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SubjectRe: [1/2,v2] fdmap(2)
> On Oct 19, 2017, at 5:34 PM, Alexey Dobriyan <> wrote:
> On 10/18/17, Andy Lutomirski <> wrote:
>>> fdmap() is standalone thing.
>>> Next step is to design fdinfo(2) (?) which uses descriptors from
>>> fdmap(2). Extending structures is done as usual: but version,
>>> add new fields to the end.
>> I very strongly disagree. If you really want a new interface for
>> reading out information about other processes, design one that makes
>> sense as a whole. Don't design it piecemeal. The last thing we need
>> is a crappy /proc alternative that covers a small fraction of use
>> cases.
> Oh well.
>> And demonstrate that it actually has a material benefit over
>> fixing /proc.
>> Meanwhile, why not just fix /proc?
> /proc can not be fixed. Let me reiterate the arguments one more time.
> Using /proc
> * overallocates memory even if temporarily,

This is fixable. Maybe hard, but fixable.

> * instantiates dentries and inodes nobody cares about,

Your syscalls won't make a difference here because we can't just
remove /proc. But IIRC we could give it a backing store like sysfs

> * make expansion path more painful than necessary:
> 1) adding field to the end of the file is the least risky move,
> 2) decimal radix and unfixed positioning are used often

These two are fixable by adding extensible binary files.

> 3) read() doesn't accept any sort of filter for data

Indeed. Doing this directly in /proc is hard.

> (1)+(3) = those who added their fields later eat the cost of all
> previous fields even if their field is very simple and easy
> to calculate.
> (2)+(3) = lseek() can not be used as a substitute.
> 4) adding new file is cleaner however every virtual file creates
> kernel objects which aren't interesting themselves.
> This has direct costs (more syscalls and lookups) and
> indirect costs (more garbage in d/icache and more flushing
> when the process dies)
> 5) converting to strings eats cycles (and more cycles are consumed
> if userspace decides to convert it back to binary for whatever
> reasons)

As above, fixable with new files.

> For those who didn't pay attention, first patch to make integer
> conversion faster made /proc/*/stat (?) 30% faster!
> This is how slow text can be.

Alternatively, that's how much improvement is available without any
ABI change at all.

> Sysfs is overall better but solely because it has strict one-value-per-file
> rule, so interfaces are cleaner and there is less room for mistakes.
> Philosophically, text files create false impression that parsing text
> is easy.
> As an example grab a bunch of students and ask them to write a program
> which parses something innocent like /proc/*/stat for process state.
> The beartrap is that ->comm is not escaped for Space and ')' so naive
> strchr() from the beginning doesn't work reliably. The only reliable
> way is to count spaces from the end(!) and pray kernel devs do not
> extend the file with another field or, worse, with another textual
> field.
> ESCAPE_SPACE doesn't escape Space, funny, isn't it?
> /proc/*/status kind of has the same problem however forward strstr()
> works with "\nState:\t" because \n and \t will be escaped. But nobody
> would search for just "State:", especially in scripts, right?
> EIATF people often critique binary people for their mistakes
> but themselves make equally stupid ones. "(unreachable)" anyone?.
> So the answer it not to fix /proc, the answer it to leave /proc alone.
> The answer is make Unix shell people move their lazy asses and
> implement minimal type system and a way to execute raw system calls
> like all normal programming languages do. They still haven't done it
> after dozens of years and are arrogant enough to say "oh uh we can't
> use cat and pipe to awk"

I think that asking the bash maintainers to implement PowerShell does
not fall into the lazy ass category.

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