[TUHS] Device special files

Steffen Nurpmeso steffen at sdaoden.eu
Fri Feb 9 05:06:01 AEST 2018

Ian Zimmerman <itz at very.loosely.org> wrote:
 |On 2018-02-07 19:36, Steffen Nurpmeso wrote:
 |> Going from ``hardware only changes when the DEC Field engineer is
 |> here'' to ``my toaster has USB'' has put serious strain on the rather
 |> crude implementation of the ``devices as files'' concept
 |Well, if you don't try to connect your toaster to the computer, you
 |don't have this problem :-)

A killer argument.

 |I had a self-maintained Linux system (ie. no distribution) until about
 |2000.  I had no problem understanding what the two dozen /dev/ entries
 |were for.  I even wrote a better (table driven) makedev implementation
 |and I tried to get it into Debian, but by that time rumors of devfs were
 |already on the way so it wasn't worth a transition to them.
 |The real problem with static /dev is on the development side IMO -
 |managing the namespace of device names and major/minor numbers.

If you have grown up with this and are experienced, or have
a small system, or have a system with good documentation, then you
might be right.  (You are definitely right with the latter, say.)
I was lost in a jungle of things i did not understand including
lots of frightening but anyway apparantly dead Z(ombie) processes
(SuSE debug distribution offered for very few money and bought as
side-effect on 1999-01-11).  And then it is indeed true that
having a device file does not mean there is actually a driver
behind it.  No magic springs-into-existence, if i recall

|Der Kragenbaer,                The moon bear,
|der holt sich munter           he cheerfully and one by one
|einen nach dem anderen runter  wa.ks himself off
|(By Robert Gernhardt)

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