FreeBSD Kernel Internals Documentation

doug at doug at
Fri Dec 30 17:20:50 UTC 2011

On Fri, 30 Dec 2011, Polytropon wrote:

> On Fri, 30 Dec 2011 10:22:31 -0500, David Jackson wrote:
>> Of course, those best able to document are those who wrote it in
>> the first place, since they already know how it works.
> A fact seems to be: "Modern" programmers don't bother
> with documenting, or coding guidelines, or style or
> other things that "slow down" development. This
> attitude isn't new in general, as it has been done
> that way even in IT dinosaur times: There are COBOL
> programs still running, and nobody knows _why_ they
> are running and _how_. If someone had written usable
> documentation at the time the program was created
> and maintained, skilled COBOL h4x0rs wouldn't be
> able to write the desired salary on the contract
> as _they_ wish. :-)

As a [former] mainframer, I might take issue limiting the above to modern. I 
learned MVT and then MVS from the microfish and crashing rather larger 
(physically) and expensive computers. Not much else was available [outside of 

> But keep in mind: Writing code and writing documentation
> are two different things. There are people who are
> excellent coders, but bad writers. In some teams,
> you'll find code writers and doc writers separated,
> but working together. This approach isn't free of
> problems, but also seems to work.
In this thread if anyone mentioned Robert Watson, kernel source cross-reference, 
I missed it. Also every so often Kirk McKusick teaches a course on BSD 
internals. Kind of expensive but very thorough.

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