Mailinglist Archive: yast-devel (87 mails)

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Re: [yast-devel] 2nd attempt: do we need a layer between libstorage-ng and (the rest) of YaST?
On 02/27/2017 09:14 AM, Josef Reidinger wrote:
In short I agree that layer between would be nice. And I think in past
such layer is provided by y2-storage and I think it make sense to
continue with it.

And being honest to ourselves, that layer is also there in
yast-storage-ng, just in a non-explicit way. We have refinements and
patches on top of the libstorage-ng classes to fulfill the YaST
use-cases and requirements.

Using those refinements has already saved us from adapting the code at
yast-country, yast-packager, yast-bootloader and the storage proposal
when we introduced encryption support in the library.

Patches and refinements are an un-obvious solution (patches are even
dangerous). The explicit solution (a visible middle layer) is much
preferred in my opinion.

Only reason to not place it directly to y2-storage is
if someone else would like to use storage-ng from ruby, then using
better API from y2-storage can be problematic.

Not sure if I got this point.



On Mon, 27 Feb 2017 08:51:01 +0100
Ancor Gonzalez Sosa <ancor@xxxxxxx> wrote:

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

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

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

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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