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system calls, like uname

I suggest a general system call be implemented to obtain information
about hardware.

Ideally, it would be POSIX, or some higher level UNIX standard, but
since thier too slow moving to do it, I think Linux should take the lead
and do it.

Ideally written in C, and portable (although, portable would be hard, so
for now written for Linux).

Something similar to "uname" only more discriptive on hardware details
like SGI's "hinv" but even better.

The reason why, is because this is general information many linux
applications try to find, such as the info panels in GNOME and KDE. 
And, additionally, it would provide a solid building ground for the
folks developing compilers to work on a nice -march flag that would grap
system information rather than end users needing to know system the
ideal system flags for thier systems.

For example, an app that returns the CPU, Manufacture, Model, any
features (like MMX, 3D-Now, etc), which are generally in /proc/cpuinfo
(if it's still text, and not binary, isn't 2.2.x drifted into binary,
and Red Hat patched it to still be text?).

I have mentioned this idea before in other forums, for example:

It could start as someones project C hack, and hopefully develop into a
basic standard application, like uname.  Some examples of these types of
applications that are starting to go this way are:
"linuxinfo" avaliable at
which is written in C
and the hwinfo.hwinfo.mod module in hwinfo2html-v.0.2-pre2 that I
started playing with at http://rob.current.nu/hwinfo2html/
written in perl (which shows clearly from it's lack of complete features
and the fact that it's in perl that _I_ can only suggest such a thing,
not develop it).

But, the basic idea is, it's a fairly small application, it would be a
widely used application by many other applications, it would allow Linux
users to more painlessly recompile source code to completely "optimize"
or "tune" it for thier specific hardware allowing them a significant
preformance boost (maybe 20% to 35%).

Since it could be small, usefull, powerfull, and meaningfull, I think
it's something that would greatly benifit Linux to have in it's base.

So, what do you all think?

"Robert W. Current" <rob@freshmeat.net> - email
http://chem20.chem.und.nodak.edu     - work stuff
http://www.current.nu                - personal web site
http://freshmeat.net                 - editorial coordinator
"Hey mister, turn it on, turn it up, and turn me loose." - Dwight Yoakam

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