[OpenAFS] Graphical file managers get stuck

Jeffrey Altman jaltman@your-file-system.com
Tue, 11 Dec 2012 19:09:59 -0500

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On 12/11/2012 4:54 PM, Jago Pearce wrote:
> I have seen this kind of bug in so many forms for years, decades.
> Where a GUI is dependent on a file or network request and will freeze
> with no feedback as to what is happening.

On the flip side you look at other protocols such as SMB which have a
fixed client side timeout (30 to 45 seconds) which causes the client to
assume that the file server has failed, tear down all state, and reissue
requests.  The UI stays fairly responsive but at the cost of data loss
or data coherency failures.

File system requests that timeout in unpredictable ways can also result
in application termination due to a lack of appropriate error handling.

At least for Windows UIs the windows message thread should never block
on file system operations and the process should spin off worker threads
to collect the desired information in the background.  Even so the
applications must be smarter and pay attention to the volume information
that indicates that active volume is a network device and avoid walking
the file system name space proactively.   Such techniques
simply are not mobile network and power usage friendly.

Jeffrey Altman

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