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#1 2005-03-07 18:06:29

dp
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From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,363
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WinFS

http://www.microsoft-watch.com/article2 … 619,00.asp

http://msdn.microsoft.com/data/winfs/

... help solve data-overload problems ...

by deleting files automagically?

...  allows the user to perform searches based on the metadata of the stored item ...

huh?

Using WinFS to store data in a cohesive data store, not just a file system, users and systems can store rich metadata about a myriad of objects.

can anyone explain to me what this winfs is? it seems to be an intermediate layer between the OS and the FS but i'm not sure. or is it yet another trap to be un-compatible with other OS's?


The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

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#2 2005-03-07 18:09:10

cmp
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Registered: 2005-01-03
Posts: 350

Re: WinFS

i think it's a real filesystem, but instead of folders, there is ony meta information about a file, like the author, the last modfication date, etc..
then you could use an sql like syntax to retrive files, which has the great advantage, that it's damm easy to categorize files.
to be hones, i dream of such a fs for linux, but it's way too much work big_smile

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#3 2005-03-07 18:10:10

dp
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From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,363
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Re: WinFS

http://msdn.microsoft.com/data/default. … fault.aspx
seems that it's an SQL-like engine

The first point to make is that WinFS will not supplant NTFS—machines running Longhorn will still have NTFS-based drives.

using a primitive FS only because you developed it does not stand to reason


The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

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#4 2005-03-07 18:24:09

dp
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From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,363
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Re: WinFS

cmp wrote:

i think it's a real filesystem, but instead of folders, there is ony meta information about a file, like the author, the last modfication date, etc..
then you could use an sql like syntax to retrive files, which has the great advantage, that it's damm easy to categorize files.
to be hones, i dream of such a fs for linux, but it's way too much work big_smile

you need a FS to put your files to the drive in a way to can access them. dumping a DB to a harddrive would result in mess.

http://fuse.sourceforge.net/ + *SQL + an app to coordinate this would do the same, right?


The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

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#5 2005-03-07 18:59:11

cmp
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Registered: 2005-01-03
Posts: 350

Re: WinFS

actually I just grabbed the fuse archive wink

you need a FS to put your files to the drive in a way to can access them. dumping a DB to a harddrive would result in mess.

why not combine fs and database, you don't need as complex storage as a real database, because you can safely only allow text as a datatype. you then could use a key/value mechanism to address the metainformation.
but to implement this in a fast manner needs a lot of knowledge about databases and their way to address the huge ammount of data that's given to them.

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#6 2005-03-07 20:34:14

lanrat
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From: Poland
Registered: 2003-10-28
Posts: 1,274

Re: WinFS

dp wrote:

can anyone explain to me what this winfs is? it seems to be an intermediate layer between the OS and the FS but i'm not sure. or is it yet another trap to be un-compatible with other OS's?

It's another "big step into the future" :-) Like the Acitve Directory was before. Full of features that 99.9% windows users will not be able to use.

The idea is to have a metadata relational database (using ms sql engine) for files. You can store additional attributes describing files and then do "better" searches for the files (whatever the interface will be). You could also have an alternative organization of the files etc. etc. Nothing really new. Only it's going to be integrated into windows (like IE).

IMO this can be most useful for people keeping a lot of disorganized files. Only, how can you require them to put all the metadata ? :-) (if you have chaos in your files nothing will really help you)

This will for sure make a lot of noise (again) around ms and will help them to charge even more for their products, licenses, certificates, etc.

But generally I'm not against new inventions  8)

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#7 2005-03-07 20:49:33

dp
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From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,363
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Re: WinFS

lanrat wrote:
dp wrote:

can anyone explain to me what this winfs is? it seems to be an intermediate layer between the OS and the FS but i'm not sure. or is it yet another trap to be un-compatible with other OS's?

It's another "big step into the future" :-) Like the Acitve Directory was before. Full of features that 99.9% windows users will not be able to use.

The idea is to have a metadata relational database (using ms sql engine) for files. You can store additional attributes describing files and then do "better" searches for the files (whatever the interface will be). You could also have an alternative organization of the files etc. etc. Nothing really new. Only it's going to be integrated into windows (like IE).

IMO this can be most useful for people keeping a lot of disorganized files. Only, how can you require them to put all the metadata ? :-) (if you have chaos in your files nothing will really help you)

This will for sure make a lot of noise (again) around ms and will help them to charge even more for their products, licenses, certificates, etc.

But generally I'm not against new inventions  8)

ok, then i understood correctly. the thing is: it's not an FS, it's a layer between the OS and the FS doning something DB-alike to organise metadata.

you are right: average windows users would not be able to use such a system without an excellently designed frontend to handle all the "features"

the downside to the fairness is, that it would be enbedded to windows itself


The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

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#8 2005-03-07 21:03:53

z4ziggy
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From: Israel
Registered: 2004-03-29
Posts: 573
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Re: WinFS

it is a filesystem, not only a layer. a bloated one ofcourse (m$ only strength) but never the less - a fs with dynamic nodes (attributes) creation, so users can add new attributes "on the fly" to their files and use them for searching, categorizing, etc. i presume since its m$ manufactured, performance lost will/should be expected wink

we can only feel sorry for the m$ users and laugh...

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#9 2005-03-07 21:18:02

cactus
Taco Eater
From: t͈̫̹ͨa͖͕͎̱͈ͨ͆ć̥̖̝o̫̫̼s͈̭̱̞͍̃!̰
Registered: 2004-05-25
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Re: WinFS

it is a file system. All files, binary data, etc, that would normally be stored on the filesystem, are now stored in a database..which is stored on the harddrive somehow.
They are also providing ntfs, due to corporations being unwilling to give up backwards compatability, as many apps will likely need to be modified to use additional attributes the new system will/would provide.
I mean, how many corp offices use ntfs? Many still are using FAT32 because of compatability issues..

I think this is an interesting idea, but storing everything on the computer in a database is not a panacea. It brings to mind high overhead, greater file access latency, need for MUCH more powerful systems, and a few other crappy things..

*shrug* But I don't plan on using it, so what do I care.


"Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept." -- Postel's Law
"tacos" -- Cactus' Law
"t̥͍͎̪̪͗a̴̻̩͈͚ͨc̠o̩̙͈ͫͅs͙͎̙͊ ͔͇̫̜t͎̳̀a̜̞̗ͩc̗͍͚o̲̯̿s̖̣̤̙͌ ̖̜̈ț̰̫͓ạ̪͖̳c̲͎͕̰̯̃̈o͉ͅs̪ͪ ̜̻̖̜͕" -- -̖͚̫̙̓-̺̠͇ͤ̃ ̜̪̜ͯZ͔̗̭̞ͪA̝͈̙͖̩L͉̠̺͓G̙̞̦͖O̳̗͍

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#10 2005-03-07 21:23:49

dp
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From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,363
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Re: WinFS

thanx to all of you for the explainations


The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

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#11 2005-03-08 11:12:56

mercy
Member
Registered: 2004-04-24
Posts: 62

Re: WinFS

am i too paranoid?

watch out!

have a glance in the future of IT...

with this "we put everything in a DB" in the mind and some other neat facts:
"every user is connected to the NET"
SOL the intelligent PC's will shift to dump terminals (maybe some of you already worked with hosts :-) ) ... first there is LAN-Boot ... whats the next logical step? you just get a i/o hardware and some connection to a [C]entral [P]rozessing [F]acility (or whatever they wanna call it in future ;-) )

am i too paranoid?

put that all in a pot... a little fantasy mixed in... and what do you get?
a huge SuperComputer "knowing" everything controlled by  a few pplz :-)

am im too paranoid?

but the realy scary thing is that there won't be ANY chances to escape... no alternatives...
if you need anything from the *modern world* you have to deal with those peoples

am i too paranoid?

well if i think about all those stuff there is going arround ...

like "hardware-supported"-Control facilities wich software you download/use/... or even to control the data you can find/view/listen to/hear.. whatever.. (point.: music-industry, software-piracy,... and so an wich they want to face with this type of control)

or the data-collecting happening every day ... bought anything via creditcard yet or something like that? ... oh dear! ... a bank knows more about you than your family :-)


and a year ago or two they started here in austria to collect the social-number of every pupil to implement a database to provide a future employer with EVERY possible information. (marks, absence, behavior,...)
and now guess.. that DB should not even have been secured by any means.. so if you want a info about somebody you simply get it... noone ask the one if he/she wants that anybody retreives the info's

......


am i too paranoid? ;-)

think about it...

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#12 2005-03-08 12:02:49

iphitus
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From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2004-10-09
Posts: 4,927

Re: WinFS

its almost like what beagle can do. heck someone could make a front for beagle allowing mock organisation of stugg if they really wanted

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#13 2005-03-08 12:10:07

lanrat
Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2003-10-28
Posts: 1,274

Re: WinFS

I think beagle is quite close to what winfs will be in practice.
http://www.gnome.org/projects/beagle/

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#14 2005-03-08 15:32:53

z4ziggy
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From: Israel
Registered: 2004-03-29
Posts: 573
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Re: WinFS

actually, using a DB as a filesystem is not a new idea - IBM has been using this in their iSeries (AS/400) for their DB2 filesystem - all files are entries in the db... this is why iSeries is considered to be the fastest DB too - because its filesystem IS his DB... no 3rd party DB running somewhere...

just my 2 cents...

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#15 2005-03-08 16:08:59

dp
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From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,363
Website

Re: WinFS

i hate GDI-printers ... am i paranoid?


The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

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#16 2005-03-08 16:12:29

cmp
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Registered: 2005-01-03
Posts: 350

Re: WinFS

I think beagle is quite close to what winfs will be in practice.
http://www.gnome.org/projects/beagle/

I don't think so, because you still won't have meta information on every file.
the file format has to support meta information, and there has to be a plugin for it.

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#17 2005-03-08 19:21:19

lanrat
Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2003-10-28
Posts: 1,274

Re: WinFS

I'm not an expert about beagle and winfs. I've only read some docs and browsed the wiki (I'm not using it though). There are many plans about what kind of information is to be stored and where.
For example:
http://beaglewiki.org/index.php/Beagle%20Roadmap

I don't know if this is very different from winfs but I think an average user will not see the difference (at least average windows user). Beagle combined with dashboard will be IMO a direct competitor to winfs.

From the user's point of view the important thing is the searching interface (gui). Competition is good so we'll see... :-)

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#18 2005-03-08 22:17:26

mercy
Member
Registered: 2004-04-24
Posts: 62

Re: WinFS

about that db2-thingie ..

db2 uses a part of the harddisk as storage-place residing parallel to the filesystem of the OS
(raw-device)
i consider that something else than a entirely database-based-filesystem

*scratch*

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#19 2005-03-08 22:19:47

cmp
Member
Registered: 2005-01-03
Posts: 350

Re: WinFS

the differnce is that you could just assign the title "any new movie name" to the file new_movie.avi without chaning the file itself on winfs.
you could also store sth. like a rating to all your files and then say something like SELECT files FROM /mnt/winfs WHERE rating >= 3; (but I don't know the exact query language used by ms).
you could also store the file type in an attribute and the you coud give your files abitrary names, why on linux this isn't as important on windows this will be a huge difference (no need for extensions anymore).
it also makes searching for files much more easier, because instead of seraching for an holiday photo by looking at your whole collection, you could supply every file with a short description and then search in the description.
but the best thing on all described above is that the file format does not have to have any support for things like ratings/author/etc., but the filesystem has.
what you're describing is just the user interface, but the problem with beagle is, that it does only supports meta information on files supported by the developers. while the content won't be accessible for the winfs search tool either, you can supply any meta information you consider neccessary to find the file again.

about that db2 fs: if i would have to build such a filesystem i would also use an independent index file/partition. this way you don't have to change anything about the filesystem itself, if you just wan't to support different search methods. and technicly speaking an index isn't neccessary for the filesystem, it just speed things up a bit.

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#20 2005-03-09 12:14:06

lanrat
Member
From: Poland
Registered: 2003-10-28
Posts: 1,274

Re: WinFS

cmp wrote:

you could also store the file type in an attribute and the you coud give your files abitrary names, why on linux this isn't as important on windows this will be a huge difference (no need for extensions anymore).

Somehow I can only imagine now happy win virus/spyware coders...  :twisted:

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#21 2005-03-09 15:11:12

z4ziggy
Member
From: Israel
Registered: 2004-03-29
Posts: 573
Website

Re: WinFS

mercy wrote:

about that db2-thingie ..

db2 uses a part of the harddisk as storage-place residing parallel to the filesystem of the OS
(raw-device)
i consider that something else than a entirely database-based-filesystem

i was referring to DB2/400 - the iSeries DB, not the PC-DB2. DB2/400 is a filesystem by itself.

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