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osOpinion: The Devil's in the Details

Jul 03, 2000, 16:05 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Rob Yampolsky)

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"Ever used the unix 'locate' command? It's a wonderful thing. Lets you instantaneously search a database of all the files on your system and quickly find what you're looking for. Except that that's no longer true."

"Try running 'locate kppp' or 'locate mozilla'. You get hundreds if not thousands of hits. Now you can get clever with regular expressions and filter out all the .xpm's, .html's and whatnot, and maybe the list will become manageable. But screwing up 'locate' is just the tip of the iceberg. Ever try to update your Mandrake Linux system? Something makes it take a very very long time to even figure out what needs to be replaced. So long that most users would opt to wipe the system and install from scratch. I'll bet the sheer number of files has something to do with this."

"The unix filesystem is a nice thing, and using it as a pseudo database can seem elegant indeed. Except that it's not. It's slow, it's wasteful of space, it makes for backup logs that run on for miles. It's just not a good idea."

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