buzz buzz).

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432203)

Seriously, people seem to not know what WinFS really is, and the parent informs us all!

Re:Too complicated....... (0, Flamebait)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432207)

99% of windows users have no need for partitioning their hard drive. Do you know what happens most of the time when people create windows partitions? Someone thinks they are clever and creates seperate partition for their data, another for their programs, and another for a swap file, etc... This whole system quickly breaks down when one partition becomes full.

The only real use for complex partitions is under Linux or if you are sharing files accross different operating systems on one PC.

Re:Too complicated....... (2, Insightful)

bbrazil (729534) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432363)

99% of windows users have no need for partitioning their hard drive. Do you know what happens most of the time when people create windows partitions? Someone thinks they are clever and creates seperate partition for their data, another for their programs, and another for a swap file, etc... This whole system quickly breaks down when one partition becomes full.

Eh, no. Seperating user data from applications is a very good idea. It has saved me a lot of time and trouble (on Windows and Unix) when things went wrong, and I've helped other people who really wished that they'd done it too.

Re:Too complicated....... (5, Insightful)

wbren (682133) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432253)

Why even released it at alL? 99% of those idiot windows users don't even know what the heck a partition is..... How can you expect them to reformat the drive to WinFS and re-install Windows on top of it all??? Unless you can convert NTFS into WinFS, theres no hope for most users, but of course... theres always geeksquad.
So much to cover, so little time. Windows bashing. Windows users bashing. GeekSquad bashing. Oh my! If you take what you're saying and shift it back to 1999's context, it's like someone saying, "Windows 98 users are too dumb to use NTFS! None of them will be able to reformat their drive to NTFS and install Windows XP! There's no hope! All is lost! Run for the hills!" and so on. (And that's all before XP was even released)

Well, of course, things went pretty smoothly. Users were able to easily convert their partitions to NTFS when upgrading (even if they didn't know what a partition was). New PCs came with NTFS by default, and Windows XP+NTFS succeeded largely (unless you're a Linux fanboy and don't want to admit it; in that case it never happened, how could it?). The (Windows) world was a better place now that FAT32 was largely a thing of the past. I'm not so sure if WinFS will be all that great, but we'll see.

Windows Vista will be no different than the 98 to XP conversion. NTFS users will be able to easily convert their partitions. Again, they will be able to do it even if they don't know what it is exactly. As long as they know it's recommended, they will keep clicking the Next button. You're worrying about something that will clearly never happen, given Microsoft's track record.

The add-on will likely be via Windows Update and extremely simple to apply. People who buy PCs after the add-on is released won't even have to do that. They will just have WinFS.

I also want to touch upon the phrase "idiot windows users" that you used. Saying something like that only serves to make you sound like an idiot. Windows users are largely novices, but you can't expect everyone to be an expert user able to keep up with the quirks of Linux et al. Calling Windows users idiots is like calling people who drive car's with automatic transmissions idiots. Sure, automatics are easier to learn to use, but that doesn't make those drivers idiots.

Now, I could go on to write a whole article bashing Geek Squad, but that would be pointless since we all know they suck and they overcharge.

Now I can search my drive for images? (0, Flamebait)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432122)


C:\
dir /s *.jpg


What will Microsoft think of next?

Re:Now I can search my drive for images? (1, Funny)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432174)

Easy, they'll put it all in a database using .NET and write an activeX control for the windows explorer window that queries the database and makes the entries look like icons.

Then they'll patent it.

I've had better ideas over lunch. I wish somebody would give me a few million dollars to build one.

Re:Now I can search my drive for images? (0)

Meshach (578918) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432202)

A properly implemented file system does searches far better then the current Windows arch.

Right now to search for a file windows has to go linearly through all your folders looking for the desired one. The idea for the new filesystem (or whatever it is) is that files are stored or indexed in some kind of tree that allows for quicker access - access without a linear search

It is a good idea, something that MS should of done a long time ago, and something that can come through a (big) patch

Re:Now I can search my drive for images? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432220)

Some kind of tree? Hmmm, sounds familiar.


c:
    \text
    \windoze
    \pr0n


But is the world ready for such technology?

Re:Now I can search my drive for images? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432339)

How is Windows supposed to know whats in your images? If you have a file called goatse.jpg, but it has a picture of a goat, how should Windows classify it? By name? Or some magic, non-existent, never-existent, heuristic 8 ball? searching your computer for images is as retarded as searching it for songs - if I have a folder of 100 mp3s, what do I search for "the good ones", "the piano songs"? Windows will be able to tell you dates, times, sizes, and do it in a way that multiple "folders" will refer to the same on-disk data, but it won't grok your files for you.

A Complete And Utter Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432123)

So this is what MS looks like when it's dying.

No more fast growing stock options to keep people working hard long hours. And benefits are being scaled back.

Sucks to be one of the poor sods slaving away up in Redmond these days.

Not to sound too offtopic, but... (4, Informative)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432141)

I hope people find it usefull. I tried the Vista beta a month or so ago and I wasn't impressed one bit. Nothing felt different or improved. I don't know if I was expecting some radical changes, but other than the "theme", it looked the same as XP. In fact, judging from "look and feel" it rendered the clear type fonts very blurry compared to xorg on gentoo which I'm currently typing this on.

However, the only thing I can saw I was pleased about was its performance. On a 2.4 ghz celeron with 512 mb of ram, it ran fine, just as fast as XP on the same system.

What did impress me about a week later was when I took that spare HD I used for vista and loaded OSX on it. Now that looked beautiful, ran fast, ran native OSX apps fine, and my conclusion from that week of OS experimentation was that if OSX ever made it to whitebox computers legally (let's not start this discussion again) it would knock Microsoft out of the water.

Let's face it, few home users will switch to Vista legally. Most will get it with a new computer. My school uses Windows 2000 and probably won't switch to even XP for a while. So go figure.

Re:Not to sound too offtopic, but... (1)

KillShill (877105) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432226)

it IS legal.

when it becomes available for purchase, you can legally install it on any computer you choose. someone ought to challenge the "EULA" and vendor artificial lock-in. hell, why not buy the ppc version and install it on the ppc computer of your choice... one wonders why DRM isn't fully ubiquitous by now judging from these kinds of decisions. DRM has always been about control and nothing else.

i don't doubt that every other industry will also want some kind of DRM on physical objects too... they just don't have the "magic scary" status that computer software has. people know about physical objects by and large but relatively few people know what software is.

artificial restrictions have always been anti-customer and this is no different.

next time you play a dvd in a non-approved player, you're breaking the EULA. what EULA you may ask? the one that you agreed to when you opened the dvd case...

Re:Not to sound too offtopic, but... (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432261)

But Apple could put a simple copy protection that looks for some specific chip on the motherboard that only exists on their hardware. So you get OSX, crack it in two seconds, and you've just violated the DMCA.

What most people (not most people here though) never understood about laws like the DMCA is that software and hardware manufacturers could control many aspects of their product using simple copy protection schemes and just rely on the DMCA to enforce their rules.

It's not going to stop at printer cartridges.

Re:Not to sound too offtopic, but... (1)

KillShill (877105) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432334)

since the DMCA violates your right to own your own hardware/software, IT violates the law. and i'm not sure but there is a bone-they-threw-us clause in there that allows people to circumvent (their own property...!!) to enable interoperability. running software on hardware you choose is in no way immoral or unethical... that it's illegal says a lot about our society, the greedy scumbags who rule us society, not the one you might be thinking of.

i almost feel sorry for the people who argue companies have a right to deny you full access to your own property... almost. those people just hinder progress and mislead the others who aren't aware of the issues.

Re:Not to sound too offtopic, but... (1)

jerw134 (409531) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432271)

I tried the Vista beta a month or so ago and I wasn't impressed one bit.

Well since Beta 1 wasn't put out to "impress" anyone, I'm not surprised at all. You completely missed the point of the beta. It was targeted towards developers, to give them a chance to begin working with Vista's new features. All of the really cool new stuff won't be added until at least Beta 2.

Re:Not to sound too offtopic, but... (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432319)

I wouldn't be surprised if I did miss the point of the beta in that I wasn't impressed with any new features. But then what features are the developers looking for? Not to sound rude, but I guess I am missing your point.

Re:Not to sound too offtopic, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432344)

Here's a start:

    - are you a developer?
    - do you develop for Windows?

Re:Not to sound too offtopic, but... (3, Insightful)

merreborn (853723) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432284)

There's one good reason to switch to vista: Microsoft ends support of their OSes after 5 years. Windows 2k, as much as I love it, isn't going to be much fun after a few years without a single patch. XP will go the same way before long.

Re:Not to sound too offtopic, but... (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432347)

That sounds like a good reason NOT to switch to Vista. Just let it go, like a lingering painful memory. Release, and keep moving onward.

Re:Not to sound too offtopic, but... (5, Insightful)

DrCode (95839) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432288)

About performance...

It's somewhat telling that you were pleased that it ran just as fast as XP on the same system. On my Linux box, when I upgrade the kernel or even KDE, I generally expect better performance than before. I get the impression that OSX users expect the same.

diff -u WinXP Vista (3, Insightful)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432155)

Seriously, if this is being backported to XP then what will be the difference between XP and Vista? Afaik all the avalon and .net libraries are being backported. All i can think of is a glass looking interface, some toolbars and a bunch of wizards?

Don't forget DRM. (3, Informative)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432223)

yep.. it's chock fool of DRM. Requirements for vista logo testing involves mandatory compliance with CGMS-a, AACS, Down-rezzing, bus encryption, and "remote controlled component revocation" programs.

There's a reason Vista took so long to develop and it wasn't the end user interface [corante.com]

Re:diff -u WinXP Vista (1)

xygorn (632847) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432236)

As far as I can tell, the most important differences are at the administrator level, not the user level. And yes, SFU Engineering does kick ass.

Re:diff -u WinXP Vista (1)

digismack (262459) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432256)

Don't forget about the "improved security features".

Re:diff -u WinXP Vista (0)

zonker (1158) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432258)

heh, sounds like win95 vs. win98 all over again...

Download? (1)

oldosadmin (759103) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432170)

Anyone have a link to a download for non-subscribers?

Winfs and .Not sucks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432173)

Sucks ass buggy as hell

How long before Linux support shows up? (0, Redundant)

MECC (8478) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432176)

Before Windows vista? Hmmm...

nice copout (1)

ultrafastneal (894807) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432184)

Maybe they are taking a hint from Google with releasing products as beta. I understand a news search being released as beta, but a file system (or filesyste add-on) ?? . This way they can escape any responsibility for the thing if it compromises systems, causes data loss or sucks in any other way.

WinFS sybchronization engine (1, Interesting)

slickwillie (34689) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432188)

When Microsoft first introduced WinFS in 2003, the company said it would include a new synchronization engine that could index a host of disparate Windows files

I'll bet it is based on the Unix 'file' command.

Afterwords? (0)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432199)

Afterwords...?

What does anything in the article have to do with a book?

Or did you mean afterward?

Slashdot editors - you fail it again.

What exactly is it? (2, Interesting)

SumDog (466607) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432205)

I've seen a lot of stuff about WinFS and I do RTFA, but I'm still a little puzzled. Is this supposed to be like a labeling file-system where instead of having folders you apply labels to each file (document, music, etc.) similar to Google Mail's system? That's what I think of when I think of "relational" as in database design.

But from what I've heard, WinFS sits atop of NTFS and simply connects it to a SQL database for indexing. How the hell is this revolutionary. You could place all your files in a "My Documents" folder and then make a nice pretty front end to it, categorizing each file, and then hacking the file chooser to use your interface.

I really think Microsoft should have though harder about this and made it a real filesystem with a new structure and layout on disk. It could have really be different and revolunatory, but from what I can tell, it's just a layer now and offers nothing really new or innovative.

Re:What exactly is it? (4, Informative)

xygorn (632847) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432227)

http://channel9.msdn.com/showpost.aspx?postid=1063 56 [msdn.com] This interview talks about the difference between tagging and the WinFS system. Seems to boil down to a more structured relationship between tags, and the ability for multiple apps to use the same tags and tag relationships.

Vista==XP (5, Funny)

digitalderbs (718388) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432216)

When buying a Vista license, you'll be paying for XP a second time ... but you're really saving in the TCO.

Excellent! (3, Funny)

sigmaseven (906671) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432219)

Yeah, I should use a Microsoft beta file system, because my files and documents aren't in enough danger as it is....

Seriously, is there an upside to this system to the casual-to-serious user? Or is it mostly a DRM-delivery platform? I read TFAs, but this sentence hurt me: "(Integrated data initiative is a term used to refer to a group of technologies whose goal is to provide better integration for data..." ...aaaand I just bluescreened my brain.

Re:Excellent! (1)

hoka (880785) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432282)

So they are releasing a beta, big whoop? The same thing happens in open source, hell in fact a lot of distros are holding back official reiser4 support until its released in the mainstream kernel. For some people it makes sense to try it out, or to look at what features are available for it that can be developed on. There is a reason it was released on MSDN (Keyword *DEVELOPER NETWORK*) and not to the general public (ie "casual-to-serious users"). As far as I see it, the eventual general usage of WinFS is basically them playing catch up to the fact that NTFS really isn't any good, given XFS/ReiserFS/a million other fs's that are much more efficient and targetted.

Re:Excellent! (1)

sigmaseven (906671) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432315)

Very good points -- and thanks for the Wiki links to the other posters. Why I forgot my umbilical to knowledge, the Wiki, I do not know. (Like the lack of DRM -- my default state is paranoid, and I see no reason to change it.)

I wonder if it runs in Wine? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432239)

If this is an add-on which interfaces to the kernel through an API it should be possible to get it to run under Wine, right? I'm fairly ignorant about how Wine works, so I'm wondering. That would be cool to have WinFS running on Linux.

If it's in beta now... (1)

Dubpal (860472) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432262)

...why the reluctance to release it with Vista? Surely something like this would be a 'value adding' feature to an OS which is turning out to be XP with a new face.

Not only that, but wouldn't releasing it with the OS would result in more people being able to actually use it? I can't see many people reformatting their machines because MS released a new file system. Especially for the masses that don't know what a file system is.

but what about the interface to it? (5, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432264)

Right now you can add attributes to NTFS files, but there's no decent way to do it. Likewise, ANY DB-style FS is going to be limited to the ways that the vendor (MS) provides for you to access the data. Remember those ridiculous dialogs Winword used to prompt with? Asking all that crap about the author, and topic, etc. etc. until you asked Clippy how to turn the fscking thing off?
The "DB based FS" is only as good as the data that you put in, unless you solely want to make virtual folders of "all my MP3s that I warez'd last week from Rancid", but I'd say those sorts of things are going to be in the minority.. and again, depend on the metadata of said pirate MP3s.
Now there will be code jocks out there who would LOVE this sort of thing, since you could probably use it as a halfway decent free CVS replacement, but I'm thinking more of Joe and Jane Sixpack. How is it going to make their AOL experience better?

Re:but what about the interface to it? (3, Funny)

Keeper (56691) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432356)

I'm actually looking forward to using it in a manner that will help me organize my photos. Directory structures + filenames don't cut it, especially when you've got attributes like "christmas vacation, florida, camille, beach, lighthouse, 16:9 crop" that you want to associate with one file.

Of course, as you note, the system is useless if you have poor metadata associated with the files. But with good metadata, the flexability/power available to organize and find the information you are looking for is increased by an order of magnitude via dynamic folder creation.

Performance? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432266)

Are they going to "fix" the performance problems in NTFS? I've done a comparison several times, usually dual-booting on the exact same hardware.

Every time I've compared filesystems even EXT2 and EXT3 spank NTFS. More modern filesystems like Reiser and XFS do even better.

My comparison is usually building a large application, so it involves a lot of small-file I/O. And I mean serious perf problems, like 30% to 40% differences in build time.

SQL for the file system doesn't sound stable to me (1, Interesting)

amichalo (132545) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432274)

I am a .NET developer by trade (but use a Mac at home and my Intel boxes run Linux).

In response to the idea that WinFS is going to get it's indexing power from a custom SQL engine, I have to say that SQL Server on our XP boxes isn't reliable enough to use an an integral part of the file system. IT JUST IS NOT! Consider how many implementations of home and small business users won't have the benefit of IT support staff. Sure there are implementations of SQL on XP that are stable and blah blah blah, but we deal with SQL crashing in dev or even production environments regularly. Sometimes it is just restarting SQL that does the trick, sometimes it halts the whole server.

Point is I don't want something as critical as my OS file system relying on SQL to tell me if my files should be backed up or not...one bad worm and bad news for everyone!

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432379)

Steve Ballmer promises that Vista is going to be free from serious bugs. Unlike Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP...

I hate to admit ... (1)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432300)

I hate to admit that the _name_ WinFS looks very cool. It's probably gonna be the new buzzword.

fuck a 8i6ga (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432304)

AMERICA) migh7 be

Ok but .... (1, Offtopic)

matth (22742) | more than 9 years ago | (#13432317)

.. what about fragmentation? We're now going through what? 6 to 7 different Windows versions and we still can't fix the basic problem of file fragmentation? Good grief.

Whoop de fucking doodle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13432318)

Yet another requirement that non-Microsoft folks won't be able to meet.
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