Re: LiS

Larry McVoy (
Mon, 02 Mar 1998 19:30:17 -0800

: > Can somebody tell me , WHY people no longer interested in STREAMS ?
: > I don't believe it's unnecessary!
: > Fedchenko A.A.
: Mostly because the ones who could actually implement it don't seem to
: agree with you.

I agree with Peter. No offense to Ritchie (and none taken, I'm sure
because streams != STREAMS), but STREAMS sucks rocks. I first worked with
STREAMS in 1988 and was the engineer that ported Lachman's STREAMS based
TCP stack into SCO Unix. I watched Sun try and make the Lachman stuff
work in Solaris, throw it out, contract with Mentat for a new stack,
and finally throw some of their top people (like Erik Nordmark) at
the problem. It was a huge pain in the ass and doesn't work very well
to this day.

Aside from the obvious performance problem, STREAMS doesn't multiplex
well. Think of IP: it has TCP, UDP, raw sockets, etc, above it. Think of
the glue that has to bring all that together and think of it in the
context of a multi processor. Try and make that scale. You'll quickly
be adding "fast paths" that go around the STREAMS mechanism. It's a
nightmare to get it to work well just given the multiplexing aspects
and it becomes a scary, bloody, horrible nightmare when you think MP.

It is far better to help people rewrite their drivers and guide them
away from STREAMS. The whole thing made much more sense in the context
of a binary only release; Linux is free software with source, you can
just rip off a similar driver and make it match whatever hardware you

STREAMS: just say no thanks.

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to