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RE: Sparse file criteria malfunction - binutils produces sparse .exe & .dll files

> "Christopher Faylor" <> wrote ...
> >
> > On Mon, Jun 02, 2003 at 01:26:50PM +0100, Max Bowsher wrote:
> > >$ uname -svr
> > >CYGWIN_NT-5.1 1.5.0(0.86/3/2) 2003-06-02 00:41
> > >
> > >The new sparse file heuristic is being triggered by the way binutils writes
> > >.exe and .dll files.
> > >
> > >I'm unsure this could be worked around. Any ideas?
> >
> > Since you are the principal complainer about this particular feature,
> IMHO Max is the inofficial spokesman of a suffering but silent majority.

Supermajority actually.  Wait, no, *100%* of Cygwin users on NTFS are negatively
affected by this, even those who have the one instance in which it helps.

Yes, now it'll be only if you write past the end of the file.  Which apparently
binutils does.  Well, that's something I guess.  But again I say, if getting
cygwin to automatically "sparsify" files is such a major requirement, why not
mark all files *compressed*?  Every single cygwin user would gain some *benefit*
from that, and it would do pretty much the same thing as the sparsification
(i.e. all those runs of zeros would compress down to nothing).  But such a patch
wouldn't be considered, would it?  But "all files sparse" sailed right though.

Linux has a sparse file system that burns sectors like they're going out of
style.  Fine.  NTFS doesn't unless you force it to.  I have yet to see a cogent
argument as to why Cygwin should emulate this defect in that particular
filesystem, nor why the very specific issue this is intended to address cannot
be handled in a different, non-affecting-everybody-negatively way.

Hell, how about this: sparse *mounts*?  If you're one of the two people that
care about sparse files, "mount /whatever c:/whatever --sparse"!  It's even
closer to the filesystem conceptually.  Everybody wins.

Let the not-so-passive-aggressive semi-namecalling begin (I suggest "Assistant
Adjutant General Complainer JG").  But tell me where I'm wrong first.

Gary R. Van Sickle
Brewer.  Patriot.

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