Stable API Nonsense nonsense
Posted Oct 14, 2006 1:14 UTC (Sat) by i3839
In reply to: Stable API Nonsense nonsense
Parent article: Quote of the week
The alternative to the stable API nonsense is backport hell. If you know anything better then please say so.
So you're basically saying that running a shiny new, potentially buggy driver for your new hardware is acceptable for your mission critical system? And you buy new hardware on a whim too? Doesn't like a mission critical setup to me. Face it: you can't run any new software on your mission critical system. If you get new hardware and a new setup, then you at least need to test that setup for quite a while before changing to it. You probably also run a 2.4 kernel as that's more stable. Only when you're in a situation where you need some newer features which don't exist in older kernels do you need to upgeade to something newer. Bu then you're screwed anyway, as you can't keep your trusted stability anyway.
On one hand you plead for out of tree drivers, on the other hand you say
"But the reality is that third-party drivers work on a pitifully small number of kernels".
Maybe the fact that they are out of tree is the reason why they are supported for such few kernel versions? And you say that instead of merging them with mainline the kernel should keep its API more stable? Somehow that seems the wrong way around.
Instead of getting the new kernel you can also backport the fix for the driver. Or anyone else. But backporting all fixes to all so called stable versions is way too much work, and gets messy after a while. The question is if all the effort spend in doing that can't be better spend on keeping the latest version more stable, or on writing new drivers. And who's going to do all that backporting work.
Also keep in mind that people are trying to improve the kernel, they aren't just fiddling with it just for the heck of it. You'd want all the bugfixes, and the new features you need. The new features you don't need you don't have to use, so they won't cause instability. Only thing left are general improvements which might cause instability in the short term. But if your kernel panics because of that or because of a bug in a new driver doesn't really matter, does it?
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