B20: mv deletes files on error (NT)

Larry Hall lhall@rfk.com
Wed Mar 31 19:45:00 GMT 1999

At 06:14 PM 3/30/99 +0100, Martin Heller wrote:
>Beware: NTFS itself IS case-sensitive  WIN32 is not ...
>this leads to the question: should 'mv' on cygwin know the difference
>between FAT/NTFS
>filesystem and should it make a difference between 'foo' and 'Foo' on
>excerpt rom MS-SDK:
>...The following POSIX-compliant features are included in NTFS:
>Case-sensitive naming. Under POSIX, README.TXT, Readme.txt, and
>readme.txt are all different files.
>Hard links. A file can be given more than one name. This allows two
>different filenames, which can be
>located in different directories, to point to the same data.
>Additional time stamps. These show when the file was last accessed or
>POSIX applications create case-sensitive filenames where two or more
>filenames can differ only in case
>(for example, annm.doc and AnnM.Doc).
>While NTFS supports both case-preservation and case-sensitivity, you
>cannot use standard commands
>with NTFS to manage filenames that differ only in case. (Standard
>commands include those used at the
>command-line — such as copy, del, and move — and their File Manager
>For example, both annm.doc and AnnM.Doc are deleted if you type the
>following at the command prompt:
>del AnnM.Doc
>You must use POSIX applications to manage filenames that differ only in
>For related information, see the section on the POSIX subsystem in
>Chapter 1, "Windows NT Architecture"
>and Chapter 17, "POSIX Compatibility." ....

This is worthwhile to note.  I expect there is some value to considering
both the underlying O/S's way of handling case as well as the file system.
Since Cygwin is a layer over Win32 really, I think the O/S's semantics
need to be the real drive here.  I could see alternative support at some 
point in the future for handling case-preserving and case-sensitive file
systems as being a bonus in Cygwin though.

Since I started this thread, its perhaps best I end it.  I started it with
a question about what change had been made to make "mv foo Foo" report an
error about "foo" being the same file as "Foo".  I've made my point that
"mv" needs to be able to do this without a complaint or problem.  As a 
result, I think this thread can die.  Any other information pertaining
to file systems, their case preferences, and how Cygwin should/might handle
them should probably be brought up in a different context, to avoid any old
issues/misconceptions in this thread from being attributed to the new topic.
Just my opinion...

Larry Hall                              lhall@rfk.com
RFK Partners, Inc.                      (781) 239-1053
8 Grove Street                          (781) 239-1655 - FAX
Wellesley, MA  02482-7797               http://www.rfk.com

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