M$ to license FAT

Taavi Burns taavi-LbuTpDkqzNzXI80/IeQp7B2eb7JE58TQ at public.gmane.org
Mon Dec 8 17:57:24 UTC 2003

On Mon, Dec 08, 2003 at 01:16:16PM -0500, John Macdonald wrote:
> > Okay, as someone else said, these all seem to relate to long filenames
> > on FAT (i.e. VFAT).  What about people who don't use those extensions?
> > My digital camera sticks very strictly to the old 8.3 filenames.  And
> > hey, if a Linux person needs to use a FAT drive for file exchange, but
> > usually use Linux, there may be a revisiting of UMSDOS.  ;)
> That's no going to work.  Long names are convenient
> to use, 

So the Linux driver won't support them.  If the storage
device just doesn't bother to use them (which is VERY easy
to do), then there's no royalty to pay.  In fact, how many
digital cameras do you know that actually use long
filenames?  The VFAT spec is ugly compared to FAT, which is
relatively simple.  That's the biggest reason to use FAT:

> and the MS license is just 25 cents per
> device (or less - there is a cap so large volume
> manufacturers pay less per device on average).

That's if the manufacturer uses VFAT.  I don't see that,

> A free alternative might be better (ext2 might work),
> but again it is the camera and USB device makers

Now that I think about it, the USB device makers have
nothing to say in the matter.  I also have a USB SmartMedia
reader, and the SmartMedia cards just show up as removeable
SCSI drives.  I can format it any way that I please.

> that have to be convinced.  For now, they support
> FAT and ensure Windows customers or go to lengths
> to allow Linux customers and reduce their sales to
> Windows customers.  As a higher proportion of the
> target customers become Linux instead of Windows,
> they will eventually get some incentive to change -
> that will like happen first outside of North America.

They'll probably just stick with plain old FAT.  If they
need long filenames, they'll probably go to VFAT (which
is still readable as FAT).  If they REALLY want to be
with the Linux crowd, they can do UMSDOS.  They could
even do both FAT and UMSDOS, but keeping those two in
sync when the storage is used outside the space of the
device which keeps them both in sync would be a nightmare.

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