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Re: MacOS X 10.4 Strangeness with UFS and ._ files

From: Sören Kuklau <gmane_at_chucker.rasdi.net>
Date: 2005-05-15 00:06:23 CEST

Geoffrey A. Washburn <geoffw <at> cis.upenn.edu> writes:

> I recently upgraded to MacOS X 10.4 from 10.3 and have been
> noticing some unusual behavior with respect to ._ files created on
> a UFS file system. Many of the ._ files programs create are unneeded,

._ files as of Mac OS X up to 10.3 Panther contain the resource forks of a file
and become visible as soon as a file system cannot handle forking properly
(which is the case for most file systems. Although NTFS can handle infinite
forks, Windows never actually implemented this).

You could call this "unneeded", but it is in fact Metadata, which once deleted
is obviously lost.

As of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, ._ files also contain the attributes fork which
contains extensible attributes, e.g. ACLs, but this can technically be
arbitrarily extended.

> but for whatever reason Illustrator will have a fit if they are missing,

Therefore, Illustrator puts Metadata in the resource fork that it deems
essential. This is, as of Mac OS X, discouraged behaviour, but was rather common
in Mac OS Classic.

> [..] Something seems
> to have changed in 10.4

In addition to the aforementioned change of the added extended attribute fork
(something related to, but not directly needed by, Spotlight), 10.4 also
(finally) comes with fully Mac OS X-aware CLI tools. Tools such as "cp" and "rm"
will now properly respect resource forks, HFS+ attributes, and other OS
X-specific Metadata.

> % rm -rf logo

...therefore, this is probably what's changed. The above command will also
attempt to remove the Metadata (i.e. the ._ files).

> % svn update logo
> A logo
> A logo/foo-logo-256.png
> A logo/foo-logo-bw.ai
> A logo/._foo-logo-color.ai
> A logo/foo-logo-color.ai
> A logo/foo-logo-64.png
> A logo/._foo-logo-bw.ai
> A logo/foo-logo-128.png

...whereas svn probably isn't aware of this.

Just an idea. HTH and regards,

Sören Nils 'chucker' Kuklau
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Received on Sun May 15 00:22:22 2005

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