Re: Extended attributes, Linux and GNOME

On Wed, 2003-04-02 at 19:07, Manuel Amador (Rudd-O) wrote:
> Lately, I've been warmly surprised by this:
> to save you a visit:
>   What are Extended Attributes?
> /Extended Attributes/ are arbitrary name/value pairs that are associated 
> with files or directories. They can be used to store system objects 
> (e.g., Capabilities of executables, Access Control Lists) and user 
> objects (e.g., the character set or mime type of a file). Access Control 
> Lists are implemented as extended system attributes.
> This is a Good Thing (TM).  KDE and GNOME could begin using them to 
> store metadata such as emblems and stuff.  AFAIU, the metadata machinery 
> in both DEs can be extended to use EAs instead of XML files whenever EAs 
> are available.  From the looks of it, it seems EAs will become a 
> by-default standard feature.

While I wholly agree that these could be an awesome thing for desktops,
the problem is really a lack of full support.  No released stable Linux
kernel has support, no vendor kernel has support.  And even then, most
users won't have them.  Those that do, still have to contend with the
fact that the GNU tools most of us have suck in that they can't support
these extensions.  Also notice how a good deal of popular of software
will lose/corrupt these attributes on files without modification.

Maybe once the user-space tools are more up-to-date, acl's/attr's are in
more Linux released/user-used kernels, FreeBSD5 is more prevalent (it
has acl/attr support in 5.0), etc. the Free Desktops can rely on these
features in Free OS's (which commercial OS's have had for years, in many

One thing that would be nice *now* is at least ACL editing support in
Nautilus for file-systems that support it.  That's something that
doesn't screw over users without, and greatly help users that have.  ^,^

>       luck
> _______________________________________________
> gnome-devel-list mailing list
> gnome-devel-list gnome org
Sean Middleditch <elanthis awesomeplay com>
AwesomePlay Productions, Inc.

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