Yes. In fact, I believe it already has. Kernels in the development 2.1.x series have not zeroed indirect blocks since more than six months ago. At the beginning of December 1996, there was some talk on the
linux-kernel mailing-list of producing another 2.0.x production kernel that also leaves indirect blocks intact on deletion. Although as of the pre-released versions of kernel 2.0.31 this has not happened, I suspect that it is feasible. Once Linus and the other kernel hackers overcome this limitation in the production kernels, a lot of my objections to the technique of modifying inodes by hand will disappear. At the very latest, this should happen on the release of the 2.2.x kernel series, which (according to historical kernel development time-scales) should happen some time in the first quarter of 1998. When this wart is corrected, it will also be possible to use the
dump command in
debugfs on long files.