Reiser4 file semantics: An opportunity for open source "Some people feel that the Reiser4 file semantics will present problems for the Linux community. In a nutshell, every file now looks like a directory and can be opened as a directory. The names in that directory are not new files but metadata associated with the file, as documented by Hans Reiser on the Namesys site. The immediate response in the community has been that this is too big a change and should be withdrawn. I humbly propose that this is a challenge we should face head on now or we may not have an opportunity to do so in the future.
The best way for open source to fight patents is to create prior art, and you can only create prior art if you have a problem to solve. WinFS is going to give Microsoft the opportunity to discover the problems that have to be solved when faced with a filesystem that offers rich metadata. "