display | more...

For a long time now, UNIX Operating Systems have stuck with the standard set of read, write, and execute file permissions for user, group, and other. When you do not want either the user who owns a file, members of the group to which it belongs, or other users to write data to a file, you clear the corresponding write permission bit for the file with chmod. Or at least that's how you used to do it.

Based on a wondrous new technique exhibited by the Everything2 website, an effort is being made to modernize the incredibly old and decrepit filesystem interfaces in UNIX. The proposal is to remove the write permission bits altogether from the filesystem interface. In the future, only one member of the wheel group, specifically UID "dem_bones" on any UNIX system of the future, will have the assigned role of disabling write permission to a file. Furthermore, the old technique of making it totally impossible to write to a file due to its permissions will be replaced by a softer, more advisory based permission scheme. To disable write permission, the "dem_bones" user must append the following text to the end of a file: "No more writing!" Users will still have the ability to continue writing to the file, but by virtue of the appended demand all such file writers will lose a significant portion of their disk quotas.

UNIX co-creator, Dennis Ritchie, was quoted as saying: "The ability to make things Read-Only? What were we thinking?"

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.