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SubjectRe: PROPOSAL: dot-proc interface [was: /proc stuff]
On Sun, Nov 04, 2001 at 01:30:38PM -0500, Alexander Viro wrote:
>
>
> On Sun, 4 Nov 2001, Tim Jansen wrote:
>
> > So if only some programs use the 'dot-files' and the other still use the
> > crappy text interface we still have the old problem for scripts, only with a
> > much larger effort.
>
> Folks, could we please deep-six the "ASCII is tough" mentality? Idea of
> native-endian data is so broken that it's not even funny. Exercise:
> try to export such thing over the network. Another one: try to use
> that in a shell script. One more: try to do it portably in Perl script.

So make it network byte order.

How many bugs have you heard of with bad use of sscanf() ?

The counters *are* host specific. Available memory is 32 bits somewhere, 64
other places. That's the world we live in and hiding the difficulties in ASCII
that *can* be parsed so that it only breaks "sometimes" doesn't help the
application developers.

Better to face the facts, and get over it.

> It had been tried. Many times. It had backfired 100 times out 100.
> We have the same idiocy to thank for fun trying to move a disk with UFS
> volume from Solaris sparc to Solaris x86. We have the same idiocy to
> thank for a lot of ugliness in X.
>
> At the very least, use canonical bytesex and field sizes. Anything less
> is just begging for trouble. And in case of procfs or its equivalents,
> _use_ the_ _damn_ _ASCII_ _representations_. scanf(3) is there for
> purpose.
>

scanf can be used wrongly in more ways than the two of us can imagine
together, even if we try.

I disagree with harmonizing field sizes - that doesn't make sense. What's
64 bits today is 128 tomorrow (IPv6 related things, crypto, ...), what
used to fit in 32 is in 64, some places.

Having a library that gives you either compile-time errors if you use it
wrong, or barfs loudly at run-time is one hell of a lot better than having
silent mis-parsing of ASCII values.

--
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: Jakob Østergaard : See him rise and claim the earth, :
: OZ9ABN : his downfall is at hand. :
:.........................:............{Konkhra}...............:
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