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Advanced Mac OS X Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide by Mark Dalrymple

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For The More Curious

Differences between HFS+ and UFS

The Apple engineers did a masterful job of integrating HFS+, the Class Mac OS disk format, into the world of Unix. The above discussion about inodes is more accurate for UFS, the Unix file system, also known as the Berkeley Fast File System, but the general concepts apply to both worlds.

In HFS+, file name encoding is in unicode rather than ASCII. File names are also case preserving, but case insensitive. Traditional Unix file systems are case sensitive. The Apple teams originally thought this case preserving / case sensitive difference would cause lots of problems, but it turns out not to be so bad. There are not many examples in the real world where the case of letters in filenames is used ...

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