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SubjectRe: LANANA: To Pending Device Number Registrants
> It's not so much about hardcoding the names as hardcoding the *STRUCTURE*
> of the names. For example, the current devfs has /dev/misc/* which is
> completely bogus -- it exposes an implementation detail (using the

The fact kernel space touches on naming directly is itself bogus. devfsd doing
it is nice, devfs doing naming - well it could be done.

> miscdev API as opposed to the charmajor API) which should be hidden; in
> fact a number of drivers have started their lives as miscdev devices and
> changed over time.

IHMO We have three types of namespaces

1. Kernel interface namespace. Policy set by the kernel. Mappings
constant and well defined where the underlying objects are well

- inodes, dev_t

You can make it a string if you like but at the end of the day
has to be an opaque handle. For constant devices it also has to be
a constant name. Otherwise the /dev file I archived with the corporate
backup system turns out to be a different device when I restore the
box after a problem and I reformat the wrong disk...

And yes some stuff really is dynamic. Trying to talk about USB
devices in a constant way is kind of hard.

We could re-encode these as strings. In fact thats how AmigaOS and
VMS seem to do it. But we have the standards that are based on
numbers and people who do like to assume they have meaning (eg
hdparm, some scsi tools, ...). At best the string is a variable length
encoding of a cookie.

Another real horror we have is trademarks. We've already had people
force changes on the name of kernel modules by threatening/asking
because names have trademark value and they argue module names
could be confusing.

*NOBODY* at the 2.5 kernel summit had an answer to that problem.

2. User namespaces. Language dependant. Policy dependant.
Can be dynamic, can be static, can be arbitary. Not set by kernel


Generally has to be centrally managed to put an order on the
name spaces.

3. Enumeration spaces

Things like /dev/disc on devfs. Spaces that allow you to walk across
all devices with a given property. A device can be in many

I don't care how #2 is implemented. I care that I can implement #2 any way
I like. I care that I can implement #2 compatibly with my existing apps and
my existing backup system. I care that people who dont speak a word of English
can internationalise it.

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