Story: FAT Patent Review May Threaten Linux Foundation (Ziff Davis)Total Replies: 0
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Jun 20, 2004
11:08 AM EDT
First off, what do they mean by "Linux Foundation"? Is this some sort of organization that I am not aware of? :) Do they mean that Linux is somehow built around FAT? Heh heh, that's a laugher. Why is it that I don't use FAT on any of my Linux machines if it's such a necessary part?

Then I like this quote:

" The FAT file system is also used by the open-source Samba software that lets Linux and Unix (news - web sites) computers exchange data with Windows computers, and by Linux itself to read and write files on Windows hard drives."

Samba really has nothing to do with FAT. You can set Samba to report that the original file system is FAT (whether it is or isn't) for file timestamp reporting compatibility in certain situations but doesn't touch the actual file system on the remote machine. Samba is a network file system, not a physical file system. It is SMB/CIFS, not FAT. I am pretty sure that the few references to FAT could be pulled from Samba in about 5 minutes and nobody would even notice, but I don't see how that could ever be necessary.

As far as Linux being able to read/write files on FAT partitions that were formatted by Windows it would seem to me that any toll (if a toll were even necessary) would have been paid with that copy of Windows. Not that I think M$ has any right to put a patent on FAT at this point:

It's also not like Linux "needs" FAT support. I don't have any FAT partitions on any of my machines at home or at work. My camera flash is currently FAT formatted and it would be just fine with me if my favorite camera manufacturer started using ext2 rather than FAT.

What also bugs me about getting all the facts wrong in this article (there are a lot more problems with it than I mention) is it really seems to fit right into the anti-Linux FUD category. The title alone seems to be a SCO-like FUD headline about Linux. In the paragraph that I quoted notice how they also include "UNIX" into the article through the "dubious" statement that Samba has anything to do with FAT. Notice the "(news - web sites)" part of the quote. In the original article these are links to searches about UNIX that bring up all sorts of FUD.

Either ZDnet are paid FUDsters or they are eating up all the M$ spew without doing any fact checking. This message was edited Jun 20, 2004 4:12 PM

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