I should have written about my most desired feature in Mac OS X and I could have been celebrated as the only person on the Internet that had foreseen the Time Machine feature. I can only hope that they will not build it on top of HFS+ but go for ZFS instead. Without snapshots I doubt this will ever work. Even more important, a storage pool system would be a really great addition for both Mac OS X client and server versions so I assume this is one of the big secrets that they refuse to talk about until next January I guess.
However, that they address backup as a primary feature shows how far ahead Apple is when thinking about their stuff. And it really shows they care about users and think from the top to bottom. That’s what I like about their work.
One thing I didn’t like was that Apple stopped distributing the kernel source code with the introduction of the Intel platform (for the Intel platform – the PPC version was still available). But surprise, surprise: it’s back! The xnu kernel is now hosted on the new Mac OS Forge site that acts as a replacement to the recently deceased OpenDarwin project site. And they have added new source code for Bonjour, the incredible launchd and the new Darwin Calendar collaboration server (this looks like a real opportunity for project work).
Update: Apple does not use ZFS. It is still all HFS Plus. From what I was able to find out, Time Machine does use Hard Links for storing incremental backups. Surprise, surprise. Why hasn’t anybody thought of this before? What a cool way to do it! I wonder how they are determining the “changed” items. If they just walk through the file system they might be prone to race conditions (what if I move a file from folder B to A while A has already been processed but not B?). I still think they might have quietly introduced snapshots to HFS, but I have no confirmation for that.