Thoughts on FAT64/exFAT

Yeah, yeah. M$ has released the next generation filesystem for large capacity flash media (iow, the portable USB sticks/external hard disks) and claims to offer “seamless interoperability”. Well, lets sit down and dissect.

It brings back the memories of struggling to mount a NTFS partition my friends had, and smiling a futile attempt to tell them that “Ugh, NTFS isn’t supported yet”. It was not long back. We got NTFS readonly support later, and I remember searching and installing the Kernel module to mount partitions of the dual-booting machines in our lab.

We got reliable NTFS write support with ntfs-3g much later, IIRC by 2006.

And the story repeats.

But no, there’s already an experimental driver for exFAT, thanks to OGAWA Hirofumi. It is reported to work well, but there are issues. Still, he had to hack the image created by Vista to create that driver.

Will there be a “non-sign-your-life-away spec” open to the developers, ye preachers of interoperability?

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5 thoughts on “Thoughts on FAT64/exFAT

  1. urfe, you skimmed through the whole post, and could find only a $. And seemingly not at all concerned with the inevitable mess about to spread. If you do talk big mouth about interoperability, you ought to open the specs. It is just as simple as that. How the hell are the developers supposed to support your closed spec technology?

  2. They don’t have to support it. Microsoft (just like NVIDIA etc) has the right to choose – open vs closed source/specifications. We (OSS community) cannot force our beliefs on someone else, and we shouldn’t offend those with a different viewpoint (financial interests).

    It’s hip to bash MS, but that’s rarely justified.

    And, yes, I remember the times when NTFS wasn’t (fully) supported – but, again, I never blamed Microsoft for it.

  3. urfe,
    1. Nobody asked M$ to give a Linux driver for exFAT.
    2. That is why NVIDIA has a bad reputation amongst the developer community. That is why there won’t be Kernel Mode Setting support for NVIDIA anytime soon.
    3. This issue is quite different from and more invasive than a graphics driver problem.
    4. It is no different than the whole saga of SAMBA. You better read the jurisdiction once again.
    5. Last but not least, I speak on my own. Do not take my words for the whole community.

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