Standards Update, IEEE 1003.4: Real-time Extensions

Dan Bernstein brnstnd at
Wed Sep 19 06:03:32 AEST 1990

Submitted-by: brnstnd at (Dan Bernstein)

In article <523 at usenix.ORG> fouts at bozeman.bozeman.ingr (Martin Fouts) writes:
> At one time, I believed that sockets
> belonged in the filesystem name space.  I spent a long time arguing
> this point with members of the networking community before theyy
> convinced me that certain transient objects do not belong in that name
> space.

In contrast, I've found it quite easy to get people to agree that
practically every object should be usable as an open *file*. The beauty
and power of UNIX is the abstraction of files---not filesystems. I'd say
that the concept of an open file descriptor is one of the most important
reasons that UNIX-style operating systems are taking over the world.

chip at tct.uucp (Chip Salzenberg) writes:
> The reason why I continue this discussion here, in comp.std.unix, is
> that many Unix programmers hope that the people in the standardization
> committees have learned from the out-of-filesystem mistake, and will
> rectify it.

I am a UNIX programmer who strongly hopes that standards committees will
never make the mistake of putting network objects into the filesystem.
Although the semantics of read() and write() fit network connections
perfectly, the semantics of open() most certainly do not. I will readily
support passing network connections as file descriptors. I will fight
tooth and nail to make sure that they need not be passed as filenames.


Volume-Number: Volume 21, Number 115

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