Subject: Re: 32 bit dev_t
To: Chris G. Demetriou <>
From: Charles M. Hannum <mycroft@MIT.EDU>
List: tech-kern
Date: 01/15/1998 18:00:34
"Chris G. Demetriou" <> writes:

> I don't think it's necessary to worry about that.  Changes of that
> general nature happen quite often in this project (most notably,
> "build and install a new kernel before you build and install a new
> libc!!!"), and don't pose any 'special' challenge to users.

That, at least, fails in a generally predictable fashion -- lots of
things core dump with SIGSYS.  Changing the minor number format
doesn't.  In fact, it could fail quite badly and trash file systems.

> Users who are running -current know the pitfalls, and an announcement
> to the current-users list should be (but hardly ever is 8-) sufficient
> to get them to do the right things.

This is *not* just about -current.  It will particularly bite people
who unpack a snapshot or a new release (or build it themselves, which
*is* perfectly legitimate) and haven't merged the `etc' set.  This
could quite literally trash file systems!

The point is: the only argument I've seen against the split minor
number format is that it's `ugly' (in a way that people almost never
see anyway!).  This is, as I said before, a *stupid* reason to screw
over users.

Unless you come up with a better reason than that, I will do the split