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    SubjectRe: Driver Model 2 Proposal - Linux Kernel Performance v Usability
    On Wed, Sep 03, 2003 at 06:53:01PM +0100, James Clark wrote:
    > Following my initial post yesterday please find attached my proposal for a
    > binary 'plugin' interface:
    > This is not an attempt to have a Microkernel, or any move away from GNU/OSS
    > software. I believe that sometimes the ultimate goals of stability and
    > portability get lost in the debate on OSS and desire to allow anyone to
    > contribute. It is worth remembering that for every Kernel hacker there must
    > be 1000's of plain users. I believe this proposal would lead to better
    > software and more people using it.
    > Proposal
    > -----------
    > 1. Implement binary kernel 'plugin' interface

    And this interface will look like what?
    What is wrong with the current kernel API interface?

    > 2. Over time remove most existing kernel 'drivers' to use new interface - This
    > is NOT a Microkernel.


    > 3. Design 'plugin' interface to be extensible as possible and then rarely
    > remove support from interface. Extending interface is fine but should be done
    > in a considered way to avoid interface bloat. Suggest interface supports
    > dependant 'plugins'
    > 4. Allow 'plugins' to be bypassed at boot - perhaps a minimal 'known good'
    > list
    > 5. Ultimately, even FS 'plugins' could be created although IPL would be
    > required to load these.
    > 6. Code for Kernel, Interface and 'plugins' would still be GPL. This would not
    > prevent the 'tainted' system idea.

    So "drivers" are a third class citizen? They don't need to be under the
    GPL for some reason?

    > Expected Outcomes
    > ------------------------
    > 1. Make Linux easier to use

    How would this help this? The kernel would get bigger somehow, right?

    > 2. The ability to replace even very core Kernel components without a restart.

    We can do that today with modules.

    > 3. Allow faulty 'plugins' to be fixed/replaced in isolation. No other system
    > impact.

    How are you going to isolate parts of the kernel from itself?

    > 4. 'Plugins' could create their own interfaces as load time. This would remove
    > the need to pre-populate /dev.


    Ok, I'm just giving up now.

    But remember, patches are always welcome. Please post your code to
    implement this system if you come up with some.

    Good luck,

    greg k-h
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