Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 18th Sep 2012 21:45 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Microsoft and RIM have announced that RIM has licensed Redmond's exFAT patents. The press release contains a ridiculous amount of hyperbole nonsense, and if you translate it into regular people speak, it basically comes down to RIM paying Microsoft protection money for stupid nonsensical software patents. Ridiculous articles like like this make it seem as if we're talking about patents on major technological breakthroughs, but don't be fooled: this is because for some inexplicable reason, we're using crappy FAT for SD cards.
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RE[2]: Metadata
by pgquiles on Tue 18th Sep 2012 22:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Metadata"
pgquiles
Member since:
2006-07-16

Because many people do extract their SD card from their camera or mobile phone and insert it into their laptops.

Try to do that with ext3 and you've got yourself into three problems:

- Not supported out-of-the box on Mac and Windows

- Even after installing a driver, the support is not that good. Unless you go for a commercial implementation, such as Paragon's, and that means royalties. And if you are going to pay royalties, well, wtf, pay them to Microsoft and get FAT, which does not neeed a driver!

- Some people will try the SD card on a computer where the driver is not installed, they will receive the infamous "unknown partition" message and bitch about having lost all their data

So essentially going for FAT or anything which is supported out of the box by Windows and works acceptably well is the best business decision. Props if it also works out of the box and reasonably well on Mac. Linux? No need to care about them.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[3]: Metadata
by MollyC on Tue 18th Sep 2012 23:00 in reply to "RE[2]: Metadata"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

You wrote and submitted your post while I was posting my brief response to PieterGen . You said it better than I did. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: Metadata
by Lobotomik on Wed 19th Sep 2012 05:33 in reply to "RE[2]: Metadata"
Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

How about one of the filing systems supported by OSX, like UFS? It is a powerful filing system, with source code available under a BSD license, and compatible out of the box with Macs. It would get along fine with the Linux and iOS kernels that make up 95% of the smartphone market, and a huge slice of the HD-Tv market, the set-top box market and the embedded market in general.

Only Microsoft would be left out, but they have already stated that the BSD license is palatable to them, and if this were official they might could keep face by adopting a "multimedia standard"

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Metadata
by lucas_maximus on Wed 19th Sep 2012 16:45 in reply to "RE[3]: Metadata"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Because FAT is already good enough. FAT32 is still fine for the majority of applications, exFAT can supports silly file sizes.

I suggest you read the unix haters handbook, the principle is called "worse is better".

I haven't worried about what filesystem I should choose since I last tried a Gentoo Install, or when Ext4 would forget to actually put the file onto the disk.

Edited 2012-09-19 16:47 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Metadata
by Alfman on Wed 19th Sep 2012 17:31 in reply to "RE[3]: Metadata"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Lobotomik,

"How about one of the filing systems supported by OSX, like UFS? It is a powerful filing system, with source code available under a BSD license, and compatible out of the box with Macs. It would get along fine with the Linux and iOS kernels that make up 95% of the smartphone market, and a huge slice of the HD-Tv market, the set-top box market and the embedded market in general."

It's good that we're finally starting to think about alternatives to the FAT lock in. Someone else may be able to highlight whether UFS could be suitable or not, since I have no experience with it. However there is a potentially large problem with your logic: just because "linux" supports UFS doesn't mean it's ok to extrapolate that 95% of the smartphone market, embedded market, etc can already support it. These would likely need to be re-flashed to get the driver, they might not have sufficient resources for a new driver. Even if the stock kernel did include UFS, there still could be issues with the user-space tools on these embededed devices. My own linux desktop distro doesn't even have ufsutils installed (mkfs.ufs, fsck.ufs, etc). It's doubtful that any UFS combination has ever been tested on most embedded devices.

Not to discourage progress, but I think switching file systems is going to be to be an interoperability mess. The safest way to transition would be to start explicitly supporting another file system today and keeping FAT as the default. In a few years time when the alternative FS is widely supported, then it should become the default. But how do we get all manufacturers on board with this plan? It almost takes a monopoly to get the ball moving.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Metadata
by JAlexoid on Wed 19th Sep 2012 10:09 in reply to "RE[2]: Metadata"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Actually Microsoft "was selected" by the SD Assiciation to make the exFat as the mandatory standard for SDXC.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: Metadata
by dsmogor on Wed 19th Sep 2012 12:49 in reply to "RE[3]: Metadata"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Hey, if that's part of a standard shouldn't patents in question be licensed on RAND terms?

Reply Parent Score: 5