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    SubjectRe: 2.4.13-pre6 breaks Nvidia's kernel module
    On Mon, Oct 22, 2001 at 09:43:24PM -0400, Michael H. Warfield wrote:
    > Really? Sure as hell hasn't been my experience. Oh! That only
    > works with Windows 95! Ok, now you can get the driver to support Windows
    > 98 but it won't support Windows NT (got one RIGHT NOW like that). Oops,
    > you upgraded to Windows 2000, can't support that with that driver, we
    > don't have a driver for that yet. Windows XP, sorry, we don't have the
    > Windows XP certified driver, yet, try back in a few months.

    > Think that's a joke? I think it's pathetic and it is EXACTLY
    > what I have experienced with multimedia cards, scanners, and printers.

    > Why would Windows XP break all the non-MS Windows 2000 drivers
    > (don't you dare tell me it didn't, I work at a place that got slammed by
    > their shit). Why would things that work on Windows 98 (Delorme Eartha
    > DVD) not work on Windows NT or Windows 2000. The Windows mess is a swamp
    > out there of what drivers work with what version (some don't even work
    > between the original editions and updated editions - Windows 95 had
    > three editions that I have in hand).

    Hmm...where did I say once that the user upgraded their version of windows?
    Note, I said windows 'update', not windows 'upgrade'. Theoretically, based off
    the whole "odd", "even", "stable", "unstable" numbering system that was given,
    Kernel 2.4.x should be one 'version', and should not randomly break
    programs/drivers during it's 'completely bugfix' development? I wonder how much
    more driver support we might see under Linux if it didn't break compatability
    with existing drivers so much...

    It could be said that at least windows has a somewhat "stable" (in the sense
    that it doesn't change very often) driver API, something that Linux apparently
    lacks currently. Stability comes from a lack of feature creep, and that's
    something that Linux doesn't have currently.

    It seems as if a user is forced to upgrade to a newer minor 'kernel revision'
    often to gain hardware support even though other things may break because
    interfaces may have changed. Compare this to windows, where the "Windows 98"
    driver API changed very little (AFAIK) and it was pretty much guranteed that no
    matter how many times a user "updated" his copy of Windows 98 (note that I did
    not say NT) with service packs and or other fixes to his system his drivers
    would still work, and where a user can often obtain updated device support
    simply by upgrading his drivers instead of upgrading his core operating system.
    Contrast this with Linux where the 'helter skelter, we can break stuff because
    we know better' attitude, and you begin to see why so many companies might not
    be intereseted in supporting Linux at all.

    It seems as if the very model of the kernel precludes a vendor's ability to
    produce a driver and have it work with almost the entire series of a particular
    kernel 'release', such as 2.4, contrast this with windows where often a specific
    driver may work for the entire period of that particular release...

    I am advocating Windows? Hardly. What I am advocating is a little bit more
    sanity. The OS should not break compatability with existing drivers so often for
    a 'stable' release. I know that i'm not the only one here that is quite tired of
    upgrading to newer versions of the kernel to fix some bugs, only to receive a
    plethora of mind boggling hardware crashing others and to find that suddenly
    their drivers don't work correctly any more. We've seen arguments over the
    'stable' release series regarding the VM code, I won't even go there, but I
    think it proves that I'm not the only one that finds "2.4.x's" tendency to break
    things and pay for them later more than annoying...

    Now of course, there is nothing here to say that the kernel has in any way
    broken support with the NVidia driver, obviously this discussion is far beyond
    that point, and it is rather irrelevant. I believe my above discussion is the
    real root of the matter, and the NVidia driver is only an example of the real
    issue. It's very possible that something else broke the driver for this user and
    without the proper test data reported by the user (which was admittedly rather
    sparse to begin with) very little debugging can be done and very little help can
    be given...

    This of course comes from my somewhat limited experience in the software
    development business market, and as always YMMV...
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