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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.

"remove"???

> 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.

What?

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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