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Date:   Wed, 12 Aug 2020 14:33:13 +0100
From:   David Howells <>
To:     Miklos Szeredi <>
Cc:, Karel Zak <>,
        Linus Torvalds <>,
        linux-fsdevel <>,
        Al Viro <>,
        Jeff Layton <>,
        Miklos Szeredi <>,
        Nicolas Dichtel <>,
        Christian Brauner <>,
        Lennart Poettering <>,
        Linux API <>,
        Ian Kent <>,
        LSM <>,
        Linux Kernel Mailing List <>
Subject: Re: file metadata via fs API (was: [GIT PULL] Filesystem Information)

Miklos Szeredi <> wrote:

> You said yourself, that what's really needed is e.g. consistent
> snapshot of a complete mount tree topology.  And to get the complete
> needed for *each* individual mount.

That's not entirely true.

want to scan an entire subtree in one go.  It returns the same record type.

The result from ALL/CHILDREN includes sufficient information to build the
tree.  That only requires the parent ID.  All the rest of the information
TOPOLOGY exposes is to do with propagation.

Now, granted, I didn't include all of the topology info in the records
returned by ALL/CHILDREN because I don't expect it to change very often.  But
you can check the event counter supplied with each record to see if it might
have changed - and then call TOPOLOGY on the ones that changed.

If it simplifies life, I could add the propagation info into ALL/CHILDREN so
that you only need to call ALL to scan everything.  It requires larger
buffers, however.

> Adding a few generic binary interfaces is okay.   Adding many
> specialized binary interfaces is a PITA.

Text interfaces are also a PITA, especially when you may get multiple pieces
of information returned in one buffer and especially when you throw in
character escaping.  Of course, we can do it - and we do do it all over - but
that doesn't make it efficient.


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