Storing information about devices as attributes in the relevant areas of the devfs could allow much simpler (and more powerful) access to device specific data.
There are many items of information regarding physical and virtual devices that require specialised APIs for querying. In order to implement this system an additional set of driver hooks could be added to retrieve the data. It has been suggested that using this method, driver complexity and extensibility (regarding PCI IDs) could be improved.
It would be possible, if the required functionality were in place and attributes present, to utilise a kernel enforced naming convention for devfs publication. Eg, "this is a IDE raw disk node, on the 1st bus master device" could be used to create a kernel defined devfs path.
Many applications exist such as,
- Video card frame buffer address
- Manufacturer ID and device string
- Ethernet MAC address
In addition to these examples the use of queries would provide an extremely powerful user interface to the hardware information.