[SATLUG] One File System Reading Another (borrowed from Solaris Discussion)

Henry Pugsley henry.pugsley at gmail.com
Sat Mar 28 15:19:54 CDT 2009

On Sat, Mar 28, 2009 at 1:00 PM, ed <horned0wl93 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Starting a different thread from what Henry originally wrote:
>> Henry Pugsley wrote:
>>> Actually Solaris on x86 can't read partitions that were created on
>>> Sparc because of endian issues.  I found a discussion on it, and the
>>> developers said it won't happen.  Luckily the Linux UFS driver does
>>> the byte-swapping.
> Perhaps some of you can help me with what should have been among my newbie
> questions a few years back:  why is it that Linux- based systems seem
> natively able to read, or at least be aware of NTFS and FAT-32 partitions,
> among others, while in reverse it appears that NTFS or FAT-32 cannot read or
> are unaware or EXT2/3 partitions?   Arrogance, maybe...?  That one's always
> kinda puzzled me...
> Cheers;
> Ed

There are a number of reasons, ranging from technical to political,
but it normally comes down to return on investment.  Linux is not a
commercial venture and development is driven by the needs of the
community, not the demands of investors.  If the community sees value
in the ability of Linux to read Windows filesystems, someone will
write the support and others will help improve it.  There is a big
enough developer pool that chances are someone is going to be
interested in helping, and once it hits the main kernel tree, support
and ongoing maintenance is pretty much guaranteed.

For Microsoft to write an ext2/3 driver for Windows, they have to ask
and answer a lot of questions.  How many of our customers need/want
this?  How much money will it take to build and maintain support?  Can
we support this in the future?  And probably the most important: why
do we want interop with an operating system that eats away at our
bottom line?  Sadly most commercial software thrives on vendor
lock-in, and giving people the option to use something else is like
shooting yourself in the foot.  Microsoft won't care about interop
until it makes a difference in their bottom line.


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