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File Systems never were a good idea

Tue Dec 16 13:15:34 GMT 2003 File Systems

A long time ago, I made a newsgroup post in which I suggested that file systems were an unnecessary part of an OS - that the disk should just be for swap. I felt that the whole OS design would be much cleaner, that programming would be easier, etc.

I got my head handed to me on a platter. I don't recall if I even bothered to defend myself from the chorus of derogatory remarks that mostly concerned themselves with my obvious lack of intelligence and ignorance of OS principles.

Oh well. The barrage didn't change my opinion any, but I shelved it as an idea too radical, or perhaps just too early.

This morning I was reminded of this by something in Eric Raymond's new book "The Art of Unix Programming" - this section: File Systems Might Be Considered Harmful. Huh? Turns out that at least some people were thinking about this long before I was: http://www.capros.org/. I haven't had the time yet to look very deeply at this, but they do have a lot of interesting concepts.

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