Re: vfat patch for shortcut display as symlinks for 2.4.18

From: Nicholas Miell (
Date: Sun Jun 09 2002 - 16:36:49 EST

On Sun, 2002-06-09 at 13:53, Albert D. Cahalan wrote:
> Nicholas Miell writes:
> > Putting shortcut support into the VFAT driver is as bad a decision as
> > the automatic text-file CRLF->LF conversions was, for several reasons.
> No, NOTHING done with VFAT is as bad as the text conversion.
> That one was not implementable in any sane way, unless you
> think sequential read-only access (like /proc) is sane.
> > First of all, some programs (WINE) will actually want to use the .lnk
> > files, and transparently converting them to symlinks will complicate
> > that.
> WINE needs to be able to handle a symlink on ext2, so it can
> damn well convert back. It's OK to give WINE some hack to get at
> the content; it's not OK to hack bash to interpret .lnk files.

Why would bash even want to interpret shortcut files? They're a proprietary,
Windows-only format that have no real use beyond icons in the Start Menu
or on the desktop. Hacking the filesystem to treat something that
fundamentally is not a symlink as a symlink is even stupider than
hacking bash to do the same thing.
> > More importantly, shortcuts are a hell of a lot more complicated than
> > has been implied. Not only can they point to local files or UNCs (the
> > \\server\share\path notation), they can also point to any object in the
> > (Windows) shell's namespace, which includes lots of virtual objects that
> > don't actually exist on disk.
> One can live with an occasional broken symlink:

One can also live with "foo.lnk". (It's much easier and saner, too.)

> > Finally, I haven't seen any justification for why symlinks on VFAT are
> > needed, beyond some vague statements that it's useful when dual booting.
> > Face it, VFAT isn't a Unix filesystem and introducing ugly hacks to make
> > it more similar to one will only cause problems in the long run. If you
> > want symlinks, use a real filesystem or use umsdos on your favorite FAT
> > filesystem. (Assuming that umsdos still works...).

> [ insane abuse of VFAT for multi-user systems ]

You're not serious, right?

- Nicholas

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