How much API should the kernel export?
Posted Jul 13, 2006 3:18 UTC (Thu) by felixfix
Parent article: initramfs and where user space truly begins
That's what it comes down to. It has always exported a system call interface. Way back when, kernels didn't have these new fangled /proc and /sys interfaces, but they always had /dev.
An extreme case of exportitis is a micro kernel which exports everything and has almost no internal code.
Somewhere in between is the holy grail (to some) and mark of the beast (to others) of an interface stable enough to allow binary modules whose lifetimes span an entire kernel major series.
I wouldn't mind these kind of stable interfaces IFF they came with the understanding that anything using them would run several times slower and have fewer features than a native driver. But my experience has been that those who would agree with that today would complain tomorrow of being second class kernel outsiders. They would point fingers at every subsequent minor release which increased the incompatibility and made the universal drivers ever more distant and klugey, and be a real drag on development, trying to hold back good changes for their own selfish interests.
I wonder how long before this particular development, and others to follow, take that same path.
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