should we change the name/macros of file-private locks?

Stefan (metze) Metzmacher metze at
Wed Apr 16 16:48:52 MDT 2014

Am 16.04.2014 22:00, schrieb Michael Kerrisk (man-pages):
> [CC += Jeremy Allison]
> On Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 8:57 PM, Jeff Layton <jlayton at> wrote:
>> Sorry to spam so many lists, but I think this needs widespread
>> distribution and consensus.
>> File-private locks have been merged into Linux for v3.15, and *now*
>> people are commenting that the name and macro definitions for the new
>> file-private locks suck.
>> ...and I can't even disagree. They do suck.
>> We're going to have to live with these for a long time, so it's
>> important that we be happy with the names before we're stuck with them.
> So, to add my perspective: The existing byte-range locking system has
> persisted (despite egregious faults) for well over two decades. One
> supposes that Jeff's new improved version might be around
> at least as long. With that in mind, and before setting in stone (and
> pushing into POSIX) a model of thinking that thousands of programmers
> will live with for a long time, it's worth thinking about names.
>> Michael Kerrisk suggested several names but I think the only one that
>> doesn't have other issues is "file-associated locks", which can be
>> distinguished against "process-associated" locks (aka classic POSIX
>> locks).
> The names I have suggested are:
>     file-associated locks
> or
>    file-handle locks
> or (using POSIX terminology)
>     file-description locks

I'd use file-handle, file-description or at least something that's
not associated to the "file" itself.

file-handle-associated or file-description-associated would also work.

> but that last might be a bit confusing to people who are not
> standards-aware. (The POSIX standard defines the thing that a "file
> descriptor" refers to as a "file description"; other people often call
> that thing a "file handle" or an "open file table entry" or a "struct
> file". The POSIX term is precise and unambiguous, but, unfortunately,
> the term is not common outside the standard and is also easily
> mistaken for "file descriptor".)
>> At the same time, he suggested that we rename the command macros since
>> the 'P' suffix would no longer be relevant. He suggested something like
>> this:
>>     F_FA_GETLK
>>     F_FA_SETLK
>>     F_FA_SETLKW

With file-description-associated this could be



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