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SubjectRe: Yet another design for /proc. Or actually /kernel.
On Wed, Nov 07, 2001 at 05:26:32PM -0800, H. Peter Anvin wrote:
> > About the complexity. It only "looks" complex. But from the
> > machine point of view it's very simple to parse.
> > Note that the strong advantage of this isn't the quoting,
> > you can quote anyway in 1000 different ways. The advantage
> > is that data is structured and parsing does not rely on
> > spaces or newlines, but just on ().
> > With this syntax you can express data as complex and structured
> > as you want but the parsing is still simple.
> >
>
>
> You just changed spaces and newlines to ( and ) -- it doesn't really solve
> anything unless you want three levels of nesting or more; in which case
> you have *WAY* too much data in a single proc item.
>
> -hpa

There are anyway different ways to output the same data, and yes,
probably spaces/tabs/newlines are more human readable, but I think
the right solution isn't something that limits a-priori the
complexity of the output. This will make developers more prone
to invent their own formats for special stuff. the lisp-like way
allows you to automagically put a description of the format with
little efforts, simple parsing, unlimited complexity.
Maybe you want limited complexity, but the format isn't your limit
anyway.

About the two level of nesting, take a look at /proc/net/netstat.
it's not very clear, but in lisp-like it can be translated to:

((TcpExt)((SyncookiesSent)(0)))

and so on. For every kind of proc output you can find today, there
is a good way to convert it in that format, that is at the same
time used by all the entries. I think you will hardly get the same
with space/tabs/newlines without to indirectly use it like (), that
will probably result in something of more complex to generate/parse.

I can't see any strong reason to adopt a format that will for sure
fail at some time in the future.

BTW I see that the idea isn't well accepted, so I'll be quiet ;)

Regards,
Salvatore
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