RFS vs. NFS (turned into "//" (super-root) discussion)

Doug Stailey dstailey at gnu.ai.mit.edu
Sun Sep 2 04:10:27 AEST 1990

In article <1990Aug21.183615.8315 at ico.isc.com> rcd at ico.isc.com (Dick Dunn) writes:
>peter at ficc.ferranti.com (Peter da Silva) mentions:
>> For a third choice, Intel's OpenNET software...
>> ...Instead a super-root, "//", is created. To access
>> files on a remote system, you access "//sysname/usr/bin..."...
>Ugh!  This isn't the first time I've seen this trick, but it's still a bad
>idea.  I wish all the clever developers who decided, "Yeah, we can just use
>a double / for that!" had been experienced with UNIX before they inflicted
>their bright ideas on us.  Using // as magic *breaks* things.  Historically,
>extra /'s are ignored in file names.  People use this fact.
>[...deleted stuff...]
>(Don't bother telling me of the various ways to avoid the problem; I know.
>Nor preach to me about standards; I'm talking about existing practice:-)

POSIX says that multiple slashes collapse into one slash, so standards
are on your side too.  Apollo's Domain OS is the first place that I
saw the "//" stuff.  They want to be POSIX complient, so they recently
changed one of their rules to say that more that two slashes will
collapse.  But I want to see this go away completely.  I think that
Sun's "automounter" is a much better approach.  It accomplishes the
same stuff that the super-root does and it doesn't break existing
Oops, I seem to have misplaced my .signature...

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