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[4]: Metadata
by Alfman on Wed 19th Sep 2012 17:31 UTC 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.

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