The ongoing discussion about the Reiser4 filesystem [story] continues on the lkml. Jeff Garzik discussed the complexity introduced by a plugin layer [story], suggesting it is really a second VFS, "furthermore, it completely changes the notion of what a Linux filesystem is. Currently, each Linux filesystem is a tightly constrained set of metadata support. reiser4 changes 'tightly constrained' to 'infinity'. While that freedom is certainly liberating, it also has obvious support costs due to new admin paradigms and customer configuration possibilities."
Linux creator Linus Torvalds weighed in on the discussion, "as long you call them 'plugins' and treat them as such, I (and I suspect a lot of other people) are totally uninterested, and in fact, a lot of people will suspect that the primary aim is to either subvert the kernel copyright rules, or at best to create a mess of incompatible semantics with no sane overlying rules for locking etc." He went on to add, "as far as I'm concerned, the problem with reiser4 is that it hasn't tried to work with the VFS people. Now, I realize that the main VFS people aren't always easy to work with (Al and Christoph, take a bow), but that doesn't really change the basic facts. Al in particular is _always_ right. I don't think I've ever had the cojones to argue with Al.."
Later in the same thread, Andrew Morton [interview] noted that he's currently reviewing the code, "meanwhile here's poor old me trying to find another four hours to finish reviewing the thing." Regarding the code he added, "the writeout code is ugly, although that's largely due to a mismatch between what reiser4 wants to do and what the VFS/MM expects it to do. If it works, we can live with it, although perhaps the VFS could be made smarter." He then suggested, "I'd say that resier4's major problem is the lack of xattrs, acls and direct-io. That's likely to significantly limit its vendor uptake." As for the plugin debate, Andrew said, "the plugins appear to be wildly misnamed - they're just an internal abstraction layer which permits later feature additions to be added in a clean and safe manner. Certainly not worth all this fuss."