I wonder if there is a comprehensive list of what many of the sysctl values are, both in terms of what the node (by this I mean, say, hw.acpi.verbose) means, and what the values would mean/do?
'sysctl -d -a hw' will give a one-line description for many of the sysctls, and it's not uncommon for manpages to provide more details-- more often for manpages in section 4 and 8, ie, things like device drivers.
'sysctl -a' is not comprehensive since it doesn't include references to kernel options (or modules) which have not been enabled, but it's close. To do better then that, look at the sources under /usr/src/sys.
If this doesn't exist would it be worth creating a website with a list of all these? I've got some spare time in the next couple of days and I could whip something up in PHP that would hopefully do the job.
If doing this would please you, by all means: it would be somewhat useful. :-)
However, you might find that submitting src patches to add descriptions to the rest of the sysctls and/or clarify existing descriptions if they are too short or not informative would be more useful.
Also, you might give a thought to writing this stuff up in DocBook and submitting it to become part of the FreeBSD documentation, rather than rolling your own site. I suspect that people are more likely to help keep "real" docs up-to-date, but YMMV....
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