Re: unicode

H. Peter Anvin (
15 May 1998 08:20:45 GMT

Followup to: <>
By author: "Albert D. Cahalan" <>
In newsgroup:
> H. Peter Anvin writes:
> > By author: "Albert D. Cahalan" <>
> >> NTFS stores a 128-kB case table in the filesystem.
> >> It is used to make the B-tree directories work right.
> >
> > It's not B-trees, it is case folding.
> The B-trees would be useless without case folding, because NT would
> have to do a linear search for lookups done in the Win32 API.

You need case folding just to do the comparison, even with a linear
search, if you define your system as case insensitive.

> > Just goes to show just
> > how bad an idea case folding is.
> >
> > Case insensitivity is specifically prohibited by Posix.
> NTFS is a POSIX filesystem and does support case-sensitive files.
> Filenames that differ only by case must be next to each other so
> that the Windows API (not case-sensitive) can find files.
> Without that ordering, NT would have to scan the directory like
> it does for FAT. Think of WINE and ext2: the whole directory must
> be scanned because we don't sort files in the right way.
> Case insensitivity is good from the viewpoint of lazy software
> developers. Normal users often complain about Linux being
> case-sensitive. In fact, they see it as an annoying bug.
> IMHO it ought to be controlled by a directory attribute.

IMNSHO it is junk that doesn't belong in the filesystem. It suddenly
means dragging in a whole character-system where it doesn't belong,
although I have to say putting it inside the filesystem as opposed to
the kernel automagically needing to figure it out would definitely be
the lesser of two evils.


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