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HALs considered harmful

HALs considered harmful

Posted Mar 17, 2005 10:27 UTC (Thu) by simlo (guest, #10866)
In reply to: HALs considered harmful by iabervon
Parent article: HALs considered harmful

I think the policy should be to include the driver as it is. Look at is this way:
The vendor supplies the code under GPL. He probably releases the driver in binary form for other OS'es. He shouldn't be bothered about maintaining several version. This way Linux gets the updates as fast as other OSs as well.
When the vendor stops supporting the driver, some user of the device must take over maintaining it. As no more patches comes from the vendor it might be a good idea to remove the HAL at that point. But not before.

I must say I disagree with the policy of not using an HAL - which should be called an OSAL in this context. It minimizes the coupling between the Linux kernel and the driver. Seperating stuff this way is always a good idea. It might hurt performance but the vendor in this case have a clear interrest in fixing that.

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HALs considered harmful

Posted Mar 18, 2005 0:25 UTC (Fri) by bk (guest, #25617) [Link]

The problem is that it's not just one HAL. Potentially dozens of completely different and idiosyncratic HALs could be merged into the tree if it became Linux policy to accept them. This would cause utter chaos a few years down the line when most of them become "end of lifed" and therefore unmaintained and some big destabilizing change in the kernel comes along requiring them all to be retooled in some way.

It's basically impossible (and unfair) to ask a handful of kernel hackers to figure out 20 different HALs and how to modify and/or fix them. The only people that win are the hardware vendors; Linux and all of the community lose in the long run.

HALs considered harmful

Posted Mar 24, 2005 10:02 UTC (Thu) by steven97 (guest, #2702) [Link]

You could put all HAL drivers in a separate drivers directory and call those drivers "unsupported" (and taint the kernel like what happens with binary-only drivers, etc.). And since the driver is GPL'ed, someone motivated can always hack up a non-HAL driver based on the vendor driver. Then, let darwinism do its thing.

IMHO, outright rejecting HAL drivers is just silly, another example of zealotry that does not help Linux in the long run.

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