2010-10-28

Fruitless effort :-(

I wrote a small program to compute SHA-1 sums of directory trees, to easily identify and locate files occurring more than once. I wrote it in Linux using Go language. I tested it on large trees of sizes in the range 1-4 GB. I cross-checked the results - through random sampling - using `sha1sum', and I was happy! I then booted into Windows 7 VMware image and compiled it. Then began the trouble.

Go is not officially supported on Windows yet. There is an unofficial port that closely follows the official releases. It is clearly marked `experimental'. I should have realized that when an OS is not yet officially supported, the weakest areas would be OS interfaces. The inane dud that I am, I did not think enough!

While walking the directory tree, I was doing a `stat' of each entry: (a) to find whether it is a directory or a file, and (b) if it is a file, to know its size in bytes. In Windows, the `stat' call was failing. After some gymnastics, the program was walking the directory tree. But, some directories were getting recognized as files. In addition, I could not make it `stat' the entries whose full path contained spaces. I have exhausted all conventional mechanisms to no avail.

So, I give up! At least, for now. I have begun using Go for serious work. I have not encountered any issues with the runtime so far. But ... that is in Linux. From a few small programs that I run in both Linux and Windows, I see that there are no issues with Go ... as long as OS interfaces are not used in Windows!

My choice of language for this particular job was wrong, leading to this fruitless effort. Sigh!
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