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File-length on pathnames
I believe that Interlisp, at one time, limited the use of the file-length
equivalent to open file; this turned out to be very inconvenient, and was
changed [maybe about the time I began working for Xerox, three years ago].
A lesson to be learned: no matter what the implementation cost, it will
ultimately be more costly *not* to provide that capability to the user;
somebody's example of how Spice would react to the opening of a huge
remote file shows that this is the sort of thing that ought to be done
by the system implementor.
As for potential inconsistencies due to multi-user access to a shared
file system -- consider the two alternatives: (A) Smooth results, with
only an epsilonic probability that they will be ragged [non "Smooth"] due
to the multi-user, shared access, or (B) nothing. While opting for (A),
I don't consider myself a gambler.
By the way, what kind of distributed file system does Spice have? Isn't
it rather primitive to provide no byte-level or page-level access to
remote files? It sounds from the previous discussions that only an FTP
like facility is provided.
-- JonL --