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<h2>Glossary<a name="Glossary"></a></h2>
<p>[This section reads a bit esoteric - mea culpa. You can safely skip it unless you want to write a file system driver or maintain the TrueVFS source code.]</p>
<p>TrueVFS federates virtual file systems into a common file system space. To understand what this means, let's check the following definitions:</p>
<dl>
<dt>File System</dt>
<dd> A persistent container for file and directory objects which can be used in order to structure, store and retrieve arbitrary data.</dd>
<dt>Platform File System</dt>
<dd> Normally, the JVM provides an application with the means to access a set of one or more operating system file system types like NTFS or ext4. This includes network file system types like CIFS or NFS.</dd>
<dt>Virtual File System</dt>
<dd> A file system which is composed of one or more components which are not file systems by themselves.</dd>
<dt>Federated File System</dt>
<dd> A file system with a root directory which is a member within another (parent) file system. This definition is recursive, so the parent file system may be federated, too.</dd>
<dt>File System Space</dt>
<dd> The union of all file systems.</dd></dl>
<p>Note that the attributes <i>virtual</i> and <i>federated</i> are not mutually exclusive, i.e. a file system could be virtual or federated or both at the same time.</p>
<p>As an example for a file system which is virtual, but not federated, consider the HTTP(S) protocols: With their methods PUT, GET, POST and DELETE and the URI adressing scheme, the HTTP(S) protocols provide a subset of typical file system services.</p>
<p>As an example for a file system which is federated, but not virtual, consider a native Unix file system which is mounted at a directory path within the operating system's file system space, like e.g. <tt>/mnt/cdrom</tt>.</p>
<p>As an example for a file system which is both virtual and federated, consider any archive file which is accessed via TrueVFS's API: It's virtual because it's adapted to typical file system services by TrueVFS and it's federated because it's a file member within another file system - which is a native file system of the operating system in most cases.</p>
<p>Within this project, the terms <i>federated virtual file system</i>, <i>virtual federated file system</i>, <i>federated file system</i> and <i>archive file system</i> are often used synonymously. This simplification should do no harm because as a Java application, TrueVFS provides only federated file systems which are virtual file systems at the same time, too. The term <i>archive file system</i> is a legacy of TrueVFS's history which started as a small library for accessing archive files like directories. Of course, this is still true and in virtually all use cases a federated file system is persisted in an archive file.</p></div>
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                                   <span id="publishDate">Last Published: 2013-07-19</span>
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