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SubjectRe: Portable binary drivers (was Re: Linux headed for disaster?) (Kendall Bennett) writes:

>So the mandate of the Linux kernel developers is to produce the
>fastest and lowest overhead kernel regardless of whether that affects


>future compatibility or not? Surely it is important that existing
>device drivers will work with new kernel revisions?

No. At least twice there were fundamental changes in the Linux kernel
architecture and most if not even all drivers broke. They were fixed
over time but some kernel releases (2.1.x and 2.3.x) had a definitive
"do not enter without mop and bucket" written all over them.

You still seem to have not understood why there is a Linux Kernel
Project, what it is for and who should benefit from it.


- Because there are some people who want to hack in an *ix Kernel.
- For fun.
- Noone cares.

You're still asking the wrong questions. Linux and the Linux development
people didn't ran around and asked for fame and commercial success. Fame
and commercial success came to Linux *BECAUSE* of the way Linux kernel
and software development works. Not the other way round.

I just don't remember the leading penguin posting:

"Hey, I've started to write an OS which will be in some years be POSIX
compliant, giving Microsoft, SUN and SGI sleepless nights and will be
one of the few OSes in the market place with rising server
numbers. Come all and join in."

If you want to play here, there are rules. You can't apply the rules
of other games (... they all support binary compatibility ...) just
because no one cares for your rules. If you don't like the rules for
software development in the Linux kernel, go away.

>This is happening in XFree86, and XFree86 allows for binary portable
>modules. Hence supporting binary portable modules does not mean that
>people are going to suddenly stop writing Open Source device drivers.

Yes they will. Remember i740 XFree Server and so on?

If you want binary compatibility, I would suggest that you build
against the few widespread Linux distributions (RedHat, debian, SuSE,
Caldera, Mandrake, oh jeez, looks like you need lots of download
space... ;-) ) and whenever they release a new official kernel
package, you release a new binary compatible driver. Messy but that's
how Windows and OS/2 drivers work, too. The only difference is that
you get a new Windows Kernel only once every four to six years...


Dipl.-Inf. (Univ.) Henning P. Schmiedehausen --
TANSTAAFL! Consulting - Unix, Internet, Security

Hutweide 15 Fon.: 09131 / 50654-0 "There ain't no such
D-91054 Buckenhof Fax.: 09131 / 50654-20 thing as a free Linux"

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