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sendmail.net: An Interview with Kirk McKusick [Part Two]Oct 22, 1999, 15:07 (1 Talkback[s])
"One of your ambitions is to merge virtual memory and the filesystem. What would that entail, and what's the reasoning behind it?"
"For various historic reasons, there are really two major interfaces in the kernel. One is the v-node interface, which is the one that allows you to plug multiple filesystems in underneath it. The other one is the object interface. All of your virtual memory spaces are built up from these virtual memory objects. So you fire up a program, and you get an object that represents the executable, and you get one that represents your stack, and one that represents your heap, and when you map in a shared library, you have an object that represents that. So these collections of objects make up the address spaces of things. And some of those objects are backed by what's called anonymous memory. If you have a stack, the first time you look at it, it's zero, and then whatever you put in it after that. Whereas if you map in a shared library, then that's represented by a file, so as you try to access it, the file gets brought in off the disk."
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