Subject: Re: "tfs" and other filesystems with very short names
To: None <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: source-changes
Date: 09/22/1998 20:58:56
[ On , September 22, 1998 at 17:31:55 (-0700), Chris G. Demetriou wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: "tfs" and other filesystems with very short names
> (Greg A. Woods) writes:
> > Of course if you look at the various sbin/mount_* directories in the
> > user-land source:
> and 'MNT_*' names, which should correspond directly.
> These are the 'real' names of the file systems, the directory names
> are not.

Hmmm....  good point.

but speaking of overloaded namespace.... MNT_* is one of the worst in
the *BSD kernel.  There are descriptions of objects, operations on those
objects, flags affecting the operations, flags describing attributes,
flags private to implementations, masks on the bits, all mixed up in one
very restrictive namespace that gives (almost) no indication of what's
what.  Even worse the names don't all apply to the same bit set

> > [Yes the "fs" suffix is redundant when you know you're dealing with
> > filesystems, but "mount_n" and "mount_f", etc. or "fs/n" and "fs/f" look
> > pretty funny, at least to me.]
> funny how opinions differ...

I know that "fs/n" and "fs/f" make logical sense, but when you sound
them out ("filesystem slash network" or "filesystem slash fast") they're
somewhat counter to the traditional names, at least in English.  The
some of the various helper commands sound funny too ("mount network" or
"mount fast").

Especially with short names for objects I've found that as a general
rule of thumb it's still a good idea to include a descriptive suffix (or
prefix, if appropriate) in the name.  So in the "FileSystems" directory
you have the "Network File System", the "Fast File System", and so on.

When picking short names it's also just as important to make the short
form "pronouncable".  Us computer types are quite accustomed to sounding
out short acronyms, but "en" or "ef" just doesn't do anything for me
(unless it's a temporary variable in an algebraic expression), where as
"en ef es" and "ef ef es" does work much better when describing an

Anyway, I'm just rambling now....

							Greg A. Woods

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