[linux-elitists] FAT is the new GIF?

Greg Folkert greg@gregfolkert.net
Mon Mar 2 09:02:45 PST 2009


On Mon, 2009-03-02 at 07:53 -0800, Greg KH wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 02, 2009 at 08:02:50AM -0500, Greg Folkert wrote:
> > On Thu, 2009-02-26 at 16:04 -0800, Don Marti wrote:
> > > Danger!  MSFT patents!  Larry Augustin writes,
> > > "FAT32 is not an open and unencumbered technology."
> > > 
> > > http://lmaugustin.typepad.com/lma/2009/02/linux-microsoft-and-patents-its-time-to-get-the-fat-out.html
> > > 
> > > So is it time to start treating FAT support like MP3
> > > today or GIFs back in the day -- something that can't
> > > be included with a Free distribution, to be "burned"
> > > and replaced with a Free alternative?  (some of the
> > > flash-oriented filesystems might be a good choice for
> > > the kind of thing people tend to use FAT for these
> > > days: http://lwn.net/Articles/276025/ )
> > > 
> > > Or is FAT more like JPEG -- something that's subject
> > > to bogus patent claims, but usable?
> > 
> > Real question:
> > How different is the FAT/VFAT/MSDOS Partition code in TomTom's Kernel,
> > vs say a Kernel.org kernel or even RedHat's or Gentoo's or Debian's or
> > any others for that matter?
> 
> It's identical.

Yikes. So I guess its true that Microsoft *IS* going after Embedded
Linux Vendors and possibly like Debian, Ubuntu, and so on in the long
term.

We do really need to get those couple of patents knocked under. Wouldn't
RockRidge extensions to ISO9660 be prior art for Long File Support?
(1994 vs 1996 on the MS ones)

I hope/think there are some other pieces that are prior art in the FAT
stuff. But I'm obviously not the authority to ask.
-- 
greg@gregfolkert.net
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