Alison Chaiken

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Mountain View, CA

Alison Chaiken is a software developer who rides bikes in Mountain View, CA. Her day job is maintaining the Linux kernel and writing operating-system-monitoring applications in C++ for Aurora Innovation. Alison has contributed upstream to u-boot, kernel, bazel and systemd and presented talks at Embedded Linux Conference, Usenix, and Southern California Linux Expo. She has worked for more than a decade on vehicle software, including a half year in Germany, and is in her seventh year of German study. Alison's formal education was in physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was exposed to the then-new GPL and emacs. Her web site is

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Have a look here

at about 4:00. You'll want to look at the slides separately. They are are at

The idea of virtual filesystems appears to originate in a 1986 USENIX paper called "Vnodes: An Architecture for Multiple File System Types in Sun UNIX." You can find it at

Figure 1 looks remarkably like one of the diagrams I made. I thank my co-worker Sam Cramer for pointing this out. You can find the figure in the slides that accompany the talk at