OS X file names normalization

By: Linus Torvalds (torvalds.delete@this.linux-foundation.org), July 16, 2020 11:21 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Doug S (foo.delete@this.bar.bar) on July 16, 2020 3:38 pm wrote:
> Anon3 (anon3.delete@this.anon3.invalid) on July 16, 2020 1:43 pm wrote:
> >
> > The is probably adobe's fault. I believe most of the Creative
> > Cloud apps just don't work on a case sensitive
> > file system and they have no incentive to fix them and Apple didn't want to lose them from the platform.
>
>
> Mac OS has always been case insensitive but case preserving, from
> the first Macs sold in 1984. Has nothing to do with Adobe.

The point being that it's the worse model, and even Apple seems to have realized that (and iOS doesn't do it).

So yes, Apple made a mistake back in 1984. You don't think they should try to ever fix it?

And the whole "case insensitivity is good for users" argument is pure BS. It's simply not true. A user will pick the filename from the list of files, and the case will always match. There's simply no reason to ever claim that insensitivity helps the user. As mentioned, it you have a file called "Banana", you will never ever open it using the name "bAnAnA".

And case insensitivity doesn't help applications either. Since the filesystem is case preserving, any application that wants to list all pictures will have to do their own case-insensitive filename comparison anyway. It didn't help one bit that the filesystem would accept "JPG" instead of "jpg", because the file open dialog (or file manager, or whatever it is that interacts with the filesystem) still has to do the matching itself, since all the names it sees are some random capitalization.

And no, people really aren't confused by "Oh, I have a filename called "Apple" and one called "apple", and they are different". People already know that capitalization matters, because it matters in other real-life situations too. It's not some big complex thing to figure out.

In fact, "Apple" and "apple" are different. One is the fruit. One is the name of the company. Can you figure out which is which?

That's common. "China" (the country) and "china" (the stuff you eat off) are two different words with different meaning. Or "Polish" and "polish", or any In fact, capitalization has complex rules, and we know them, and we follow them in everyday interactions without even thinking about them.

So case insensitivity is simply a bogus thing to do. All the alleged advantages are just that: alleged. They aren't real.

In contrast, case insensitivity has real and present costs. Some of them are very simple and straightforward costs: it's just much more expensive to do filename lookups if you have to worry about all the possible alias issues and doing a more complex comparison function. Is it a small detail? Yes, but it's a small detail that happens to matter a lot for performance. Looking up files is what computers do. All day. Every day. A lot.

So I think there's a good reason iOS is case sensitive - it's less resource intensive, and it has a few other technical advantages too.

IOW, I think there are good reasons why Apple would like to make OS X be case sensitive too.

Afaik you can choose to mount APFS with case sensitivity even on OS X, and as far as I know, it mostly "just works". You'd probably not even notice in everyday life, unless you encountered some really oddly broken app.

But the compatibility issues might just keep Apple from doing that. Certainly if it's true that Adobe actually has some odd problem with case sensitivity, that would be a big compatibility problem.

We obviously have some of those compatibility issues in the Linux world. For example, obviously the FAT filesystem and its variations are case insensitive on Linux too. Because when you interoperate with others, you have to act like they do. You can't create both a file called "ABC" and "abc" on a FAT volume - that would basically be corrupting the filesystem.

And when you act as a file server to a client that wants case-insensitive behavior (ie CIFS/SMB), you then may want to expose particular subdirectories as case-insensitive.

It's nasty. It's gross. It's wrong. But compatibility sadly is just about the only valid reason to do those nasty and gross things..

Linus
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      grumpyme2020/07/11 12:27 PM
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      area and power cost of AVX-512Travis Downs2020/07/11 06:19 PM
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                    AVX-512 with narrow ex units?Jukka Larja2020/07/24 03:44 AM
                      AVX-512 with narrow ex units?Gabriele Svelto2020/07/24 01:56 PM
                        AVX-512 with narrow ex units?Jouni Osmala2020/07/24 08:22 PM
                          AVX-512 with narrow ex units?Jukka Larja2020/07/25 12:32 AM
                      AVX-512 with narrow ex units?Eugene Nalimov2020/07/25 04:56 PM
                        AVX-512 with narrow ex units?Jukka Larja2020/07/26 12:28 AM
                        AVX-512 with narrow ex units?Gabriele Svelto2020/07/26 01:22 PM
                          AVX-512 with narrow ex units?Jukka Larja2020/07/27 06:00 AM
          AVX-512 with narrow ex units?-.-2020/07/23 05:32 PM
            AVX-512 with narrow ex units?Travis Downs2020/07/24 04:01 PM
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      Alder Lake and AVX-512Chester2020/07/11 04:26 PM
        Alder Lake and AVX-512Jörn Engel2020/07/11 05:22 PM
        Alder Lake and AVX-512Michael S2020/07/12 01:02 AM
        Alder Lake and AVX-512Travis Downs2020/07/13 08:01 PM
      Alder Lake and AVX-512Linus Torvalds2020/07/11 05:54 PM
        Alder Lake and AVX-512Jörn Engel2020/07/11 07:01 PM
          Alder Lake and AVX-512N Owen2020/07/11 11:37 PM
            Alder Lake and AVX-512Michael S2020/07/12 12:48 AM
            Alder Lake and AVX-512anon22020/07/12 06:13 PM
          Alder Lake and AVX-512Travis Downs2020/07/13 08:09 PM
            Alder Lake and AVX-512Jörn Engel2020/07/13 10:42 PM
      Alder Lake and AVX-512Doug S2020/07/11 10:49 PM
        Alder Lake and AVX-512Michael S2020/07/12 12:53 AM
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      Alder Lake and AVX-512Veedrac2020/07/11 06:43 PM
        Alder Lake and AVX-512anon22020/07/12 12:31 AM
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            Alder Lake and AVX-512anon22020/07/12 02:26 PM
              Alder Lake and AVX-512Anon32020/07/12 03:07 PM
                Alder Lake and AVX-512anon22020/07/12 04:39 PM
              Alder Lake and AVX-512Veedrac2020/07/12 03:21 PM
                Alder Lake and AVX-512anon22020/07/12 04:33 PM
                  Alder Lake and AVX-512Veedrac2020/07/12 04:54 PM
                    Alder Lake and AVX-512anon22020/07/12 05:20 PM
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                    Alder Lake and AVX-512anon22020/07/12 07:41 PM
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                              Itanium crappiness and EPIC - and could EPIC still have something good in it?anon22020/07/21 04:03 AM
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                              Itanium crappiness and EPIC - and could EPIC still have something good in it?j2020/07/21 07:54 AM
                                Itanium crappiness and EPIC - and could EPIC still have something good in it?Tim McCaffrey2020/07/21 09:30 AM
                              Itanium crappiness and EPIC - and could EPIC still have something good in it?Linus Torvalds2020/07/21 08:13 AM
                                Itanium is not synomym of EPIC. Itanium is just the most common EPIC-style architectureHeikki Kultala2020/07/22 11:31 AM
                                  Turn that on its head?Ray2020/07/22 11:49 AM
                                    Turn that on its head?Anon2020/07/22 12:53 PM
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                                    Turn that on its head?anon32020/07/22 03:45 PM
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                          thanksChester2020/07/24 02:50 PM
      Alder Lake and AVX-512Linus Torvalds2020/07/11 06:46 PM
        Alder Lake and AVX-512never_released2020/07/11 07:54 PM
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        Alder Lake and AVX-512anon22020/07/12 12:36 AM
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        Alder Lake and AVX-512Travis Downs2020/08/18 10:04 PM
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      Alder Lake and AVX-512anon2020/07/11 07:12 PM
      Alder Lake and AVX-512Jörn Engel2020/07/11 07:33 PM
        Alder Lake and AVX-512Michael S2020/07/12 02:00 AM
        Alder Lake and AVX-512Jukka Larja2020/07/12 07:51 AM
          Alder Lake and AVX-512Maynard Handley2020/07/12 09:30 AM
            Alder Lake and AVX-512Jukka Larja2020/07/13 06:43 AM
              Alder Lake and AVX-512Montaray Jack2020/07/23 06:20 PM
                Alder Lake and AVX-512Jukka Larja2020/07/24 03:57 AM
          Alder Lake and AVX-512Jörn Engel2020/07/12 10:35 AM
            Alder Lake and AVX-512Linus Torvalds2020/07/12 11:01 AM
              Alder Lake and AVX-512Linus Torvalds2020/07/12 11:15 AM
                Alder Lake and AVX-512anonymou52020/07/12 12:50 PM
                  Alder Lake and AVX-512Linus Torvalds2020/07/12 01:31 PM
                    Alder Lake and AVX-512anonymou52020/07/12 02:09 PM
                      Alder Lake and AVX-512Linus Torvalds2020/07/12 03:25 PM
                        Alder Lake and AVX-512anonymou52020/07/12 07:34 PM
                          Alder Lake and AVX-512Jose2020/07/13 12:35 AM
                  Alder Lake and AVX-512gallier22020/07/13 01:11 AM
                Alder Lake and AVX-512gallier22020/07/13 01:01 AM
                  Alder Lake and AVX-512Linus Torvalds2020/07/13 10:06 AM
                    Alder Lake and AVX-512Doug S2020/07/13 11:11 AM
                      Alder Lake and AVX-512Brett2020/07/14 01:34 AM
                        Alder Lake and AVX-512Linus Torvalds2020/07/14 08:02 AM
                          Alder Lake and AVX-512Maynard Handley2020/07/14 11:40 AM
                            Alder Lake and AVX-512Michael S2020/07/14 11:48 AM
                            Alder Lake and AVX-512Linus Torvalds2020/07/15 12:37 AM
                              OS X file names normalizationMichael S2020/07/15 01:26 AM
                                OS X file names normalizationSimon Farnsworth2020/07/15 03:16 AM
                                  OS X file names normalizationMichael S2020/07/15 09:51 AM
                                    OS X file names normalizationSimon Farnsworth2020/07/15 11:27 AM
                                OS X file names normalizationDoug S2020/07/15 09:46 AM
                                  OS X file names normalizationMichael S2020/07/15 10:05 AM
                                    OS X file names normalizationLinus Torvalds2020/07/15 11:58 AM
                                      OS X file names normalizationLinus Torvalds2020/07/15 01:21 PM
                                      OS X file names normalizationgallier22020/07/15 10:57 PM
                                    OS X file names normalizationgallier22020/07/15 10:44 PM
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                                    OS X file names normalizationDoug S2020/07/15 12:32 PM
                                      OS X file names normalizationMaynard Handley2020/07/15 04:20 PM
                                        OS X file names normalizationLinus Torvalds2020/07/15 07:37 PM
                                          OS X file names normalizationAnon32020/07/16 12:43 PM
                                            OS X file names normalizationDoug S2020/07/16 02:38 PM
                                              OS X file names normalizationLinus Torvalds2020/07/16 11:21 PM
                                                OS X file names normalizationAnon32020/07/17 01:15 AM
                                                  OS X file names normalizationJukka Larja2020/07/17 05:40 AM
                                                OS X file names normalizationgallier22020/07/17 02:19 AM
                                                  OS X file names normalizationLinus Torvalds2020/07/17 08:41 AM
                                                    OS X file names normalizationDummond D. Slow2020/07/17 08:54 AM
                                                      OS X file names normalizationLinus Torvalds2020/07/17 09:16 AM
                                                      OS X file names normalizationSimon Farnsworth2020/07/18 05:12 AM
                                              OS X file names normalizationAnon32020/07/17 01:04 AM
                                                OS X file names normalizationDoug S2020/07/17 09:15 AM
                              Alder Lake and AVX-512Maynard Handley2020/07/15 09:32 AM
                            File Systems and VC ProblemsRob Thorpe2020/07/15 06:24 AM
                    vectorization of utf8Robert David Graham2020/07/13 01:36 PM
                      vectorization of utf8anon22020/07/13 04:07 PM
                        vectorization of utf8Robert David Graham2020/07/13 07:36 PM
                          vectorization of utf8anon22020/07/13 10:23 PM
                        vectorization of utf8Maynard Handley2020/07/13 09:46 PM
                      vectorization of utf8Gabriele Svelto2020/07/15 02:27 AM
                    Alder Lake and AVX-512gallier22020/07/14 12:13 AM
              Alder Lake and AVX-512Jörn Engel2020/07/12 12:29 PM
                Alder Lake and AVX-512Linus Torvalds2020/07/12 01:08 PM
                  Alder Lake and AVX-512Jörn Engel2020/07/12 05:26 PM
                    Alder Lake and AVX-512-.-2020/07/12 06:11 PM
                      Alder Lake and AVX-512Jörn Engel2020/07/12 06:43 PM
            Alder Lake and AVX-512Jukka Larja2020/07/13 07:38 AM
              Alder Lake and AVX-512Jörn Engel2020/07/13 09:10 AM
                Alder Lake and AVX-512Michael S2020/07/13 10:02 AM
                  Alder Lake and AVX-512Jörn Engel2020/07/13 10:22 AM
                    Alder Lake and AVX-512Michael S2020/07/13 11:10 AM
                      Alder Lake and AVX-512Jörn Engel2020/07/13 03:03 PM
                Alder Lake and AVX-512Jukka Larja2020/07/14 05:53 AM
      Alder Lake and AVX-512Linus Torvalds2020/07/11 07:34 PM
        Alder Lake and AVX-512Brett2020/07/11 08:02 PM
          Alder Lake and AVX-512David Hess2020/07/13 11:36 AM
            Alder Lake and AVX-512anonymou52020/07/13 12:01 PM
              Alder Lake and AVX-512Brett2020/07/13 03:19 PM
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          Alder Lake and AVX-512me2020/07/12 02:44 AM
          Alder Lake and AVX-512Michael S2020/07/12 03:09 AM
          Alder Lake and AVX-512Linus Torvalds2020/07/12 10:35 AM
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              ~80% of details are wrong. So what one can expect from conclusions? :(anonymous22020/07/12 11:50 AM
            Alder Lake and AVX-512nobody in particular2020/07/12 11:25 AM
              Alder Lake and AVX-512Linus Torvalds2020/07/12 11:37 AM
                Alder Lake and AVX-512nobody in particular2020/07/12 11:43 AM
                  Alder Lake and AVX-512me2020/07/12 12:32 PM
                    Alder Lake and AVX-512Maynard Handley2020/07/12 07:51 PM
            Alder Lake and AVX-512UnmaskedUnderflow2020/07/12 11:33 AM
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              AVX-512 vs SVE2noko2020/07/12 11:12 PM
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              Alder Lake and AVX-512Romain Dolbeau2020/07/15 12:00 AM
            Alder Lake and AVX-512Spiteful Sprites2020/07/13 03:59 AM
              Alder Lake and AVX-512nobody in particular2020/07/13 08:12 AM
                Alder Lake and AVX-512Spiteful Sprites2020/07/13 03:21 PM
                  Alder Lake and AVX-512Jouni Osmala2020/07/14 01:55 AM
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                    RISC-V & commercial support (was: Alder Lake and AVX-512)Romain Dolbeau2020/07/15 12:13 AM
              Alder Lake and AVX-512Linus Torvalds2020/07/13 10:10 AM
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              AVX-512/SVE & HPC (was: Alder Lake and AVX-512)anon2020/07/14 09:53 AM
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                  AVX-512/SVE & HPC (was: Alder Lake and AVX-512)anon2020/07/14 02:01 PM
              AVX-512/SVE & HPC (was: Alder Lake and AVX-512)Linus Torvalds2020/07/14 11:00 AM
                AVX-512/SVE & HPC (was: Alder Lake and AVX-512)Romain Dolbeau2020/07/14 10:42 PM
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                    Configurable cache line size?dmcq2020/07/15 02:43 PM
                    Configurable cache line size?Romain Dolbeau2020/07/15 10:37 PM
                    Configurable cache line size?NoSpammer2020/07/16 12:27 AM
                    Configurable cache line size?Pixie2020/07/16 09:55 AM
                      Configurable cache line size?Etienne2020/07/17 12:03 AM
                        Configurable cache line size?Hugo Décharnes2020/07/18 01:11 AM
                  Cache line sizeMark Roulo2020/07/15 05:10 PM
                    Cache line sizeanon2020/07/15 05:46 PM
                  AVX-512/SVE & HPC (was: Alder Lake and AVX-512)Gabriele Svelto2020/07/17 01:30 AM
                    AVX-512/SVE & HPC (was: Alder Lake and AVX-512)dmcq2020/07/17 02:34 AM
                      AVX-512/SVE & HPC (was: Alder Lake and AVX-512)zArchJon2020/07/17 12:16 PM
            Macro-instructions to the rescue2020/07/24 11:56 AM
              Some fundamentals haven't changedChester2020/07/24 02:59 PM
                Some fundamentals haven't changed2020/07/24 03:24 PM
                  Some fundamentals haven't changeddmcq2020/07/25 06:58 AM
                    Some fundamentals haven't changed2020/07/25 10:05 AM
                    Some fundamentals haven't changedBrett2020/07/25 01:16 PM
                      Some fundamentals haven't changedBrett2020/07/25 01:27 PM
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                                  What belt is.Andrew Clough2020/07/28 05:11 AM
                                    What belt is.dmcq2020/07/28 07:17 AM
                                      Mill Compiler still MIA?Geoff Langdale2020/07/28 04:04 PM
                                        If they release the compiler, how they will blame the still-in-development compiler for the lacklust (NT)Anon2020/07/28 04:20 PM
                                          If they release the compiler, how they will blame the still-in-development compiler for the lacklustAnon2020/07/28 04:20 PM
                                        Apparently they're busy writing a kernel...Anon2020/07/29 02:03 AM
                                          Apparently they're busy writing a kernel...dmcq2020/07/29 02:39 AM
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                          What belt is.anonymous22020/07/26 11:02 AM
                            What belt is.Doug S2020/07/26 02:26 PM
                              What belt is.2020/07/26 03:02 PM
        gooduseruser2020/07/12 09:06 AM
      Alder Lake and AVX-512-.-2020/07/11 08:03 PM
        Alder Lake and AVX-512-.-2020/07/11 08:07 PM
      Alder Lake and AVX-512j2020/07/12 11:29 PM
        Alder Lake and AVX-512Michael S2020/07/13 12:12 AM
          Alder Lake and AVX-512j2020/07/13 01:58 AM
            Alder Lake and AVX-512dmcq2020/07/13 03:53 PM
              Alder Lake and AVX-512Michael S2020/07/13 11:57 PM
                Alder Lake and AVX-512Maynard Handley2020/07/14 09:26 AM
                Alder Lake and AVX-512dmcq2020/07/14 11:33 AM
                  Alder Lake and AVX-512dmcq2020/07/14 02:43 PM
                    Alder Lake and AVX-512Michael S2020/07/14 11:55 PM
                      Alder Lake and AVX-512dmcq2020/07/15 01:19 AM
                        Alder Lake and AVX-512Michael S2020/07/15 01:34 AM
                          Alder Lake and AVX-512dmcq2020/07/15 02:03 AM
                            Alder Lake and AVX-512Michael S2020/07/15 08:43 AM
                              Alder Lake and AVX-512dmcq2020/07/15 08:54 AM
                                Alder Lake and AVX-512Michael S2020/07/15 10:35 AM
                                  Alder Lake and AVX-512dmcq2020/07/15 02:18 PM
                                    GV100 + POWER9Michael S2020/07/16 12:17 AM
                                      GV100 + POWER9dmcq2020/07/16 07:58 AM
                                        GV100 + POWER9dmcq2020/07/16 08:10 AM
                        Alder Lake and AVX-512dmcq2020/07/15 01:48 AM
    Alder Lake and AVX-512o2020/07/12 02:08 AM
    Alder Lake and AVX-5122020/07/12 10:07 AM
      Alder Lake and AVX-5122020/07/12 10:32 AM
      Alder Lake and AVX-512Linus Torvalds2020/07/12 10:39 AM
        Alder Lake and AVX-5122020/07/12 11:47 AM
        Alder Lake and AVX-512Michael S2020/07/12 12:18 PM
          x87 crapHeikki Kultala2020/07/12 12:30 PM
            x87 crapMichael S2020/07/12 12:37 PM
              x87 crapHeikki kultala2020/07/12 01:11 PM
                x87 crapMichael S2020/07/12 01:50 PM
                  Sparc and PA-RISC vs pentium FP performanceHeikki Kultala2020/07/13 12:14 AM
                    Sparc and PA-RISC vs pentium FP performanceanonymous22020/07/13 09:48 AM
          Alder Lake and AVX-512Doug S2020/07/12 02:33 PM
            Alder Lake and AVX-512Michael S2020/07/12 03:10 PM
    Alder Lake and AVX-512David Kanter2020/07/12 04:01 PM
      Alder Lake and AVX-512anon2020/07/12 04:40 PM
      ~0% of users do much FP outside of GPUs for games (NT)anonymous22020/07/12 04:47 PM
        ~0% of users do much FP outside of GPUs for gamesMaynard Handley2020/07/12 11:26 PM
        not trueChester2020/07/12 11:37 PM
          not trueMichael S2020/07/13 12:29 AM
            not trueChester2020/07/13 12:59 AM
              not trueanonymous22020/07/13 09:32 AM
                not trueMaynard Handley2020/07/13 01:30 PM
                  not trueChester2020/07/14 04:47 AM
            not trueDoug S2020/07/13 11:30 AM
              not trueAnon2020/07/13 12:16 PM
                not trueMaynard Handley2020/07/13 01:39 PM
              not trueMaynard Handley2020/07/13 01:38 PM
          not trueLinus Torvalds2020/07/13 10:27 AM
            not trueDummond D. Slow2020/07/13 01:10 PM
              not trueMaynard Handley2020/07/13 01:49 PM
                not trueDummond D. Slow2020/07/13 02:38 PM
            not true (about FP, not avx-512)Chester2020/07/17 09:37 AM
  Alder Lake and AVX-512Travis Downs2020/07/11 05:45 PM
    Alder Lake and AVX-512-.-2020/07/11 05:57 PM
      Alder Lake and AVX-512-.-2020/07/12 03:26 PM
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