Subject: Re: mib list in sysctl.8
To: Elad Efrat <>
From: Pavel Cahyna <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 12/03/2006 22:28:53
On Sun, Dec 03, 2006 at 07:10:44PM +0200, Elad Efrat wrote:
> Pavel Cahyna wrote:
> > I've uploaded the proposed manpages to
> >{3,7,cat3,cat7}
> I would like to point out that because this is not an urgent fix, we
> should not postpone the removal of the big list from sysctl.8 too;
> otherwise we still have to update two man-pages instead of one, which
> was the real purpose of the change.

Sure, no problem with the removal of the list from sysctl.8 ...
But I would like to commit this ASAP, if sysctl.3 is updated, it would
create more work to synchronize the uncommitted sysctl.7 again.

> also, like I said before, I don't see point in documenting the constants
> in the new man-page.

I've thought that too, but then I discovered that it is still needed.
The reason is that some constants don't have an equivalent text name. E.g.
the kern.proc, kern.proc_args and kern.ipc.sysvipc_info subtrees, and
apparently net.route too.

In some cases one of the intermediate names is a number determined
dynamically, e.g. under proc the second level name is a PID. In this case,
it is easier to know the numeric identifiers for all the levels directly
than to convert the string names with sysctlnametomib().

OTOH I don't think that having defined numeric constants for newly added
MIBs and documenting them is a requirement. But keeping the old
documentation does not do any harm.