Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 8th Jun 2008 15:53 UTC, submitted by sonic2000gr
Legal The story of Hans Reiser, the eccentric file system programmer, is a tragic one. The author of the ReiserFS was arrested under suspicion of the murder of his wife Nina Reiser in 2006, and was declared guilty in April 2008. Some still placed doubts about the conviction, stating that he might be innocent. It now seems that all doubt has been quelled, since Alameda County District Attorney Thomas Orloff has revealed that Hans Reiser will disclose the location of Nina's body for a reduced sentence.
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Let me give you another example. I'm a vegetarian, for several reasons, one of them is the suffering we put animals through. Locked up in small cages for their whole (short) life, then transported across Europe, slaughtered, just to transport the meat back to the country where the animals came from (because slaughterhouses elsewhere do it cheaper).

In general I consider the 'damage done' when the meat is bought. Now if I'm someplace where meat sandwiches are passed around, and there's one or two left over (that will be thrown away), I'm inclined to grab one. Why? Because after you've put those animals through all that suffering, the least you can do, is enjoy the result (I *do* like many meat products, I just don't eat them - normally). If you don't, all that suffering was for nothing.

So if people suffer, but something useful comes out of it, that can save others from going through similar suffering, use it! I'd almost say you owe that to the victims.

As for ReiserFS, I hope people will be sensible enough to separate Hans Reiser's personal troubles from the merits of his filesystem, and decide its use on practical/technical merits alone. However, Hans Reiser's situation can be part of that: if as a lead developer he's unable to contribute any longer, and perhaps nobody else has enough of a grip on the codebase, it would go unmaintained soon. Now that is a practical issue to consider. Let's hope there are enough interested parties, so that a good filesystem doesn't go to waste.

Not that it matters much, perhaps: there's so countless men-hours put into projects that go nowhere anyway, and there are other good filesystems to use with Linux (ext2/3, XFS, etc).

Edited 2008-06-08 23:14 UTC

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