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

Stefan (metze) Metzmacher metze at
Thu Apr 17 09:17:28 MDT 2014

Am 17.04.2014 13:52, schrieb Jeff Layton:
> On Thu, 17 Apr 2014 00:42:13 +0200
> "Stefan (metze) Metzmacher" <metze at> wrote:
>> 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.
> Yeah, I understand your point.
> I'm not keen on using "file-handle" as file handles have a completely
> different meaning in the context of something like NFS.
> "file-description-associated" is rather a mouthful. You Germans might
> go for that sort of thing, but it feels awkward to us knuckle-draggers
> that primarily speak English.
> Maybe we should just go with one of Michael's earlier suggestions --
> "file-description locks" and change the macros to F_FD_*.
> In the docs we could take pains to point out that these are
> file-_description_ locks and not file-_descriptor_ locks, and outline
> why that is so (which is something I'm trying to make crystal clear in
> the docs anyway).
> Does anyone object to that?

Sounds good.


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