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SubjectRe: PROPOSAL: dot-proc interface [was: /proc stuff]


Tim Jansen wrote:

> On Monday 05 November 2001 19:40, Rik van Riel wrote:
>
>>I think you've hit the core of the problem. There is no magical
>>bullet which will stop badly written userland programs from
>>breaking, but the kernel developers should have the courtesy
>>of providing documentation for the /proc files so the writers
>>of userland programs can have an idea what to expect.
>>
>
> I think the core insight is that if the kernel continues to have dozens of
> "human-readable" file formats in /proc, each should to be documented using a
> BNF description that can guarantee that the format is still valid in the
> future, even if there is the need to add additional fields.
> The result of this is, of course, that it may be very hard to write
> shell scripts that won't break sooner or later and that accessing the data in
> C is much more work than a simple scanf.


So if BNF makes it harder for shell scripts and sscanf, and harder for
the kernel developers...what good does it do??? I definately don't advocate
anything more than some simple documentation about whatever format the proc
module writer uses. All of these interfaces (proc, ioctl, ...) end up being
hacks at some point, but a _documented_ hack can be called a feature :)


>
> bye...
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Ben Greear <greearb@candelatech.com> <Ben_Greear AT excite.com>
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