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SubjectRe: UUIDs (and devfs and major/minor numbers)
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   From: o.r.c@p.e.l.l.p.o.r.t.l.a.n.d.o.r.u.s (david parsons)
Date: 17 Jun 1999 17:41:19 -0700

The namespace for /dev was dictated a long time ago, and you vary
from that namespace at your own risk.

I think herein lies some of the confusion about devfs vs. procfs, et.al.

The files in /dev fall into two categories. Some were indeed dictated a
long time ago, and indeed you can't change them without causing all
osrts of problems with programs and shell scripts which have these names
hard-coded into them. Examples of such names include /dev/tty,
/dev/null, and so on. I would argue that procfs falls in the same
category, since most (but certainly not all) of the usage of the proc
filesystem, especially the non-process related aspects of the proc
filesystem, are used by programs. (For example: free, ps, etc.)

There is however second class of files which live in /dev, and for those
files the names are really up to the system administrator, and are a
matter between the whims of the system adminsitator and the various
configuration files which list those devices: /etc/inittab, /etc/fstab,
etc. Examples of such device names include names for disk drives,
tapes, cd-roms, and ttys, and so on. Indeed, this is why devfs can
use device names such as /dev/dsk/... instead of /dev/hda1 without
causing all hell to break loose.

While there are some naming conventions which most people subscribe to
for these second class of device files/names in /dev, they are by no
means fixed. And it's for these classes of device names, where I
believe hardcoding a new naming convention into the kernel is especially
a bad idea.

And so again, *yes*, devfs is different from procfs. One can be in
favour of the latter without being in favour of the former, and this is
why.

- Ted

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