"It's time to sanitize prototypes of bdev ->open(), ->release() and ->ioctl()," Al Viro began in an RFC posted to the Linux Kernel mailing list, "this stuff had sat in 'need to fix' for a long time and there is a bunch of bugs hard to fix without dealing with it." Following a detailed explanation of how he intends to meet this goal, he added, "[the] resulting APIs will be a lot saner and [the] entire thing is reasonably easy to split into bisect-friendly chunks. It is an API breaker, of course, but we don't have a lot of affected modules and anything not converted will be (a) immediately caught by gcc and (b) trivial to convert."
Linux creator Linus Torvalds responded favorably to the proposal, "from your description, I have no objections - everything sounds good. My only concern is how painful the patch ends up being (and a worry about whether this will affect a metric truck-load of external modules? That said, I can't really see us worrying about those)". Al noted that he would begin with a series of preparatory patches, "I have the beginning of that series done and the rest mapped out in enough detail to implement it over this week. If somebody has objections, questions or comments - yell."