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SubjectRe: 2.3.51 tulip broken
Jeff Garzik wrote:
> No one expects anything from you and has not for a long time. If you
> wanted to actually WORK on the drivers, rather than just complain,
> then I'm sure many people including myself would find that work
> very valuable.

Whoa. I think you should simmer down quite a bit right now.

If you've followed the tulip driver development at all, you would know
the reasons that the kernel drivers and some of Donald's ethernet
drivers have "diverged". I have to side with Donald on a lot of the
reasons too. Basically, if he is writing a driver, and want to maintain
using a specific structure, that should be his perogative. And I feel
that he ought to be able to send something like a complete copy of
tulip.c, rather than small incremental patches, if he wants too. In
this case, it is Linus who insists on small, incremental patch
submission - and that isn't how Donald is setup to work.

Think of it this way: it comes down to semantics. Are drivers like
tulip.c standalone development projects, or kernel development? I know
you will probably say kernel. But in reality, with the use of modules,
that is not necessarily true. The driver runs as a kernel task - but
doesn't really have to be part of the kernel source tree, when you get
down to it.

In most operating systems, including Linux, it is common for hardware
vendors to supply a set of drivers on disk. You then load this driver
on the running system to get your hardware to work. Think of the
drivers on CESDIS along those lines, and maybe you'll get the picture.
I.e. a device driver can be considered a separate peice of software that
you load on the system, and not an integral part of the kernel.
Including them with the kernel source is a convenience for the end user.

When you get down to it, the Linux source tree is so darned big these
days because of all the esoteric device driver support. In some ways it
would be nice if there were two trees: a kernel tree, and a device
driver tree! ;-)

> I never claimed to be perfect but at least I am trying to fix some
> of the the bit-rotten, UNMAINTAINED net driver code currently in
> the kernel.

Again - those drivers in the kernel had been modified and patched by
various people over the years, via patches sent in to Linus. However,
those patches were never sent in to Donald - the maintainer of the
original driver. What do you expect him to do? I.e. he's chugging a
long on developing a handy-dandy new version of tulip.c or whatever, and
the one in the released kernel diverges from it because of patches he
doesn't know about.... is he supposed to reverse engineer his own
device driver, to get up to date?


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