system calls, like uname

Stuart Anderson anderson at metrolink.com
Thu Jul 15 14:37:30 PDT 1999



This is a useful idea, but the LSB doesn't have the capacity to drive
it's development. We'd probably be glad to work with someone who does have
the time to develop it, and make comments that will help ensure that it can
be easily added to the LSB.

We have a prefereed order of how we adopt things. Using something that exists
is at the top of the list, and having to develop something is at the bottom,
and is only an approach when there is a serious problem with no other
solution. Even this approach ends up being we discuss it, and someone goes off
and works on an implementation that would then elevate it so we could adopt
something that exists.

As to this suggestion in particular, I'd suggest creating a library interface
for providing the kind of information you are after. Details like a new
system call or accessing /proc would then be hidden behind the libraries
interface and becomes just an implementation detail. Wether /proc is text
or binary based is irrelevent to an application which is using the libraries
interfaces. The underlying implementation of /proc or a system call can even
change as the kernel changes, but the library will handle the changes, and
continue to present the same API to the application.

The API should be general enough to allow new features/attributes to be added
without having to change the API.

Ideally, 3 things would happen in parallel:

	1) A specification of the API is written. This could be very similar
	   to a collection of man pages. This needs to be very complete.

	2) An implementation of the API is developed to match the
	   specification.

	3) A Test suite is developed based on the written specification. This
	   can then be run against the implementation.





On Thu, 15 Jul 1999, Robert W. Current wrote:

> Forgive me if I am out of line here, but is there anyone who can speak
> from an inside prespective of both kernel development with an inside
> understanding on the LSB as well that can comment on this?  Like, is
> Alan Cox or someone lurking on this list, and could they comment?
> 
> Aaron Gaudio wrote:
> > 
> > And lo, the chronicles report that Robert W.
> > Current spake thusly unto the masses:
> > >
> > > So, I think I am inclined to disagree.  I don't think something like
> > > uname would be in the scope of kernel development.
> > 
> > Actually, uname is already in the scope of kernel
> > development: it's a system call- uname(2)
> > The original poster was saying that there should
> > be another system call which returns information
> > about the hardware. I personally think the kernel
> > already has a way to return hardware information:
> > it's called the proc filesystem. But whether you 
> > feel this functionality belongs in the kernel or
> > userland is irrelevant here, since if there
> > isn't anything already which does this, I don't 
> > think LSB should conjure one up.
> > 
> > If you think it belongs in the kernel, 
> > it should be discussed on the kernel lists.
> > If you think it belongs as an app then find
> > some developers who agree and are willing to work
> > on it.
> > 
> > Either way, LSB shouldn't be concerned with it
> > until there is something there to be concerned with.
> > 
> 
> -- 
> "Robert W. Current" <rob at freshmeat.net> - email
> http://chem20.chem.und.nodak.edu     - work stuff
> http://www.current.nu                - personal web site
> http://freshmeat.net                 - editorial coordinator
> "Hey mister, turn it on, turn it up, and turn me loose." - Dwight Yoakam
> 
> 
> -- 
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                                Stuart

Stuart R. Anderson                               anderson at metrolink.com

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