Re: [BUG] Generic syscalls -- chmod vs. fchmodat

From: Roland McGrath
Date: Tue Jan 25 2011 - 13:34:58 EST

> On Tuesday 25 January 2011 18:45:15 Roland McGrath wrote:
> > I know of no reason to
> > think that the current treatment of the empty string was ever intended at
> > the creation of the *at interfaces.
> I always assumed that this was done so that the *at syscalls can replace
> both the ones that take a file descriptor (e.g. fstat) and the ones that
> take a pathname (e.g. stat), which is sensible for the non-AT_FDCWD case,
> although not documented in the man pages.

I see your point. That is, having the empty string relative to a file
descriptor work means it can replace f* calls on non-directories, whereas
the standard method of passing "." for descriptor-relative resolution can
only work on a file descriptor open on a directory. Is that what you mean?

I don't think this was part of the original intent when the calls were
added, but I suppose it makes sense.

> Treating the empty string special for AT_FDCWD is rather pointless, but
> at least consistent.

I agree about the consistency point. However, one could also call it
consistent if the empty string fails to resolve when operating on either a
directory file descriptor or AT_FDCWD but works on a non-directory file
descriptor. POSIX does not mandate that *at calls fail with ENOTDIR when
passed a non-directory file descriptor (it's a "may fail" error, not a
"shall fail" error). So that behavior would be consistent both with the
POSIX requirements as I read them, and with the desire you mentioned to let
the fblahat system call serve to implement fblah as well as blah. Then
libc would not have to wrap the *at calls with any special check to conform

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