Interview With Vitaliy Mokosiy, CTO, Atola Technology

In your role as Atola’s CTO you manage product development and coordinate the work of the ever-growing team of engineers. You're also involved in liaising with customers, market analysis and a whole range of other activities. Which part of your job do you regard as the most important and the most challenging?

This one is very easy to answer. Managing product development is my number one priority due to both the importance and the complexity of it.

We always listen to our customers’ feedback regarding the new features they want to see in our products. Besides that, the Atola dev team frequently comes up with ideas about how to improve the feature set as well as our products’ overall performance and usability. Plus there is always a backlog of defects to be fixed. Balancing out all these development wish lists demands strategy, critical thinking and sometimes courage.

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Despite timestamps being ubiquitous, the understanding of their exact meaning is mostly overlooked in favor of fully-automated, correlation-based approaches. Existing work for practitioners aims at understanding Windows and is not directly applicable to Unix-like systems.

In this paper, we review how each layer of the software stack (kernel, file system, libraries, application) influences MACB timestamps on Unix systems such as Linux, OpenBSD, FreeBSD and macOS.

We examine how POSIX specifies the timestamp behavior and propose a framework for automatically profiling OS kernels, user mode libraries and applications, including compliance checks against POSIX.

Our implementation covers four different operating systems, the GIO and Qt library, as well as several user mode applications and is released as open-source.

Based on 187 compliance tests and automated profiling covering common file operations, we found multiple unexpected and non-compliant behaviors, both on common operations and in edge cases.

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Learn more: https://dfrws.org/presentation/a-systematic-approach-to-understanding-macb-timestamps-on-unixlike-systems/

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