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A method and system for dynamic file path replacement

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000184092D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Jun-10
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Jun-10
Document File: 3 page(s) / 21K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a system and method for dynamic file path replacement where a user can specify "substitution" strings for the operating system or file system to apply to paths before actually using them, which would be on a per process basis and settable via application programming interfaces (APIs) and shell commands, much like environment variables.

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A method and system for dynamic file path replacement

There are a number of occasions where a "hard wired" assumption about paths, directories and/or file names causes problems. For example, "tar" archives that have absolute paths expect to be extracted to particular pre-defined directories presuming the creator of the archive knew what they were doing. "tar" makes no allowances of un-archiving them elsewhere, that is, assuming the user knows what they are doing. Likewise some programs "hard code" paths for log, config or data files to places, for example to /var or /tmp, that may or may not be accessible, or have sufficient space, etc. The ability to redirect operations FROM such files/directories to another location can be very useful.

In some cases this problem can be worked around using "link" files. Assuming, that is
(a) the operating system in question supports links,
(b) the system can afford such a change to be made globally (since links are visible to all processes/users of the files system) and
(c) the user has the rights create the needed links.

The ability to support such functionality without requiring "links" is advantageous.

The ability for a user to perform redirection of their data despite not "owning" the targeted path (/tmp for instance) is advantageous. The ability to make such changes only locally and under controlled conditions rather that for the whole system is also advantageous.

Proposed herein is a method and system where the user can specify "substitution" strings for the operating system or file system to apply to paths before actually using them. They would be on a per process basis and settable via APIs and shell commands, much like environment variables.

Assume the new shell command PSSET (Path Substitution SET) that works much like "SET" and some program "foo" that insists on creating a massive log file "foo.log" in /tmp. A user could execute: psset /tmp/foo.log=/newvolume/foo.log foo


To have the log file created elsewhere, presumably on a large enough volume

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