Truly Free drivers could use a stable API too
Posted Nov 10, 2005 9:06 UTC (Thu) by khim
In reply to: Truly Free drivers could use a stable API too
Parent article: On binary drivers and stable interfaces
You can shorten your tirade to this:
1) New hardware comes out, and it has a driver which has been included into the kernel... versions 2.6.16 and onward, anyways.
2) User is screwed.
Why ? Easy: it's common practice to only support "certified hardware" - and I fail to see why it's so much easier for vendor to certify some alien driver then it is to certify 2.6.16 (or to backport driver to vendor-patched 2.4.14).
This is not a hoax, you know, this is from server on our work:
$ uname -a
Linux mccme.ru 2.6.14 #1 PREEMPT Sat Nov 5 00:00:31 MSK 2005 i686 unknown
$ cat /etc/redhat-release
Red Hat Linux release 6.2 (Zoot)
I fail to see the need to separate drivers and kernel. Supported drivers - are included in kernel, the way to get new drivers is to install new version of kernel. All other drivers are unsupported and experimental - use on your own risk, but YMMV. 3 years is clearly not enough (system discussed above was installed back in 1997 and while moved two times from one hardware set to another is still in active use). Interfaces between kernel and userspace are stable enough, in-kernel interfaces are in constant flux. This is how it always was, why should we change this ?
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