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SubjectRe: Binary drivers
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  "Kendall Bennett" <KendallB@scitechsoft.com> writes:

> > And, yes, there will be obvious performance hits in some cases,
> > but thats exactly WHY Linus and Alan don't support binary drivers
> > now. If they do that, the kernel API's get frozen and they lose the
> > ability to innovate.
>
> Wrong. You will only get a performance hit *if* there has been a
> change to the internal kernel API's that necessitate a compatibility
> layer to be implemented so the old drivers can still be used. This
> doesn't mean that a performance hit is necessary for all drivers.

I don't think so. Implementing a binary compatible API usually requires a
level of indirection that makes optimizations like inlining impossible.

> This is what developed OS'es in the real world is all about. Every
> commercial OS on the planet does things this way because that is the
> only way to guarantee reliability down the track. Alan can complain
> about the stability of Windows 9x being attributed to binary drivers,
> but the same argument does not hold true for Windows NT, OS/2,
> Solaris, Netware, QNX, BeOS, MacOS or any other commercial OS. Fact
> is they all use binary device drivers, and many of them are a lot
> more stable than Linux is.

.... and a _lot_ slower on the same hardware.
--
tim writer <tim@starnix.com> starnix inc.
tollfree: 1-87-pro-linux brampton, ontario, canada
http://www.starnix.com professional linux services & products

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