Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 29th Nov 2008 21:22 UTC
Linux Even though there are a lot of happy people using Apple's iPhone very happily, there's also a group of people who are not so happy, most likely because of Apple's rather strict policies regarding applications and developers. While most of these people would just jailbreak the thing, some take it a step further - by installing another operating system. Yes, Linux now runs on the iPhone (1st gen/2nd gen, and the 1st gen iPod Touch).
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RE[3]: Wha?
by CrLf on Sun 30th Nov 2008 21:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wha?"
CrLf
Member since:
2006-01-03

Maybe some kernel developers do want to prevent binary drivers for ideological reasons, but for the vast majority that's just a (welcome) side-effect.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to maintain a stable ABI? It isn't only the case of avoiding changes to the interfaces (API), it is a full time job of making sure unrelated changes don't change symbols around thus breaking it.

So, on one hand they would be restrained in how much they can change the kernel insides to accomodate new features, fix bugs, increase performance or just plain refactoring to make the whole thing better. On another hand, someone would have to police the entire thing to make sure nothing breaks. All this while keeping the whole environment interesting enough to attract contributions. One cannot have the cake and eat it too.

There's an interesting paper from Ulrich Drepper about maintaining ABI stability for shared librares which should be read before making claims about ABI stability *inside* the kernel, which is harder.

http://people.redhat.com/drepper/dsohowto.pdf

Edited 2008-11-30 21:46 UTC

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