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SubjectRe: Driver Model 2 Proposal - Linux Kernel Performance v Usability
On Thu, 4 Sep 2003, James Clark wrote:

> Thank you for this (and the few other) sensible appraisal of my 'proposal'.
> I'm very surprised by the number of posts that have ranted about Open/Close
> source, GPL/taint issues etc. This is not about source code it is about
> making Linux usable by the masses. It may be technically superior to follow
> the current model, but if the barrier to entry is very high (and it is!) then
> the project will continue to be a niche project. A binary model doesn't alter
> the community or the benefits of public source code. I agree that it is an
> extra interface and will carry a performance hit - I think this is worth it.
> Windows has many faults but drivers are often compatible across major
> releases and VERY compatible across minor releases. It is no accident that it
> has 90% of the desktop market. If we are going to improve this situation this
> issue MUST be confronted.
> I am currently collating the arguments for and (mostly) against the idea. If I
> don't get flamed in the meantime I may come back with more...
> James

The problem with Windows users is not that they are
stupid or even uneducated. It's just that they have been
taught that using a widely-used operating system that
is defective in design and implementation is the way
that operating systems should be.

They have been taught that bugs are normal. "Every program
has bugs. It is impossible to check all possible execution
paths to verify that there are no bugs, etc." This kind
of teaching comes about when the teachers know little or
nothing about their subjects and simply parrot what they
have read in literature that, in many cases, has been written
by the very persons who are incapable of writing bug-free code.

They have been taught that the secret inner workings of
the kernel are best treated like the objects of an object-
oriented design. In fact, they are taught that it's
harmful for a programmer, much less a user, to understand
the underlying workings of the operating system. This
is taught because Microsoft doesn't want you to know what
an abysmal abortion the operating system is.

Before Microsoft, nobody would dare sell a product that
contained no warranty at all. Somehow, Microsoft has taught
its customers that they should never expect software to
actually work. Somehow, their lawyers have replaced the
usual; "We warrant this product to be free of defects in
workmanship and design for a period ..." to a disclaimer
that many persons think is some kind of a warranty. In
most cases, you can't even take a defective CD, defective
because it can't be read, back to the vendor without
encountering; "On it's software. Nobody warrants that!"

You can thank Microsoft for this.

There have been billions and billions of dollars of
lost productivity in industry because of this defective
Operating System. In one company alone, there was
over one million dollars lost last year to defective
software. You can look at the financial filings of
many of the publically-traded companies and see write-
offs due to defective software in this order of magnitude.
Multiply that by the number of companies in the world to
get the big picture.

And, somehow, companies still keep using that garbage!

Linux is something different. It strives for perfection.
There is no way in hell that you are going to add some
Microsoft-compatible driver interface to Linux. There
are no drivers that could ever work on Windows and
somehow work on Linux. These two systems are mutually
exclusive, Alpha-Omega, 0->inf, good-evil, absolutely the
antithesis of each other. I hear that's why Microsoft is
attempting to kill Linux by funding the SCO lawsuit (check
this week's EETimes, I didn't make it up).

Now, you propose to introduce a driver interface that is
defective in concept. You propose this because you just
don't get it. You just don't know anything about Operating
Systems and you just don't know anything about Linux.

It may not be your fault. There are lots of people who
haven't a clue because they have been taught things that
are simply not true at all. And, once you repeat a falsehood
enough times it becomes accepted as fact.

Before you can become qualified to propose a different
driver interface, you need to learn about Operating Systems.
I know that you do not know anything about Operating Systems
in general, because of your proposal.

I suggest that you read a book like "Developing Your Own
32-bit Operating System", Burges, H.W.Sams, ISBN 0-627-30655-7
This is an interesting book because it is not about Windows
and it's not about Linux. It's about a roll-your-own Operating
System. It even comes with a CD and you can boot a home-grown
system on your PC.

Now, I don't care if you studied Operating Systems in College.
In fact, that just might be the reason why you don't know what
you are talking about. Most such college courses in this subject
are absolute crap, written by Masters candidates who learned
a bunch of words and coined a few of their own.

After you learn about Operating Systems, then you might be able
to add some new capability to Linux. You know, they accept patches
here. If you've got a better way, you make a patch and we'll all
try it. It's really that simple.

Dick Johnson
Penguin : Linux version 2.4.22 on an i686 machine (794.73 BogoMips).
Note 96.31% of all statistics are fiction.

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