reiserfs used to be a serious contender at one time...

but I stopped using it after a couple of problems I blamed on my ignorance and didn't bother investigating. Looks like those may not have been my fault :-)

...from http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=538036&cid=23241212 :


ReiserFS isn't even a has-been file system, it's an almost-was, and was never a real contender for a top filesystem, no matter how much some users loved it.

Why wasn't it taken seriously by everyone?
- When it encountered problems, it crashed spectacularly. You didn't just lose a file or a block of a file, you lost entire trees and could get metadata instead of file data and vice versa.
- It lacked basic tools, like "dump"/"restore" or "freeze".
- The fsck rebuild process was a security nightmare. A user could craft a file with data that would appear to the fsck process to be metadata, and take over the system after a reboot. In typical arrogance, the solution was "don't reboot, then".
- It didn't support streams or compatible metadata, thus no Mac sharing or SELinux. SELinux in particular is a requirement for many big corporations right now, and not supporting it means no buy.

And, yes, the arrogance of the maintainer played a part too. But even with a much nicer guy running the show, it would not have been a serious contender for the throne.


firefox file-open speed and other gnome rants

If you've ever had to ask firefox to open a file from a directory with lots of files, and find that it takes forever, go to about:config and then set ui.allow_platform_file_picker to false!

Some of the other comments flowing off of http://lwn.net/SubscriberLink/278995/ae9fdab7c07b90d6/ are worth reading, from the point of view of a guy like me, who doesn't like Gnome.  Here are a few choice extracts, with URLs:

http://lwn.net/Articles/279398/ - My prolonged exposure to GNOME has resulted in apathy: I don't care about the desktop settings anymore. I guess it's inevitable. To caricaturize: if I like a setting, it's almost certainly gone in the next release, so there's no point to set oneself for disappointment

http://lwn.net/Articles/279345/ - From the brief and unpleasant interactions I've had with GNOME developers, I would conclude that they do not like their users. Well, I voted with my feet. XFCE for me, and my kids independently chose KDE after trying GNOME and KDE.

http://lwn.net/Articles/279449/ - [...]if you're not part of the GNOME Universe, you may as well not exist, which is the most objectionable aspect of GNOME anyway!

http://lwn.net/Articles/279420/ - I think they mostly like Microsoft's users, which is where a lot of the discontent comes from.  It's a lot easier to keep make-believe users that you don't really have happy than it is to please the ones that are actually using the software. As a result, features are added (and removed) that no-one actually requested.

And finally, an *excellent* analysis of why Nautilus is such a bad idea (or at least seems to have been done from the developers' point of view rather than the users'): http://lwn.net/Articles/279344/ (though this sort of stuff probably happens in KDE also, maybe to a lesser degree)


(security) Guarding the guardians: a story of PGP key ring theft


Nice article demonstrating the need to keep private keys on a device rather than on your hard disk! But apart from that, it also demonstrates a non-targeted attack can start focusing into a targeted attack. Without manual intervention.


I also like this quote: "When we use strong encryption, attackers will not try to "break" that encryption. They will move to the endpoints to steal the keys that are used to encrypt it. Ensure sufficient security is implemented on key storage."

linux kernel development

"How Fast it is Going, Who is Doing It, What They are Doing, and Who is Sponsoring It"


Good article.  Seems long, but has nice graphs that are actually understandable; makes for easy reading.

Amazing numbers...