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

Theodore Ts'o tytso at mit.edu
Mon Apr 21 12:48:41 MDT 2014

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

I think it's actually a better and more functional name than what
POSIX uses, so maybe the best compromise is to use both, to make sure
there is no confusion.  In particular, if we have text in the man
pages where we have "file description" and "file descriptor" in the
close proximity it would probably be good to add "(i.e., a struct file
by Linux kernel developers)" just for clarity.


							- Ted

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