Re: procfs problems

Michael Ballbach (
Wed, 30 Apr 1997 18:08:35 -0600 (MDT)

Sorry for this, but how hard is it to parse fields in c or bash anyhow?
Especially if there is some kind of a deliminator like a colon... I'm not
a major expert in c, but it's not that hard to read to the colon, read
past any white space, and read some more. :) With shell scripting, use cut
-f 1 -d :. Anyway, I don't see why there is such a big deal being made
about this, when it's not too hard to do... What's harder, writing the low
level user interfaces to networking routines? Or writing a program that
parses a file? Anyway, hope this isn't oversimplifying the issue, nor do I
wish to offend anyone. :)

Michael A. Ballbach: N0ZTQ, yeh-zehn.

"The next war will be fought with nuclear weapons,
the next, with sticks." -- Albert Einstein.

On Wed, 30 Apr 1997, Tim Hollebeek wrote:

> Frank Sweetser writes ...
> >
> > While I agree that for programs, a non-human readable presentation with
> > fixed offsets is generally more parsable (perl doesn't count here :),
> > probably the single most useful function I've found for /proc is for
> > finding out what the status of your machine is when things have gone
> > down the tubes, often off of a root/boot floppy set. When you're dealing
> > with that kind of a setup, it's certainly much nicer to just use 'cat'
> > instead of a suite designed to parse some binary data. Perhaps make
> > the textual proc a compile-time option, and then add a /dev/kmem type
> > interface that presents a binary single-file version of the proc
> > interface?
> How much more complex is a /bin/proccat that (for example) changes null
> terminated key:value pairs into text? E.g. the proc files would contain
> something like:
> "key1\0val1\0key2\0val2\0..."
> which would translate to:
> key1 : val1
> key2 : val2
> ...
> Support for hierarchical entries, simple tables, etc doesn't make it much
> bigger. Anything can appear in a field (including ':'), and the binary
> version is trivially machine readable. /bin/proccat is likely to succeed
> whenever /bin/cat would, so it is usable when your system is hosed.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Tim Hollebeek | Disclaimer :=> Everything above is a true statement,
> Electron Psychologist | for sufficiently false values of true.
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