Mailinglist Archive: yast-devel (87 mails)

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[yast-devel] 2nd attempt: do we need a layer between libstorage-ng and (the rest) of YaST?
Since the original thread is already ruined with discussions about
concrete API design details that were not the main topic of my question,
I will try once again from scratch.

Do we need a layer between libstorage-ng and (the rest) of YaST?

I think so. Why do I?

TLDR; libstorage-ng is multilanguage (with a Ruby-agnostic API, to say
the least) and YaST-agnostic. Therefore, we need a layer to close the
distance between libstorage-ng and Ruby/YaST. The alternative is to have
boilerplate code all along YaST (like downcast) and our own
customization for the Ruby tools.

If you agree, please say so.

If you disagree, please provide counterarguments.

Now the long version of my reasoning (and you know that "long" means in
my case). ;-)

A) Libstorage-ng API is designed to be useful for many languages and for
many potential users, not only Ruby and YaST.

B) Libstorage-ng is designed to be relatively low-level, not hiding
details about how the different moving pieces (devices, filesystems,
etc.) are connected and allowing to model all the possibilities that can
happen in reality.

That's perfectly fine. It makes libstorage-ng more versatile and
powerful. But it has some implications.

A consequence for (A): when taking API design decisions, if there are
several ways of doing something and no way is universally better than
the others[*], libstorage-ng always work in the way that is not standard
in Ruby.

That means libstorage-ng does not play nicely with the Ruby ecosystem,
causing extra work for the Ruby developers just to keep using the tools
chosen for YaST development and testing.

For (B) it means libstorage-ng does not offer a direct answer to the
kind of questions usually asked all around YaST (yast-packager,
yast-bootloader, yast-country....). Although examples-based discussion
has proved to lead to off-topic, I will try once again:

A typical question from YaST to the storage layer:
- For this given filesystem, which are the physical disks (whatever
technology is used)?

That question would be plain wrong from the libstorage-ng POV, because
there is no such a direct relationship (not always) and therefore the
user of the library is expected to know all the possible paths from a a
filesystem to its disks and traverse all those paths doing the
corresponding checks for empty and performing the downcasts in every step.

In other words, there is no


But the user is expected to do this

blk_dev = a_filesystem.blk_devices[0]
if Storage.encryption?(blk_device)
blk_device = Storage.to_encryption(blk_device).blk_device
return [Storage.to_disk(blk_dev)] if Storage.disk?(blk_dev)
if Storage.partition?(blk_device)
partition = Storage.to_partition(blk_device)
if Storage.disk?(partition.partition_table.partitionable)
return [Storage.to_disk(partition.partition_table.partitionable)]
# MD case
elsif Storage.lvm_lv?(blk_device)
# The LVM case, which is double the size than the partition one

This is a simplified example don't taking into account he possibilities
of multi-device filesystems or encryptions in other layers than the very
first one (right below the filesystem).

While adapting other modules to use the new libstorage directly we have
found many examples of that gap between the abstraction level expected
by YaST and the level of "clarity" about the internal structure enforced
by libstorage-ng. So please refrain from discussing every single
variable name in the example or providing an alternative with 4 fewer
lines. That will not change the main point. :)

So, as said at the beginning, libstorage-ng is perfect as it is, for the
goal it is designed. That goal is not to be Ruby-compliant or to match
the YaST use-case 100%. So we need an extra layer to walk that way.

IMHO, opposing to the creation of that layer just to avoid the fact that
some developers has to know and work with both layers is not reasonable.

If you disagree, please provide counter-arguments to the provided
arguments, instead of discussing the wording of the examples. ;-)


[*] As proved by the endless discussions focused on examples and
counter-examples in which nobody convinces nobody else.
Ancor González Sosa
YaST Team at SUSE Linux GmbH
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