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CATS - Maybee and Koch

Extended File Attributes in Solaris
Mark Maybee
Sun Microsystems
Mark Koch
Sun Microsystems

It is not uncommon for Kernel projects within Sun to want to associate new bits of information with files. Examples of this include file ACLs, the "immutable bit", and security Labels. Historically, each such project would have to make significant changes to the file system interfaces to add the support for their new attributes. The Extended File Attributes project is designed to provide a mechanism in Solaris to easily support new attributes on files. While, on the surface, this project does not seem terribly ambitious or difficult, it turns out to be surprisingly so. This is due to hidden complexity in the problem and the difficulties of delivering into a platform (Solaris) resistant to change. This talk will discuss the history of the Extended File Attributes project at Sun: 1) What motivated the creation of the project, 2) What was the projects goals, 3) What were the significant issues faced, 4) How were they resolved, 5) Where the project is now, and 6) Where is it going.

Mark Koch, a hardware engineer at Sun Labs, will also give a brief overview of the work there. More information about Sun can be found at www.sun.com.

A representative from Sun will be available to answer questions about Summer internships after the talk.
Refreshments will be served immediately following the presentation.
Mark Koch has provided a copy of his slides.

Department of Computer Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
May 5, 2012 (14:20)