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    SubjectRe: ANNOUNCE: Linux Kernel ORB: kORBit

    On Wed, 13 Dec 2000, Chris Lattner wrote:

    > Which is exactly why it doesn't work well for many applications. The
    > problem is this: how do you get from a byte stream to a structured data
    > stream? There are many answers:
    > 1. Keep your data structures so simple, that it's obvious. Not a good
    > choice. :)
    > 2. Defined interfaces to the bytestream for every interface that you
    > define.
    > 3. Define a standard for inflating/deflating "things" into
    > bytestreams. Oh wait, that's what corba does. :)

    OK, now I'm completely confused.
    * which complex data structures do you want to export from the kernel
    in non-opaque way?
    * which of those structures are guaranteed to remain unchanged?
    * if you have userland-to-userland RPC in mind - why put anything
    marshalling-related into the kernel?

    > The 9P way of doing things is not fundementally new, they just applied the
    > idea that "everything is a file" more broadly. What annoys me is that it
    > is not immediately obvious how to "demarshall" the data that comes out of
    > /dev/mouse for example. Combine that with the problem that /dev/mouse
    > might change format in the future (okay stupid example, but you get the
    > idea) to use floating point coordinates, and things certainly get hairy.

    HUH? OK, suppose it had happened. Do you really expect that you will not
    need to change your applications? I mean, if you expected a bunch of
    ints and received a bunch of doubles... You either need to decide on
    rounding (and it's a non-obvious question) or you need to change quite a
    bit of code in your program. It goes way past the demarshalling, no
    matter whether you use CORBA, 9P or printf/scanf.

    OK, suppose you have a CORBA-based system and mouse drivers' API had been
    changed - they really want to return floating point coordinates. How will
    CORBA help you? Aside of making your programs scream aloud, that is.

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