About | Buy | Forum | Industry Watch | Learning Curve | Products | Search | Twitter | Xnews
Home » Learning Curve » Red Hat Diaries

Quote of the Century

A case of where computer science shouldn't be rocket science. If not for the rest of us at least for the most of us.


Buy It

Try It

It can be wonderful to be a Mac lover. It can be lucrative to be a Mac hater. Ask Paul Thurrott. Or Rob Enderle. But there are pundits out there who use Macs but grow to hate them. Why? As Brian Meidell expressed it, it's not so much the machines themselves as it's the fans - who in themselves can be enough to turn anyone's gastrointestinal system into an infinite fruit loop.

A recent example is one Prince McLean who's written an amazing series for AppleInsider on the new Leopard. Leaving aside NDA issues for the moment one can only ask - as one has to continually do with the likes of Seriously Demented - where does Mr Prince get his 'facts' from? And who are his sources?

Did you know that Apple's back-assward implementation of Unix hard links has nothing to do with the fact their abortive file system HFS simply cannot handle them? But instead is a long term strategy for Leopard's Time Machine? Sure enough! Ask Prince - but don't ask Prince how or where he found this out and never ever ask Prince what qualifications he has to so much as mumble an opinion on the subject.

Either that or you have to accept the following fact: namely that Apple allowed countless bugs and crashed file systems and hard drives over the past seven years years just so they could anno 2007 month of October introduce a backup system.

If you have difficulty swallowing that try a slurk of Kool-Aid. It usually helps.

Apple's 'Unix' hard link system does not work, has never worked, and will never work as long as they're using their stupid HFS*. And it's very easy to understand. And there are countless articles at this site demonstrating that fact with examples you can try out on your own so you can see for yourself. The system doesn't work. Period.

And this is because of all file systems ever used in the history of file systems there is really only one file system that cannot no matter what be adapted to the idea of hard links. One. Only one. Guess which one.

The cornerstone of Apple's HFS is the imbecilic assumption that an allocation on disk can have only one name. That there is no way any file or directory as it resides on your hard drive could ever be referenced by different paths and files.

That's a cornerstone. Not an accidental oddity. It's a deliberate oddity.

It means you can move a file on disk as you edit it and still be able to find it and save it when the time comes. And that of course is a Good Thing™.

But OS X is Unix and Unix has hard links up the wazoo. The system is already flooded with them. Go look. Stop reading now and go look. They're all over the place. Hundreds of them.

All of which is eminently accessible to the computer scientist and even the eager end user. But evidently not Prince's readers. Unless he's missed his target and is going to find himself sacked by popular demand next month.

This is one case of where computer science is not rocket science for anyone except Prince and his readers.

'Apple actually designed the multi-links in HFS+ primarily to support Time Machine.'

Quote of the century.

Postscript: The C Programming Language

Rixstep site visitors report this halfwit is now offhandedly claiming Ken Thompson wrote C. This raises the bar on 'sloppy journalism' to a new breathtaking level.

Postscript: No Mistaken Identity ('I Lead Five Lives')

The similarities between Prince and Seriously Demented weren't a coincidence after all. They're one and the same. Or rather two parts of five of the same 'personality'. AppleInsider readers finally figured it out.

About | Buy | Forum | Industry Watch | Learning Curve | Products | Search | Twitter | Xnews
Copyright © Rixstep. All rights reserved.