"We want more drivers, no matter how 'obscure' [...]"
Posted Apr 20, 2007 21:56 UTC (Fri) by filker0
In reply to: "We want more drivers, no matter how 'obscure' [...]"
Parent article: ELC: The embedded Linux nightmare
I worked on a project as a contractor that used a kernel 2.6.10 distribution obtained through Timesys on a PPC440GX. Because of the process at the company the work was done for, and the industry standards at work, we ended up unable to change the kernel version as new kernels came out as we would have had to start from scratch on the approval process for the kernel for each upgrade. The kernel release will never change for the life of the product, though it may be patched, and the application software updated. There is only one customer for the product. The hardware is unique to the platform, and any new version of the platform will use different hardware that would not be compatible with the drivers.
Because of the above, it was decided not to attempt to mainstream the drivers that we wrote. Having the community maintain the drivers for us would be nice, but how is anyone going to test them without the custom ASICs and FPGAs that they control?
I believe that it is for reasons like the above that many embedded developers don't try to put their stuff back in the kernel -- they end up using out-of-date kernel versions, they don't update the kernel version for the life of the product, and the hardware is custom and unique to the particular "box".
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