Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 1st Mar 2009 17:26 UTC, submitted by kaiwai
Hardware, Embedded Systems Long-time OSNews reader Kaiwai has written down his experiences with his Acer Aspire One, Linux, and Windows. He concludes: "After a hectic few weeks trying to get Linux to work, I am back to square one again - a netbook running Windows XP SP3 as it was provided by Acer when I purchased it. I gave three different distributions a chance to prove themselves. I expected all three distributions to wipe the floor with Windows XP - after all, these are the latest and greatest distributions the Linux world have to offer. There has been at least 7 years since the release of Windows XP for Linux to catch up to Windows XP and from my experience with Linux on this said device - it has failed to step up to the plate when it was needed."
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If someone wanted to try Linux on their Aspire One and they were new to it, how comfortable do you think they're going to be dropping to the command-line to compile a stupid driver? What if the driver doesn't, for some odd reason or unsuspected configuration, compile? Then what, the user is screwed, and you just say "works for me" and tell them to rtfm?

This I do agree with. It's silly how you can't just go and find a precompiled driver but you instead have to compile them all by hand.

Why not implement some rather stable binary API which gets changed only when there is an actual need for that and the kernel version bumps up as a side-effect? That way you could just check that "Oh, my kernel supports drivers compiled for 2.7. Neat, I'll go and download those." No, you have to either use distribution supplied ones or compile the drivers every single time some even the slightest minor thing gets updated.

The "stable binary API" wouldn't even have to have a very large set of functionality, just as long as it'd allow for most simple drivers to get by. And being "stable" doesn't mean it couldn't change. Just not have it change every week just for the heck of changing it.

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