Subject: Re: RFC: /kern/summary
To: matthew green <>
From: Julian Assange <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 03/10/1999 22:45:12
I don't like to discourage, but I have some problems with this.

(1) are we trying to produce somethign that is human readable or
    computer readable? There seems to be a conflict of goals here.
(2) The file can't be versioned (at least not atomically, I suppose
    you could version open()s for it) meaning you have to add 
    another variable name each time you change a variable.

(3) scanf and open etc are slow. look how slow top / ps is under linux,
    further there is no random access to the information. you have
    to read it all even if you only want a part.

(4) it's nice to have a file you can apply shell tools quickly to,
    but you can use sysctl -a|grep works just as well.

(5) you have to create new ascii standards for representation of
    non-trivial data types. e.g arrays, linked lists, trees,
    flags etc, code to generate AND parse it.

(6) access to variables is split between the sysctl and and the
    /kern framework. doubling the amount of work involved if you
    want a variable in both.

I think you would be far better off transmuting kernfs into an
accurate representation of the sysctl namespace. you could even
have a ".all" file at each level in the hierarchy which would
represent all information at nodes under it. i.e ".all" in the
root would be equivalent to sysctl -a. this would take advantage
of the large existing sysctl namespace, and build upon it,
making both sysctl and kernfs stronger.

Julian Assange          <>

The trouble with acting according to your conscience is that
once you start doing it, nobody can trust you any more.

   - Alexis A. Gilliland