The Novell Partner Linux Driver Process
Posted May 18, 2006 6:52 UTC (Thu) by pimlott
Parent article: The Novell Partner Linux Driver Process
Unless I misunderstand the current situation, the best service Novell could provide would be to maintain backports of the current kernel API to older kernels. I've heard that many experienced driver maintainers do this themselves--create a translation layer so that they can write to the latest and greatest API (for submission to the mainline), but still build on older kernels (possibly with loss of functions that those kernels don't support). There is no central maintenance of these translation shims, though, so everyone hacks up his own. If Novell took this over, they could tell their hardware partners, "write to the current API and you'll get earlier kernels for free (and for Novell kernels, we guarantee it will work)"--freeing them from the ifdef hell that supporting many API revisions usually entails.
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