Re: devfs

Gerard Roudier (
Sun, 18 Jan 1998 09:31:51 +0100 (MET)

On Sun, 18 Jan 1998, Richard Gooch wrote:

> linux kernel account writes:
> > On Sun, 18 Jan 1998, Richard Gooch wrote:
> >
> > [snip]
> > > > You're forgetting that someone researched this and reported that "s" and "d"
> > > > originally stood for "device" and "subdevice", which is more general than
> > > > partitions or slices and not inherently wrong for fdisk. That's the definition
> > > > I adopted, not "slice". I still think that /dev/sd/c0b0t0d0 is a reasonable
> > > > choice for a whole disk and /dev/sd/c0b0t0d0s1 etc for PC style partitions. If
> > > > we need to incorporate further subdivisions for slices, we can easily extend
> > > > this to /dev/sd/c0b0t0d0s1.2 to refer to slice 2 within PC partition 1. I
> > > > think we should retain the convention of referring to logical partitions as
> > > > subdevices 5..N for compatibility with present Linux systems.
> > >
> > > It does seem inconsistent to have letters delimiting all the other
> > > parameters except the slices. If you can come up with a different
> > > letter for "slice" which doesn't sound too contrived, I'd prefer
> > > that. Right now 's' could be either "subdevice" or "slice". One could
> > > use 'l' for discLabel, but that looks too much like '1'.
> >
> > Nope, it's a decmil number!!!
> OK, but my point still holds: why not use decimal notation for the
> whole thing? I.e.: c0b1t2d3s4.5 becomes:
> The reason is simple: I hate it so I won't implement it. Arguments
> sent to Linus ;-)

Just my 0.02 FF. ;-)

In my opinion, both are quite ununderstable for most end-users.
The 2nd one has just the advantage to be human readable.
Too much Unixifying Linux is not the right way, IMO, to make it
user-friendly. Gnu is Not Unix and Linux Is Not UniXish. ;)

> So, given the whole name isn't in decimal notation, why should the
> partition/slice section use decimal notation?

A '.' is a punctuation. French decimal notation uses ',' instead.

Speaking of SCSI, which is reported to be too complex for end-users,
most SCSI systems uses only 1 BUS and most devices have only 1 logical
So, something like '/dev/sd/t0d1s0' or '/dev/0,1,2' is probably the
typical complexity that most users are probably expecting.

When 'general' means _complex_ for users, better not to be general, IMO.

I miss this thread due to lack of time. Sorry if the problem of
end-user understandability has already been debated and solved.

Regards, Gerard.