[TUHS] Unix APIs: elegant or not?

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Fri Nov 2 00:41:53 AEST 2018

On Thu, Nov 1, 2018 at 10:20 AM ron minnich <rminnich at gmail.com> wrote:

> In my view, what went wrong with Unix networking 40 years ago is that it
> broke from the Unix model, i.e. that resources are accessed via path
> names, and went with binary descriptors as paths.

And I think somthing else where P9 differed from UNIX was dealing with OOB
(control) information (*i.e.* ioctl(2) was a terrible misstake).   Dennis
and Ken created ioctl(2) with v7 as a generalization of stty/gtty from the
TTY handler.  At the time, it seemed like a reasonable way to handle those
'small things that need to be tweeked - like baud rate or canonicalization;
but ioctl(2) quickly got abused as the universal end-around, and those
things caused also sorts of issues (also being a binary interface only made
it worse, although on the PDP-11 it made sense for size reasons).
 Creating a seperate interface from the 'file' to orchestrate/control the
I/O and controlling that as a set of strings not binaries, seems like a more
sane idea.
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