Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 22nd Jul 2007 00:33 UTC, submitted by liquidat
Linux Linus Torvalds included patches into the mainline tree which implement a stable userspace driver API into the Linux kernel. The stable driver API was already announced a year ago by Greg Kroah-Hartman. Now the last patches were uploaded and the API was included in Linus' tree. The idea of the API is to make life easier for driver developers: "This interface allows the ability to write the majority of a driver in userspace with only a very small shell of a driver in the kernel itself. It uses a char device and sysfs to interact with a userspace process to process interrupts and control memory accesses."
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RE[2]: I wonder...
by baadger on Sun 22nd Jul 2007 11:40 UTC in reply to "RE: I wonder..."
baadger
Member since:
2006-08-29

As you know, the idea behind a fluid internal API as well as a high frequency release cycle is to make the kernel more agile and see it provide support current technology more quickly.

Initially the result is the lack of a nice clean interfaces and a higher barrier for those trying to get into kernel development (lack of documentation) but it certainly doesn't result in the loss of generic device layers.

As examples look at the new wireless stack (that admittedly we have yet to see a lot of drivers mvoe over too) and libata. Both are good examples of convergence of code and functionality in the kernel. These layers just take time to emerge and are introduced into mature areas of the kernel, there's really no point developing such a layer if over the next X years a whole new class of related devices are going to come along and you haven't foreseen them in your design.

I put you to what is worse: a little continuous effort by driver developers to keep up or developers writing hacks to shoehorn their 2007 hardware into an API that was designed in 2001 (think Windows XP)?

Isn't it true that most wireless drivers for XP have had to implement the majority of their own wireless stack?

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