Archived copy of A Swedish wolf in Norway

Miscellaneous technobabble from a Swede in Norway.

Torvalds disses HFS+ (the file system of Mac OS X)

Published: 2008-02-06 08:02:10

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux, claims that “[Mac Os X’s] file system is complete and utter crap, which is scary”. I wonder if this stems from the recent flame war on the Git mailing list over how Mac OS X stores file names as [partially] de-composed Unicode strings encoded as UTF-8, while Git expects file names to be a sequence of octets.

While I think it is good that people have their opinions, it is possible to keep discussions civilized. Calling something “complete and utter crap” will not help anything.

Personally, I think the idea of storing file names as sequences of Unicode characters, however encoded (like Windows and Mac OS X both do) has vast advantages over storing them as sequences of bytes (like Linux does). If you have ever tried accessing files with non-ASCII names over Samba, or tried to switch your locale encoding on a running Linux system from, say, ISO-8859-1 to UTF-8, while trying to access your file names with non-ASCII characters in them, you know what I mean.

Linux needs to take the step forward from the 1980s and accept that a sequence of octets is not good enough. The world needs Unicode.

(via MacWorld)

Tags: flame linus torvalds file systems unicode

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