"We want more drivers, no matter how 'obscure' [...]"
Posted Apr 21, 2007 12:52 UTC (Sat) by farnz
In reply to: "We want more drivers, no matter how 'obscure' [...]"
Parent article: ELC: The embedded Linux nightmare
And, unfortunately, your employer missed the gain from mainstreaming the
drivers. The community obviously can't test the drivers for you, but
there have been changes to the kernel that might result in your drivers
needing janitorial-grade changes (the change of the argument list for
interrupt handlers, as one example - LWN maintains a list of
changes). These changes will be made by the community for you if the
driver is mainstreamed.
While the changes will only be compile tested, if your employer
decides to make the jump from 2.6.10 to 2.6.20 (for example), they'll
find that the drivers at least compile, and don't break the kernel. This
reduces the porting load; instead of having to find out what's changed,
update your drivers, get them building, test them and debug them, you're
down to just testing the drivers, and debugging them as needeed. Further,
you can use git to look at what's been done to your drivers, and
thus have a good chance of spotting cases where someone's misunderstood
what the hardware does as they clean up the drive.
It's a difficult way of thinking to come to from a proprietary world;
what other "upstreams" will maintain code they cannot test in a building
and theoretically working fashion?
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