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SubjectRe: what's next for the linux kernel?
Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote:

>On Thu, Oct 06, 2005 at 04:13:15PM -0400, Michael Concannon wrote:
>
>
>
>>1. It _is_ a file: registry.dat
>>2. It is a binary file at that...
>>3. That file has become a dumping ground for everything that every app
>>thinks is "important" and of course every app writer thinks everything
>>they write is the most important thing ever - I am sure a have never
>>done such a thing :-)
>>
>>
>
> s/"that file"/"openldap" and substitute "every app writer"
> for "every major free software developer we respect greatly which
> can store its data and/or configuration details in an LDAP database"
> and your evident distaste for "that file" looks a little like religious
> zealotry.
>
>
I don't believe in religion :-) That is not to say I am atheist, just
don't see the distinction between one mythology and the next... but
that really is another thread...

As for your prior comment regarding mounting the registry as a
filesystem, I did see that and made a book mark for the next time I have
to recover an NT box... thanks :-)

However, I am now a little confused though (ok, I am always a little
confused - see comment above on religion - now I am really confused).

If you concede that it need not be a binary file and it need not be
centralized, whether by mounting a "filesystem" or not, then what are we
talking about? That is what we have with /etc /proc /sys?

Assuming you fix the issues of easy of editing it in "dead" filesystems,
binary corruption, permissions and programming style of dumping crap in
there, then I guess I could care less how that is implemented, proc is
already a "virtual filesystem"....
I think someone already mentioned that the issue is that the delta
between an idealized NT registry (which has a few notable hurdles - see
above) and what we have to day is simply a matter of "KISS". What do
you gain from complicating the system that cannot be gained with
visualization tools on top of what is there?

Someone wants XML in /proc? Well, that's just fabulous they can write a
virtual filesytem that accomplishes that on top what is there and leave
the rest of us out of it :-) If what they do becomes indespensible for
a critical mass, then even better, we mount "xmlprocfs" in our future
systems and are fat dumb and happy.

Back to your original point which seemed to be, at least to me, to try
to re-evaluate the portioning problem between
Hardware/Software/Drive/OS/User/Threads. I agree, that the system
appears to be strained and chaotic with all OSes chasing an ever
increasing and impossibly large array of hardware and all-the while the
future is even more complex as it seemingly must be a heavily
parallelized future to compensate for the "end of Moore's law". Given
the hardware in question, though, I am not sure I that I see that Linux
should go to micro-kernels to solve the problem...

<rant>
It seems to me that the driver for "correcting" this is actually closer
to the hardware side... I am flabbergasted as a hardware engineer that
at this point in time with the time elapsed between today and the first
PCs that things have evolved so little...

"drivers" should be the exception not the rule...

Few gadgets architecturally do anything different than anything else in
that class of gadget to really _require_ a driver that could not be
standardized. Gadgets need user-space applications, but with all the
well defined standards we have for talking to devices, there is no
excuse with the wealth of compute power and storage that we have that we
(the entire PC industry) are still shipping hacked, one-off drivers
wither every new gadget...

The same applies to the x86 instruction set - waded through that beast
(well all N volumes of it) recently? WTF? Its as if 199Million of
those 200M gate chips are devoted to obfuscating the user interface....
Most of those bits had a purpose at some point, but we don't seem to be
converging to simpler interface...
I would fire me if ever I even proposed such a horrible design... but
then I don't design x86 processors...

If the CPUs and associated hardware started providing a more pleasant
interface, then I am certain that Linux would respond by taking
advantage of it... We aren't there yet...

</rant>

/mike


> i say that with the greatest respect.
>
> especially when "that file" is actually a database, just like
> Berkeley DB (and we all know and _love_ Berkeley DB).
>
> and especially in light it being possible to do a "decent" job, and
> make "that file" available via a POSIX filesystem interface.
>
> l.
>
>
>
>>I guess you could argue that #3 is the fault of the app writers and not
>>the architecture,
>>
>>
>
> yes. i would say it's more to do with the dumb-ass nature of the app
> writers, yes. typicall dumb-ass windows app writers give a shit about
> security and care greatly about making money hand-over-fist.
>
> whereas on linux it's far less likely for an app writer to
> be able to get away with a) making money b) friggin up security. the
> distros wouldn't allow an app writer to get away with either.
>
> l.
>
>
>
>

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