Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 14th Apr 2013 20:30 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems "In the past five years, flash memory has progressed from a promising accelerator, whose place in the data center was still uncertain, to an established enterprise component for storing performance-critical data. It's rise to prominence followed its proliferation in the consumer world and the volume economics that followed. With SSDs, flash arrived in a form optimized for compatibility - just replace a hard drive with an SSD for radically better performance. But the properties of the NAND flash memory used by SSDs differ significantly from those of the magnetic media in the hard drives they often displace. While SSDs have become more pervasive in a variety of uses, the industry has only just started to design storage systems that embrace the nuances of flash memory. As it escapes the confines of compatibility, significant improvements in performance, reliability, and cost are possible."
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RE[2]: Comment by TempleOS
by Laurence on Mon 15th Apr 2013 11:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by TempleOS"
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

You're missing his point there. I think he's talking about the future of storage working a bit like this:

Say you have a character array of the alphabet, you can just request the 5th element in that array and the value returned would be "e". Say if that array was actually a file in RAM, then we'd only ever need to pass pointers rather than having to duplicate the the file (ie persistent version in storage and and a volatile version in RAM).

There's a few issues with that mindset though:

1/ You'd need to know all the memory addresses of each bit of data you're wanting to retrieve before hand. That would require an epic centralised database that would fragment in no time at all. This isn't a show stopper though, there will be ways around it, but it's certainly a major issue that would need to be resolved. (it's probably worth noting that we can already jump to specific blocks of data within a file without having to preload the file beforehand. But it's beyond impractical to do so, which is why we use the much simpler approach we have currently)

2/ The contents of files are not static. Take XML parsing, the tags will land in different locations within the file depending on the data held (bad example, but the 5th line of a dictionary will differ depending on the language of the dictionary). So most forms of structured data will still need to be stepped through before they can be parsed - which defeats the point of "spaghettifying" pointers.

What wouldn't be an issue is "in memory" changes no affecting the saved versions (eg opening a Word document, making edits and the version I'm editing not automatically editing the version I have saved unless I explicitly click "save") as we already have technology developed that works around that limitation (CoW file systems).

While TempleOS's vision is interesting, I think it adds waaay too much complexity for comparatively little gain. Particularly when most instances of structured data will still need to be stepped through.

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