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Re: SPARSE files considered harmful - please revert

Martin Buchholz wrote:
>>>>>> "Max" == Max Bowsher <> writes:
> Max> May I suggest a middle road? Why not let sparse files be configurable
> as a Max> $CYGWIN option? This would allow those users who actually want
> them to Max> enable them with minimal effort, but keep them off for most
> users.
> I suspect that SPARSE files are genuinely useful, when storing large
> files that have holes in them.  But I can't imagine one ever wanting
> to use SPARSE for all files, because most files aren't like that.  So
> I don't think sparseness is a good candidate for being put into

Agreed. I was just trying to find some simple compromise. Have you reviewed
the long conversation that went on in cygwin-patches in February? Based on
the ease with which this patch was accepted, I'm conjecturing that the core
developers won't want a simple reversion.

> We could have a much cleverer implementation of sparseness, if we kept
> statistics on the number and size of zero bytes in a file while it was
> being written.  When we did the close(), we could automatically
> transform it into a sparse file.  But I don't think even that should
> be the default behavior, because it would make all IO slower.

And it wouldn't achieve Vaclav Heisman's original goal, either - he wanted
to avoid the delay caused by Windows zero-filling a file when it was
initially writted to at a large offset.


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