Subject: Re: Improving the Unix API
To: Alexander Viro <>
From: Doug Rabson <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 06/28/1999 09:52:35
On Sun, 27 Jun 1999, Alexander Viro wrote:

> On Mon, 28 Jun 1999, Doug Rabson wrote:
> > I'm talking about the concept of a header file containing something like:
> > 
> > 	#define FL_VFS		0
> > 	#define FL_FOOFS	1
> > 	#define FD_BARFS	2
> > 	...
> > 
> > not being scalable.
> > 
> > Do you have a complete list of filesystem types? Are you prepared to act
> > as an Assigned Number authority for that list. For this kind of problem,
> > strings are a damn sight easier to manage in the long term.
> Augh... It's ugly, indeed, but... sysctl() is not much nicer and all
> systems in question manage to deal with it somehow. OTOH doing it as
> strings... Hell knows. I'll look at it. Considering that HFS folks
> had already asked for more than one value here (creator and type?) it may
> be reasonable. I'm afraid that doing that may open the hell gates ;-/
> 'N' in *ANA can be 'namespace' as well as 'number'...

Its a tough one alright. Some of my friends at Microsoft would suggest
using UUIDs for this job. They might be clumsy but at least they are never
going to collide and they are easy to generate.

As far as sysctl goes, FreeBSD deprecates the use of numbers for OIDs and
has a string-based mechanism for exploring the sysctl tree.

> <asbestos underware>[1]
> BTW, how does NetBSD deal with HFS <cough> forks?
> </asbestos underware>
> [1] cue current flamew^Wthreads on l-k regarding files-as-directories
> hell.


Doug Rabson				Mail:
Nonlinear Systems Ltd.			Phone: +44 181 442 9037