Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3605 mails)

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Re: [SLE] Re: And another 10.1 showstopper
  • From: "Peter Van Lone" <petervl@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 1 Jun 2006 22:49:41 -0500
  • Message-id: <68b791330606012049j3cdf6e4dm628d2d1e984f41ff@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On 6/1/06, Rajko M <rmatov101@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
<snip>

Vendors can write drivers that will run in user space like X server. Why
is good to have drivers in user space is explained here:
http://lwn.net/Articles/66829/

The key, I think from the article linked above, is:

"Getting a user-space driver patch into the kernel could be an
interesting challenge. Many kernel hackers, certainly, resist changes
that look like they are pushing Linux toward something that looks like
a microkernel architecture - or which might legitimize binary-only
drivers. On the other hand, some drivers bring a great deal of baggage
into the kernel with them which might be better kept in user space;
think of some of the code required by some sound drivers or the
modulation software needed by "linmodem" drivers. The ability to run
these drivers in user space could be a nice thing to have."

The question becomes, where is the leadership on how "linux" is going
to handle this? The "community" needs to resolve the issue in such a
way that the bulk of "kernel hackers" can feel comfortable AND we
"users" can have easy access to a stable of stable device drivers that
keep pace with developments in new hardware.

A distro that wants to lead, needs to define the solution to this
problem, lead an open discussion about the proposed solution, and then
be able to present a compelling enough case that sufficient
quantities of device makers AND kernel hackers take up the solution.

Perhaps this is what Novell is attempting to do with the device driver
initiative that they announced. If so ... very good. But, in the mean
time, they have failed to articulate the larger strategy, such that
"we" know WHY they are pulling proprietary code, and HOW they plan to
make it better down the road. Additionally, if they are going to pull
proprietary code for well-used devices, then they SHOULD go out of
their way to publish "how to's" that make the "in the meantime" tasks
as easy as possible for the largest numbers of people.

It only makes sense ... and that is leadership. So, at this point, it
appears to me that Novell has shown 1/3 of the effort of leadership :

1)putting out a process that could pave the road for easier
development, but have failed the other 2/3:

2)making a convincing case to the "kernel hackers" and other distros
and hardware makers -- basically they have not created the public
aliances that are required, and
3)they have failed to communicate effectively to the broader market
(us) regarding the direction and have failed to "make it easy" to
suffer the transition

Peter

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