Flexible Naming

Open Firmware was designed for adaptability. Its notation and structure for naming particular devices is based on a hierarchical device tree that mimics the bus configuration and physical addressing of the machine on which it is being used. This structure applies equally well to simple single-bus desktop machines and to "back room" servers with multiple processors and complicated hierarchies of interconnected buses. The "name space" for individual device names was designed so that no central authority is needed for "allocating" names - companies can design their products without appealing to a "master name arbiter".

The Open Firmware command language is open-ended. In addition to the standard commands that are present on all implementations, an arbitrary number of new commands may be added at any time, even by the user. Such additional commands may provide access to system-specific features, or may simply be customizations for the needs and tastes of individual users.

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Last Modified: October 27, 1997