New Development with Reiser

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Hans Reiser developed a file system a while back, for LInux computers (but in theory useful for other systems as well) which is probably the best file system out there. File systems vary in how good they are at handling very large vs. many small files, with something of a trade off between the two. File systems can be super duper fast or very very secure, but there is a trade off between the two. And so on. The Reiser File System addresses these trade offs better than other systems, at least, so many think. This is an open source file systems.There is one small problem:Hans Reiser has just recently been convicted of murdering his wife. This is a problem for several reasons.First and foremost, and let us not forget this, this is a problem for Nina Reiser the murdered. Second, it’s a problem for Hans because he’ll be in prison for a very long time. That is his own fault, of course. (He is guilty, for sure, it turns out … see below). Third, it is a problem for the Reiser File System because, as an open source project, sometimes maintaining a file system and life story of the maintainer interact badly. This could be a case of that.OK, so what is the new development? Hans is currently facing a 25 year to life prison term. Now, a deal is being considered whereby Hans lead the authorities to Nina’s body in exchange for a reduced sentence. Up until now he has denied having had anything to do with the murder, but now it appears that the implication is being made through back channels that maybe this was really second degree murder rather than first degree murder. The idea is, lead the cops to the body. If the Medical Examiner can’t find clear evidence of first degree murder, reduce the charges to second degree murder (for which, in California, the minimum is 15 years).I’m not even going to BEGIN to express my opinion about this guy getting a mere 15 years for what by all available evidence was a case of cold blooded, carefully planned murder. But I do want to put a bid in for the Reiser File System.I have two related proposals. First, forget about this finding the body thing. Yes, he has to tell the cops where the body is first … the family wants this and he should be waterboarded or whatever is necessary to make this happen. Fine.But what I want to see first is that his sentence … starting with, say, a presumed 50 years, is reduced on the basis of the performance of the file system. Set benchmarks, if the FS meets the first benchmark, five years are knocked off the sentence Second benchmark, three years. After that, only one year for benchmark. And so on … you get the picture.The other proposal, related to this, is the obverse. Every time there is a documented loss of data on any hard drive with Reiser FS that is due to the FS itself, one month gets added to the sentence.Now, please don’t argue about the details. The five-three-one year reductions and the one-month added are all totally negotiable. Presumably, a committee will decide on all of this. Some kind of combination of parole experts and data management and security experts.


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20 thoughts on “New Development with Reiser

  1. I’ve been wondering, mostly idly, how the changes over the last couple decades in people’s work would interact with the criminal justice system. Knowing people who would almost rather code in a corner than deal with flesh-and-blood people, it’s hard to think of prison–with work–as much of a deterent. We could lock them away from computers as punishment, but after cutting them out of the tech world for a few years, how do we get them back in when they’re due to be released?But on your proposal: no. Keep his sentence tied to the actual crime. Motivate him at his work by giving or restricting access to other geeks. And trust that the open source community will get the file system (or one based on similar trade-offs) where it needs to go with or without him.

  2. “There’s this story, but I’m not going to tell you now.”Meanie. How long do I have to wait to remind you? Not that I’m addicted to story or anything.

  3. Meanie. How long do I have to wait to remind you? Not that I’m addicted to story or anything.

    He’ll get to it right after he posts his definition of consciousness.

  4. Well, first of all, it is a journaling system. This means, essentially, that a “transaction” (something changing on the disk) is first recorded and documented as an event, then it happens, then the record is cleaned up (depending on the system). This means that if the operation is interrupted for any reason, the system can back track to the pre-interruption state. It is very difficult to for data to get blottoed.There are other journaling systems, Reiser is considered better because it has more (esoteric) options for how the journaling is done. Also, the Reiser journaling system is not perfectly secure on all systems.Reiser also outperforms other systems by a HUGE margin on handling large numbers of tiny files. This is good for certain systems that use a lot of these files. One real performance benefit actual users might actually notice is in web browsing, in that web browser caches are often made up of a zillion tiny pieces (like that book but real).There is also a feature in Reiser FS that compacts (optimizes/compresses depending on system-specific lingo) the files very efficiently, but this can have a performance hit. This is one of the things we want Hans to work on in his spare time between working out in the yard and doing chain gang work with the California Department of Transportation…Another down side, which Hans can fix, is that the usual panoply of tools one sees to mess around with (repair, modify, etc.) a file system have not been developed fully for Reiser.

  5. I cannot believe I read this crap. At first I thought the author was serious about the reiserfs project.Now he is advocating sentencing and perhaps even trying people based on their s/w code. And to think I was skeptical of our criminal justice system that lets powerful people and celebrities often walk while locking up or executing innocent ‘criminals’.

  6. I cannot believe I read this nonsense. At first I thought the author was serious about the reiserfs project.Now he is advocating sentencing and perhaps even trying people based on their s/w code. And I was already skeptical of our criminal justice system.

  7. “I want to see first is that his sentence … starting with, say, a presumed 50 years, is reduced”Greg that is such an antiwyminysticalogical statement that I want to see you do some time!Don’t you know that domestic violence claims the lives of..um ..a couple or more wimins every year, and despite that, women–and MILF mothers like Reiser– are still the primary murderers and physical abusers of children…and men are still less likely to report wives who abuse them??!!oops..wait a minute…I meant to say: Wut, are you travailizing and massagenalizing this subject of the six or seven wymin who are murderadicated every year, or the domestic violence that VAWA created?Sure, men suffer from the great disparities in the profiling and sentencing of domestic violence perpetration(women get lighter sentences, perpetrate domestic violence more often, and there is as yet no solid profile of the personality type of the females who abuse men and children, etc…)but the worst part is that Ms. Reiser was kind of good looking, so you advocate for a lighter sentence for her killer!??I am out and raged!….!

  8. Greg:I presume you have written this article with much Swiftness intended, but frankly, it isn’t very Swift. Could you make it closed-captioned for the humor-impaired?Also, I run Knoppix and have never used ReiserFS. The smart thing to do would be to fork the code IMHO.Also Reiser deserves to rot. I mean that literally — like full-body athlete’s foot.

  9. Napoleon, I was going to ask what the sentence was for wholesale slaughter of the English language, but “murderadicated” is actually pretty clever. Next time, maybe.

  10. Firstly:This is crazy! Are you *seriously* advocating waterboarding. Or only implying that *torture is an acceptable practice*?!??I mean the idea that he should keep working on the project is good, but regulations for reducing the sentence for good behaviour already exist and I don’t think the way you’re suggesting it is more appropriate.

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