What "other popular operating systems" are you talking about?
Posted Aug 18, 2011 16:26 UTC (Thu) by khim
In reply to: This is the problem, not a solution...
Parent article: Avoiding the OS abstraction trap
If you are talking about Windows then it's unmitigated disaster: drivers voodoo is huge part of that culture - and it only exist because neither users not hardware vendors can abandon this crazy platform. It's because it has a monopoly and a lot of softwate only work under window - not because it's such a fun to use. Often drivers only work for one particilar version of OS (Windows 98 or XP or whatever), and even then they are huge PITA.
And all other platforms have died for the lack of drivers: such diverse OSes and Solaris, Symbian and many many others were abandoned and replaced with Linux because Linux has the most drivers available.
Think Android: it's brand-new OS and we all know Google does not like GPL - yet it uses Linux, not NetBSD or something like that. Why? Because they needed "bag of drivers" and Linux was the only sane choice.
Or think RIM. They have choosen to switch to QNX. Well, QNX is good OS, but it does use your favored "stable ABI" drivers model... and suprisingly enough this means it does not have as many drivers as Linux and the ones they do have are often worse. This means RIM's hardware selection is limited and that means RIM is already dead: it's question of "when", not question of "if".
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