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SubjectRe: [PATCH] Re: relayfs documentation sucks?
Steve wrote:
> The reason I would like to see this merged, so kernel hackers don't need
> to constantly write there own logging buffers everytime you need to
> debug a complex area of the kernel.

But I doubt that relayfs, or anything resembling it, will accomplish
this purpose, at least for some of us, in many such situations.

When I'm debugging something requiring detailed tracing, I don't want
to have to think about whether the tracing tool has the particular
behaviour, performance, data loss, and other such characteristics
needed for my immediate needs. It is easier to code up some little
ad hoc mechanism than it is to try to figure out whether some general
purpose mechanism is suitable and how to use the generic mechanism.

Invariably in any particular situation, there is some almost trivial
way to hack in something adequate, for very little effort, doing
things that would be utterly useless in some other case.

Such tracing mechanisms work to obtain major subsystem isolation,
by exposing the flow of data and control back and forth across a
major boundary, such as using strace for the initial isolation of a
problem that might be in user space, or might be in the kernel.

But for detailed work within a subsystem, the corners that one can
cut with ad hoc tools often make them vastly superior to general
purpose tools.

Even the best equipped of carpenters sometimes throw together some
temporary scaffolding using rough cut 2x4's (2 inch by 4 inch cross
section lumbar; I don't know what they're called in metric nations.)

If there are enough specific purposes for relayfs, fine. But beware
of over generalizing its potential usefulness. There is always the
risk of over designing it, adding additional flexibility and options
in an effort to gain customers, at the expense of making it less and
less obviously useful in a trivial way for any specific purpose.

I won't rest till it's the best ...
Programmer, Linux Scalability
Paul Jackson <> 1.925.600.0401
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