Re: An entirely different angle on the GNOME VFS

So the problems with trying to do gnome-vfs kinds of things in the

Managing permissions correctly is a giant pain in the arse. Its
currently a pain in the arse for static /dev, devfs and hotpluggable
devices. Adding network filesystems to the picture makes it worse. Just
saying that the "current user" owns stuff isn't good enough because its
conceivable that multiple users in a multi-user system will want to
access the same non-local resources with different permissions, and in
many cases different kinds of mapping (eg: mounting a samba "home" share
as two different users might end up with very different files at the
same URI). And authentication becomes a pain in the arse.

There aren't decent portable async APIs. Look at the nightmare of trying
to use SMB or WebDAV on MacOS X. Apple own the kernel so they shoved
everything in there with userland glue to do the actual talking. The
whole UI freezes if your network goes away or if you're talking to a
slow server. Error reporting is poor, etc.

People are used to referring to non-local resources by URIs, but they
don't really map cleanly to posix filenames in an intuitive way.
Conversely we've had trouble mapping things the other way for gnome-vfs
but I think we've got that side of the problem mostly under control.

So replacing gnome-vfs with a kernel based solution for gnome apps is in
my opinion a mistake. One project you might be interested in is Oracle's
gnome-vfs based userfs project, I haven't looked at it myself, but it
does let you mount gnome-vfs URIs. It should be possible to extend it to
present the kind of interface you want for non-gnome apps:


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