Versioned APIs in the kernel?
Posted Sep 10, 2007 6:49 UTC (Mon) by michaeljt
In reply to: Versioned APIs in the kernel?
Parent article: LCE: Linux, hardware vendors, and enterprise distributors
Seems reasonably feasible to me :) However it seams to be something which the kernel developers clearly do not want to have, and since it is their kernel, they take the decisions - short of someone forking the kernel.
My idea was more a mechanism through which people could - if they liked - provide compatibility APIs when the main ones changed. Something which they would then be responsible for themselves, albeit inside the kernel, and which would be an opt-in feature at compile-time. Regression testing is definitely necessary in this case, as the kernel APIs are not so clearly defined that you can tell without testing whether something has changed or not. And the suite is whatever you wish to support.
No, I do not like the common FOSS idea that "the source code is the specification" either, at least not for anything approaching public interfaces, as it makes it much more difficult to write clean code, and much more code ends up being of the "works for me" kind. But as I said, it is not my decision, and I recognise that the work the kernel maintainers do gives them (and the people who pay them :) ) the right to lay down the rules.
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