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Re: VIM and NTFS streams

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  • Matt Wozniski
    ... I m not sure that most other apps do need detection. wget, for instance, doesn t have to care what line endings the data it saves has. But, for what you
    Message 1 of 25 , Feb 4 2:09 PM
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      On Feb 4, 2008 4:29 PM, krischik wrote:
      >
      > On 4 Feb., 21:10, "Matt Wozniski" wrote:
      > >
      > > While this would be nice, it would require support code from every
      > > application you have. It may only be 6 lines, but 6 lines * 5000
      > > binaries is much more code than is in vim for line ending detection.
      >
      > But the other 5000 applications need detection as well. I did mention
      > webserver and browser getting detection wrong. konquror/nautilus/
      > explorer needs detection and far more complex then vim. And sure OS/2
      > needed detection. But there you could always overwrite faulty detected
      > value by manualy correcting the EA's.

      I'm not sure that most other apps do need detection. wget, for
      instance, doesn't have to care what line endings the data it saves
      has. But, for what you want, it would have to detect and save it,
      even though it doesn't use it. Shell redirection has no idea what's
      going through it, so it has no way to possibly say what Content-type
      it is... or dd... or tar extracting files that were created on a
      filesystem that didn't track extended attributes...

      > > After all, vim can't use this information unless something put it
      > > there, which requires that everything that can create a file - from
      > > touch to wget to shell redirection - needs to be able to put that
      > > attribute into the file. And, AFAIK, there's no way for those wget or
      > > shell redirection to even know what type of line ending the data that
      > > they wrote out had. Which means they'd need to detect it.
      >
      > Just one example: The OS/2 version of ZIP would pack extended
      > attributes. Once it catches on then more application will support it.
      > But I know that this won't happen. We went down the "worse is better"
      > way for far to long.

      The issue isn't waiting for it to catch on, it's that until it's
      universally available it only increases the amount of code and
      maintenance burden. And, there's no way that it would ever be
      universally available for things like line endings style, because most
      applications just don't know or need to care, so have no reason to set
      that attribute. Things like marking the content encoding might be
      more useful, but still, not good to work with... If, for example, you
      had a file "test.txt" encoded in UTF-16 and with extended attributes
      marking it as such, and your locale is set to use UTF-8, what would
      you expect the result of "cp test.txt test2.txt" to be? What about
      "cat text.txt >text2.txt"? If you expect those two commands to have
      the same effect, I don't see how it can be done without changes to cp
      (mark attrs on dest), cat (mark attrs on stdout), and the kernel
      itself (allow extended attributes on streams).

      > > Which
      > > would require that just about every program out there that is
      > > transcribing a data stream from one spot to another, rather than
      > > authoring it itself, would need to duplicate the sort of EOL detection
      > > code in vim in itself. And vim would still need to continue
      > > supporting the old way since it's designed to run on filesystems that
      > > still don't support extended attributes - or it would need to come up
      > > with a way to fake extended attributes on those FS types. No one is
      > > saying that extended attributes can't do useful things - just that
      > > without being in any way standardized, it's unreasonable to expect
      > > that any attributes will ever be set by anyone but you.
      >
      > Ahh, indeed, there is the problem and the reason why computing has not
      > advanced as much in the last 15 years as one would have expected
      > seeing the 15 years before: Backward compatibilty has hobbled us.

      The problem with this idea isn't the limitations inherent in backwards
      compatibility - if it were worthwhile to do, it's no problem to have
      code that uses attributes if possible and the old, backwards
      compatible method if not. The problem is that creating this standard
      and tying it properly into a POSIX OS would require a lot of low-level
      changes. If we can agree on the requirements - that there must be
      some number of predefined attributes that are set on every regular
      file (and what about special files?), that the operating system must
      handle initializing these attributes correctly when a file is created,
      that streams would also need to have attributes, and that copying,
      extracting, and in general "moving around" data will "just work", can
      you see how difficult this would be to implement? To fully implement
      this, the very least that's required is an operating system that only
      supports filesystems that have some way of storing extended
      attributes, a kernel that's able to initialize each of those
      attributes on every file created, a shell that knows how to get/set
      these attributes (and which it needs to set), and a copy of the
      coreutils that are aware of the changes (so that "cp file1 file2"
      creates file2 with the attrs of file1, not the defaults), at the very
      least? And that work is just the baseline - the point where other
      software can start counting on a base set of attributes that will
      always exist, and trusting that they're correct. On a quick glance, I
      see absolutely no way to do this properly without support from the OS.

      ~Matt

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    • Ben Schmidt
      ... Indeed, I think it has. The Mac OS used to use resource forks and type attributes which were beautiful. Now we have descended to the level of extensions
      Message 2 of 25 , Feb 4 3:04 PM
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        > Ahh, indeed, there is the problem and the reason why computing has not
        > advanced as much in the last 15 years as one would have expected
        > seeing the 15 years before: Backward compatibilty has hobbled us.

        Indeed, I think it has. The Mac OS used to use resource forks and type attributes
        which were beautiful. Now we have descended to the level of extensions and magic
        numbers like everyone else. The filesystem supports resource forks and named
        forks, but nobody's really using them yet--indeed, if anything, at the moment they
        add confusion because some parts of the OS detect file types that way rather than
        by extension, when available, so it's hard to know what's going on.

        Ben.




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      • Ben Schmidt
        ... And that sad story told, I do agree with the other posters who don t think this has much use in Vim. I think to have some kind of consistency, probably an
        Message 3 of 25 , Feb 4 3:12 PM
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          Ben Schmidt wrote:
          >> Ahh, indeed, there is the problem and the reason why computing has not
          >> advanced as much in the last 15 years as one would have expected
          >> seeing the 15 years before: Backward compatibilty has hobbled us.
          >
          > Indeed, I think it has. The Mac OS used to use resource forks and type attributes
          > which were beautiful. Now we have descended to the level of extensions and magic
          > numbers like everyone else. The filesystem supports resource forks and named
          > forks, but nobody's really using them yet--indeed, if anything, at the moment they
          > add confusion because some parts of the OS detect file types that way rather than
          > by extension, when available, so it's hard to know what's going on.

          And that sad story told, I do agree with the other posters who don't think this
          has much use in Vim. I think to have some kind of consistency, probably an OS or
          other fairly central component needs to lead the way, not a text editor.

          Ben.




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        • krischik
          ... No, a EA aware wget would request the EA s already attached to the file from an EA aware ftp server - the same way it request file permissions today when
          Message 4 of 25 , Feb 5 2:07 AM
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            On 4 Feb., 23:09, "Matt Wozniski" <m...@...> wrote:
            > On Feb 4, 2008 4:29 PM, krischik wrote:
            >
            > > On 4 Feb., 21:10, "Matt Wozniski" wrote:
            >
            > > > While this would be nice, it would require support code from every
            > > > application you have. It may only be 6 lines, but 6 lines * 5000
            > > > binaries is much more code than is in vim for line ending detection.
            >
            > > But the other 5000 applications need detection as well. I did mention
            > > webserver and browser getting detection wrong. konquror/nautilus/
            > > explorer needs detection and far more complex then vim. And sure OS/2
            > > needed detection. But there you could always overwrite faulty detected
            > > value by manualy correcting the EA's.
            >
            > I'm not sure that most other apps do need detection. wget, for
            > instance, doesn't have to care what line endings the data it saves
            > has. But, for what you want, it would have to detect and save it,
            > even though it doesn't use it.

            No, a EA aware wget would request the EA's already attached to the
            file from an EA aware ftp server - the same way it request file
            permissions today when used with "--preserve-permissions".

            > Shell redirection has no idea what's
            > going through it, so it has no way to possibly say what Content-type
            > it is... or dd...

            That's true.

            > or tar extracting files that were created on a
            > filesystem that didn't track extended attributes...

            Well, you might like to ask the authors - xattr and acl support has
            been added to tar last year:

            http://www.redhatmagazine.com/2007/07/02/tips-from-an-rhce-tar-vs-star-the-battle-of-xattrs/

            > The issue isn't waiting for it to catch on, it's that until it's
            > universally available it only increases the amount of code and
            > maintenance burden.

            You are proving my point: backward compatibility has hobbled software
            development.

            > Things like marking the content encoding might be
            > more useful, but still, not good to work with... If, for example, you
            > had a file "test.txt" encoded in UTF-16 and with extended attributes
            > marking it as such, and your locale is set to use UTF-8, what would
            > you expect the result of "cp test.txt test2.txt" to be?

            I would use "cp --archive test.txt test2.txt" in which case the EA's
            are copied as well. At least on SuSE Linux 9.2 onwards. And of course
            the file would still be UTF-16 - after all it's "copy" not "convert".

            Without meaning offence: You should read up a little on the subject as
            you knowledge is not up to date.

            > What about
            > "cat text.txt >text2.txt"? If you expect those two commands to have
            > the same effect, I don't see how it can be done without changes to cp
            > (mark attrs on dest), cat (mark attrs on stdout), and the kernel
            > itself (allow extended attributes on streams).

            I do not expect that cat and cp behave the same. For the simple reason
            that they never have behaved the same: cp has options like "--
            preserve" and "--archive" - cat has not. Even today using cat to copy
            a file will mean that you loose the all the meta informations
            attached.

            > a shell that knows how to get/set
            > these attributes (and which it needs to set),

            Done: see setfattr and getfattr.

            > and a copy of the
            > coreutils that are aware of the changes (so that "cp file1 file2"
            > creates file2 with the attrs of file1, not the defaults),

            Done: GNU cp will do that if --archive is used.

            > On a quick glance, I
            > see absolutely no way to do this properly without support from the OS.

            While I countered most of your arguments - you are absolutely right
            here. Only I have once used an operating system (OS/2) which did
            exactly that - hence my frustration.

            Martin
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          • krischik
            ... I never meant that - I was just countering the claim that named forks are useless. And I only used Vim as an example of where Vim would have been simpler
            Message 5 of 25 , Feb 5 2:25 AM
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              On 5 Feb., 00:12, Ben Schmidt <mail_ben_schm...@...> wrote:

              > And that sad story told, I do agree with the other posters who don't think this
              > has much use in Vim. I think to have some kind of consistency, probably an OS or
              > other fairly central component needs to lead the way, not a text editor.

              I never meant that - I was just countering the claim that "named
              forks" are useless. And I only used Vim as an example of where Vim
              would have been simpler to implement - on an operating system which
              properly supports "type attributes".

              Sad that everybody else only sees only hurdles and risks of change and
              not the chances and the risk of no-change.

              And yes: there is a rist of no-change!

              The risk of an ever more complex software world with ever more complex
              solutions which could be done much easier if one would have done it
              right from the beginning.

              And the risk of ever more exploits of those complex solutions.

              Martin
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            • Tony Mechelynck
              krischik wrote: [...] ... [...] ... [...] Hmm... According to info cp (on my openSUSE 10.3 system), -a or --archive is equivalent to -dpPR, which means: -d
              Message 6 of 25 , Feb 5 2:37 AM
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                krischik wrote:
                [...]
                > I would use "cp --archive test.txt test2.txt" in which case the EA's
                > are copied as well. At least on SuSE Linux 9.2 onwards. And of course
                > the file would still be UTF-16 - after all it's "copy" not "convert".
                >
                > Without meaning offence: You should read up a little on the subject as
                > you knowledge is not up to date.
                [...]
                > Done: GNU cp will do that if --archive is used.
                [...]

                Hmm... According to "info cp" (on my openSUSE 10.3 system), -a or --archive is
                equivalent to -dpPR, which means:

                -d copy symlinks as symlinks and preserve hardlinks between sources in the copies
                -p preserve attributes. If not specifying which attributes, the default is:
                mode,ownership,timestamps (xattrs must be specified explicitly to be included)
                -P copy symlinks as symlinks (sic)
                -R copy directories recursively


                Best regards,
                Tony.
                --
                "She said, `I know you ... you cannot sing'. I said, `That's nothing,
                you should hear me play piano.'"
                -- Morrisey


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              • krischik
                On 5 Feb., 11:37, Tony Mechelynck ... Well I did not read the manual but copied a file with xattr (Samba creates them at mass)
                Message 7 of 25 , Feb 5 3:28 AM
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                  On 5 Feb., 11:37, Tony Mechelynck <antoine.mechely...@...>
                  wrote:
                  > krischik wrote:
                  >
                  > [...]> I would use "cp --archive test.txt test2.txt" in which case the EA's
                  > > are copied as well. At least on SuSE Linux 9.2 onwards. And of course
                  > > the file would still be UTF-16 - after all it's "copy" not "convert".
                  >
                  > > Without meaning offence: You should read up a little on the subject as
                  > > you knowledge is not up to date.
                  > [...]
                  > > Done: GNU cp will do that if --archive is used.
                  >
                  > [...]
                  >
                  > Hmm... According to "info cp" (on my openSUSE 10.3 system), -a or --archive is
                  > equivalent to -dpPR, which means:
                  >
                  > -d copy symlinks as symlinks and preserve hardlinks between sources in the copies
                  > -p preserve attributes. If not specifying which attributes, the default is:
                  > mode,ownership,timestamps (xattrs must be specified explicitly to be included)
                  > -P copy symlinks as symlinks (sic)
                  > -R copy directories recursively

                  Well I did not read the manual but copied a file with xattr (Samba
                  creates them at mass) and saw what happened. But that was on a fairly
                  old SuSE 9.2. I check SuSE 10.3 when I am home.

                  Martin


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                • Paul LeoNerd Evans
                  On Tue, 5 Feb 2008 02:25:26 -0800 (PST) ... I have to agree with krischik here. At University, I once got stuck in a problem with some of the other
                  Message 8 of 25 , Feb 5 3:55 AM
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                    On Tue, 5 Feb 2008 02:25:26 -0800 (PST)
                    krischik <krischik@...> wrote:

                    > Sad that everybody else only sees only hurdles and risks of change and
                    > not the chances and the risk of no-change.
                    >
                    > And yes: there is a rist of no-change!

                    I have to agree with krischik here. At University, I once got stuck in a
                    problem with some of the other mathematicians, who were all of the
                    opinion that "Yes, I'll have tea if you're having tea". Problem was,
                    nobody actually had tea. It took one of the lawyers to stand up and say
                    "Alright then, I'll have tea." Then all the mathmos jumped ship.

                    An amusing story perhaps, but it proves the point. In all things like
                    this, someone needs to jump first. Does it really matter who that is, as
                    long as someone does?

                    It's been a bone of contention of mine for years, the way modified keys
                    work in terminals. Five years ago XTerm gained ways to express generic
                    modified keys (e.g. Ctrl-Shift-Left). Only recently did any application,
                    such as Vim, start to understand those. It's always been a "you jump,
                    I'll jump" situation - why should the terminal send sequences nobody
                    would understand, or why should any application look for sequences nobody
                    would send? Someone has to go first.

                    Back to the subject of EAs - someone already has gone first. The GNU
                    fileutils already support EAs. As does tar. I also know that the lighttpd
                    webserver uses them by default, only falling back on filename-based
                    detection if the file doesn't have a "Content-Type" EA.

                    It'd be lovely if Vim could set those for it.

                    --
                    Paul "LeoNerd" Evans

                    leonerd@...
                    ICQ# 4135350 | Registered Linux# 179460
                    http://www.leonerd.org.uk/
                  • krischik
                    ... Funny as you say - on my research for my little rants here (yes I do research before I rant) I found out that Apache too uses EA s when to store and detect
                    Message 9 of 25 , Feb 5 6:44 AM
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                      On 5 Feb., 12:55, Paul LeoNerd Evans <leon...@...> wrote:

                      > I also know that the lighttpd
                      > webserver uses them by default, only falling back on filename-based
                      > detection if the file doesn't have a "Content-Type" EA.

                      Funny as you say - on my research for my little rants here (yes I do
                      research before I rant) I found out that Apache too uses EA's when to
                      store and detect file types.

                      And then there is Samba which uses "user.DOSATTRIB" to store dos
                      attributes.

                      > It'd be lovely if Vim could set those for it.

                      That would be a nice indeed. - Bram - are you still with us?

                      Martin
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                    • Alexei Alexandrov
                      ... Oh, thanks - this is a good learning for me. It s a shame I never heard of this before. ... Such attributes would be useful, yes. But it s backward
                      Message 10 of 25 , Feb 5 1:54 PM
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                        krischik wrote:
                        >
                        > Open a console and type "man 5 attr"? Or look here:
                        >
                        > http://linux.die.net/man/5/attr
                        >
                        >
                        > No it has nothing to do with Linux. FreeBSD, Solaris and Mac OS X
                        > support extended attributes as well. See:
                        >
                        > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extended_file_attributes
                        >
                        > Quote Wikipedia: "In Linux, the ext2, ext3, ext4, JFS, ReiserFS and
                        > XFS filesystems support extended attributes (abbreviated xattr) if the
                        > libattr feature is enabled in the kernel configuration. "

                        Oh, thanks - this is a good learning for me. It's a shame I never heard
                        of this before.

                        >
                        > On the other hand use of extended attributes could solve a problem
                        > with 5 lines of code where solving the same problem without could cost
                        > you 50. Determine file types, text file line endings and text file
                        > encoding come to my mind here. Ask Bram how many line of code he
                        > needed in Vim to determine these three informations. With consequent
                        > use of xattribs it would have been 6 lines:
                        >
                        > [...]
                        >
                        > And best of all: you know before you open the file. AFAIK Bram need to
                        > close and reopen files in unfortunate combinations.
                        >

                        Such attributes would be useful, yes. But it's backward compatibility
                        that is the root of all evil and you also mentioned this in a sibling
                        post. So I'm not sure these things will become popular unless there is a
                        brand new OS appears which doesn't have to be compatible with anything
                        and it wins the market.

                        Also, the named attributes story doesn't have to do much with numbered
                        NTFS data streams, does it? It might be similar but numbers are too far
                        from string identifier convenience. Which brings me back to my original
                        thought - the design and implementation of data streams in NTFS are useless.

                        --
                        Alexei Alexandrov


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                      • krischik
                        On 5 Feb., 22:54, Alexei Alexandrov ... I fear you missed something - since NTFS v3.0 named forks are supported. They are called
                        Message 11 of 25 , Feb 5 11:45 PM
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                          On 5 Feb., 22:54, Alexei Alexandrov <alexei.alexand...@...>
                          wrote:

                          > Also, the named attributes story doesn't have to do much with numbered
                          > NTFS data streams, does it?

                          I fear you missed something - since NTFS v3.0 named forks are
                          supported. They are called "Alternate data streams". See

                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS#Features

                          Martin
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                        • Bram Moolenaar
                          ... Vim doesn t detect the situation that you are editing an info stream directly. ... The writebackup option matters too. ... Detecting the colon should be
                          Message 12 of 25 , Feb 6 9:40 AM
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                            Alex Jakushev wrote:

                            > On 1/31/08, Bram Moolenaar <Bram@...> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Try setting the 'backupcopy' option to "yes".
                            >
                            > This worked, but then it raises another question. Previous value
                            > of the 'backupcopy' option was auto, which means yes or no, which
                            > works best. Why didn't it choose yes, if no fails?

                            Vim doesn't detect the situation that you are editing an info stream
                            directly.

                            > Also, in my configuration, backup option is no. Theoretically, I should
                            > not bother with all this stuff at all? I use Vim7.1 last official release.

                            The 'writebackup' option matters too.

                            > > I thought Vim did copy the streams, but I suppose this doesn't work when
                            > > you edit one specific stream. If you want to look at it: function
                            > > copy_infostreams() in src/os_win32.c
                            >
                            > This may take a while for me to set up everything...
                            >
                            > But i have an idea that the problem is with file names.
                            > When you open some specific stream, vim considers the stream name as
                            > filename, and filename as subfolder. The stream name is separated from file
                            > name with a colon (c:\path\foo.txt:bar), and the same colon is used to
                            > separate drive letter. Maybe this causes some confusion?

                            Detecting the colon should be simple. When not using NTFS the file name
                            would be illegal. I'll add a todo item for this. But it would be nice
                            if someone can make a patch for it.

                            > Also, VIM converts dots in file name to underscores sometimes, when
                            > streams are specified.

                            I haven't seen this. Perhaps it's because the long file name is
                            converted to a 8.3 file name? Can you give a reproducable example?

                            > > NTFS streams are mostly restricted to MS-Windows applications, and
                            > > rarely used. I don't think it's a good idea to support them in Vim
                            > > directly.
                            >
                            > I understand it, but vim has specific windows functionality anyway.
                            > But of course it is easy for me to suggest this and that :)

                            I always put more effort in functionality that works everywhere. And to
                            keep programs portable rare features should be avoided, especially when
                            they don't add something essential for the end user. MS thinks
                            otherwise: They want programs to only run on MS-Windows. Portability
                            means they might lose customers. Some Linux developers also go in this
                            direction, they don't care about MS-Windows users. I care for everybody
                            :-).

                            --
                            The process for understanding customers primarily involves sitting around with
                            other marketing people and talking about what you would to if you were dumb
                            enough to be a customer.
                            (Scott Adams - The Dilbert principle)

                            /// Bram Moolenaar -- Bram@... -- http://www.Moolenaar.net \\\
                            /// sponsor Vim, vote for features -- http://www.Vim.org/sponsor/ \\\
                            \\\ download, build and distribute -- http://www.A-A-P.org ///
                            \\\ help me help AIDS victims -- http://ICCF-Holland.org ///

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                          • Alexei Alexandrov
                            ... Oops, yep, I have a lot of stuff to catch up with. -- Alexei Alexandrov --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message
                            Message 13 of 25 , Feb 6 11:19 AM
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                              krischik wrote:
                              >
                              > I fear you missed something - since NTFS v3.0 named forks are
                              > supported. They are called "Alternate data streams".
                              >

                              Oops, yep, I have a lot of stuff to catch up with.

                              --
                              Alexei Alexandrov


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