After a long pause, a new set of IDE patches has found its way into Linus's
pre-2.5.63 BitKeeper tree. Most of these patches have been around for a
while (in the 2.4-ac tree), but Alan Cox has not felt that 2.5.x was stable
enough to attempt new IDE work. Now that things are working a little
better, the patches are flowing again.
The new generation of IDE changes is rather more restrained than last
year's "cleanup" effort. Changes that have gone in this time around
include cleaning out some old data structures that were either unused or
did not suit the purpose to which they were being put. Some improved
locking has been put in place, and the handling of missing drives
(i.e. PCMCIA drives which are removed by the user) has been improved -
though work remains to be done in that area. There is also a new
ide_execute_command() function which is meant to be the way
commands are passed down to drives in the future. For now, though, it is
only used for CD drives ("As with 2.4 I want it to
run for a bit on read only media first.")
The IDE work is one of the more prominent entries remaining on the "todo"
list for 2.5. Given the need to proceed slowly (it really is no fun
to ship a kernel with broken IDE), this work may take some time yet. So
it's good to see the patches finding their way into Linus's tree again.
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