[PATCH] locks: rename file-private locks to file-description locks

Rich Felker dalias at libc.org
Mon Apr 21 12:51:44 MDT 2014

On Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 02:48:41PM -0400, Theodore Ts'o wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 08:32:44PM +0200, Michael Kerrisk (man-pages) wrote:
> > So, can you *please* answer this question: what do you call (i.e., 
> > what  everyday technical language term do use for) the thing
> > that sits between a file descriptor and an i-node? 
> > 
> > (Please don't say 'struct file' -- that is not is an implementation 
> > detail, and does not qualify as the kind of term that I could use 
> > when documenting this feature in man pages.)
> At least in a few places, if you are going to use "file description",
> could you at least add a parenthetical comment:
> 	(commonly called a "struct file" by Linux kernel developers)
> Yes, it's an implementation detail, but it's one that's been around
> for over two decades, and IMHO highly unlikely to change in the
> future.  So if you really want to use the POSIX terminology, it would
> probably be a good idea to also use the term of art which is in common
> use by the kernel developers, and I suspect has leaked out beyond
> that.

I don't think "struct file" has any meaning to any userspace
developers, and as such doesn't belong in documentation for userspace
programming. It's an implementation detail of the kernel that
userspace developers have no need to be aware of. There's already
enough leakage of broken kernel internals (e.g. tid vs pid vs tgid)
into userspace documentation that's immensely confusing for new
developers without adding more of it.


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