Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 29th Jul 2005 19:02 UTC, submitted by diegocg
Linux Every year most Linux hackers attend a conference where they talk about all those topics only kernel hackers talk about. Papers of all the talks are now available, with a wide range of topics: NTPL, XEN, page cache performance, I/O scheduling, future ext3 development, VM, and more. Also, as every year, LWN's excellent kernel summit coverage is now freely available.
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RE: drivers & usefull cooperation
by butters on Fri 29th Jul 2005 22:45 UTC in reply to "drivers & usefull cooperation"
butters
Member since:
2005-07-08

The problems that 3rd parties have supporting Linux support include:

Supporting multiple kernel versions and/or patchsets
Supporting slowly maturing kernel subsystems
Firmware and associated GPL issues
Features that should not have to be driver-specific, i.e. handling failover
Driver certification vs. community control
Corporate code review process lags kernel development
Varying coding conventions/quality particularly wrt embedded devices

The "shining example" noted, the nVidia graphics driver, is an exception to the rule. Normally the kernel maintainers do not allow binary kernel modules. For one thing, Linus has always rejected the idea of a stable ABI (note: he doesn't necessary reject the idea of stable APIs in theory, only in practice ;) , so it is up to nVidia to fix its driver when the kernel breaks its ABI.

The problem with OSS drivers is that for a lot of hardware vendors, releasing driver source code is not harmonious with their business model. At the kernel summit QLogic mentioned that Linux deployments represent a "double-digit" percentage of their sales, so I think that market share and reluctance to open source code are related.

I think a central theme to 3rd party Linux support is the rapid pace of development. The Linux model says: develop rapidly, release often. Most other models say: develop as the market demands, release no more than twice per year. Linux represents a moving target in many ways.

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