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SubjectRe: PROPOSAL: dot-proc interface [was: /proc stuff]
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=?iso-8859-1?Q?Jak writes:

> Please tell me, is "1610612736" a 32-bit integer, a 64-bit integer, is
> it signed or unsigned ?
>
> I could even live with parsing ASCII, as long as there'd just be type
> information to go with the values.

You are looking for something called the registry. It's something
that was introduced with Windows 95. It's basically a filesystem
with typed files: char, int, string, string array, etc.

> These interfaces need to be "correct", not "mostly correct".
>
> Example: I make a symlink from "cat" to "c)(t" (sick example,
> but that doesn't change my point), and do a "./c)(t /proc/self/stat":
>
> [albatros:joe] $ ./c\)\(a /proc/self/stat
> 22482 (c)(a) R 22444 22482 22444 34816 22482 0 20 0 126 0 0 0 0 0 14 0 0 0 24933425 1654784 129 4294967295 134512640 134525684 3221223504 3221223112 1074798884 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 0
>
> Go parse that one ! What's the name of my applications ?

Funny you should mention that one. I wrote the code used by procps
to read this file. I love that file! The parentheses issue is just
a beauty wart. People rarely feel the urge to screw with raw numbers.
In all the other files, idiots like to: add headers, change the
spelling of field names, change the order, add spaces and random
punctuation, etc. Nothing is as stable and easy to use as the
/proc/self/stat file.

> If you want ASCII, we should at least have some approved parsing
> library to parse this into native-machine binary structures

No.

>> 2. Flag those entries which are sysctl mirrors as such
>> (perhaps in each /proc directory /proc/foo/bar/, a
>> /proc/foo/bar/ctl with them all in). Duplicate for the
>> time being rather than move. Make reading them (at
>> least those in the ctl directory) have a comment line
>> starting with a '#' at the top describing the format
>> (integer, boolean, string, whatever), what it does.
>> Ignore comment lines on write.

Now you are proposing to dink with the format. See above comments.

>> 3. Try and rearrange all the /proc entries this way, which
>> means sysctl can be implemented by a straight ASCII
>> write - nice and easy to parse files.

This is exactly what the sysctl command does.

> I'm not a big fan of huge re-arrangements. I do like the idea of providing
> a machine-readable version of /proc.

Linus clearly doesn't give a fuck about /proc performance.
That's his right, and you are welcome to patch your kernel to
have something better: http://lwn.net/2000/0420/a/atomicps.html
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