[linux-elitists] Re: Microsoft licensing FAT?

Brian D. Hicks hick0142@tc.umn.edu
Fri Dec 5 12:16:55 PST 2003

On Fri, Dec 05, 2003 at 01:32:00PM -0500, Jeremy Hankins wrote:
> "Karsten M. Self" <kmself@ix.netcom.com> writes:
> > My first thought:  what alternative filesystems might be suitable
> > replacements?
> Did you look at jffs2 at all?  It's intended for ROMs, so it has a
> slightly different set of goals: keeping writes to an absolute minimum
> and compression, but that doesn't sound all that different from some of
> the things FAT is used for.  OpenZaurus uses it for /, so it must have
> good support for long filenames & directories.  I don't know anything
> about its i18n support, but it is a fairly modern fs.  Journaling, too.

If by "ROMs" you mean "Flash RAM", then yes, it is.  The main advantage
of JFFS2 (and JFFS) is the write-balancing.  Since Flash RAM devices
have a limited number of writes available, it makes sense to spread them
around the disk so that they don't build up in any one spot, shortening
the life of the drive.  In JFFS the balancing was pretty much an
automatic function of the way the filesystem worked, but for JFFS2 the
balancing isn't so integrated and a bit poorer.  As I recall, the
quality of JFFS2 load balancing depends greatly on the amount of data
written between mounts, but JFFS works poorer and poorer as drive size

But really, we should've been using something like JFFS2 on all of our
flash drives in the first place.

Brian Hicks               <mailto:hick0142@tc.umn.edu>
   <http://eight.dhs.org> <ham:KC0OIH> <PGP:0xADDD1F16>
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