Linked by Nth_Man on Mon 1st Jul 2013 15:37 UTC
Linux "This release adds support for bcache, which allows to use SSD devices to cache data from other block devices; a Btrfs format improvement that makes the tree dedicated to store extent information 30-35% smaller; support for XFS metadata checksums and self-describing metadata, timer free multitasking for applications running alone in a CPU, SysV IPC and rwlock scalability improvements, the TCP Tail loss probe algorithm that reduces tail latency of short transactions, KVM virtualization support in the MIPS architecture, many new drivers and small improvements."
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lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

Freedom software doesn't require a stable ABI.


Correct. If you write a graphics card driver to a stable API as freedom software, then your driver can become part of the kernel source tree, and so it will be automatically re-compiled, packaged and shipped with every new kernel release. It therefore doesn't require a stable ABI.

http://www.linuxdriverproject.org/mediawiki/index.php/Main_Page#Abo...

In fact, as a device maker, you don't even have to write your own Linux driver. The Linux Driver Project developers will happily write one for you:

"We are a group of Linux kernel developers (over 400 strong) that develop and maintain Linux kernel drivers. We work with the manufacturers of the specific device to specify, develop, submit to the main kernel, and maintain the kernel drivers. We are willing and able to sign NDAs with companies if they wish to keep their specifications closed, as long as we are able to create a proper GPLv2 compliant Linux kernel driver as an end result. "

Edited 2013-07-05 09:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

The original quote we were talking generally about Software Engineering. So don't try to twist it. You statement there is pretty idiotic to say the least. I find it flabbergasting that anyone that claims to do development would hold such an opinion.

Back to kernel interfaces.

Also some companies like to keep ownership of their code base to ensure quality, rather than relying on a 3rd party on the dubious guarantee that it would be supported.

While there are a lot of drivers supported, I am willing to bet quite a few aren't fully featured drivers. There is no guarantee that their driver will be fully featured or continue to be so once they release ownership of the code base.

None of what you say addresses these concerns. The reasons for having a Stable API/ABI are far more complicated (and some of these are human factors) than you are willing to admit or realise.

Your blinkered logic is simply incompatible with reality.

Edited 2013-07-05 09:53 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

There is no guarantee that their driver will be fully featured or continue to be so once they release ownership of the code base.


If they don't write the driver, but merely give specifications to the Linux Driver Project (under an NDA if they wish), then they don't ever "release ownership of the code base", because it isn't their codebase. The code belongs to its authors, who in this case would be the Linux Driver Project. In the case of the Radeon graphics driver for Linux, some of the code is AMD/ATI code but some of it is Xorg code. Xorg maintain the codebase.

The Linux Driver Project would of course be as keen as mustard to write as "fully featured" code as is possible according to the specifications they receive. Manufacturers who want their devices to have a decent "fully featured" Linux driver, with no effort on their part, will of course be as keen as mustard to give the Linux driver developers all the specification details they need. As far as "continue to be so" goes, once the code is written it is written. As long as the device specifications don't change it would be insanity to remove functionality from the already-written driver.

None of what you say addresses these concerns. The reasons for having a Stable API/ABI are far more complicated (and some of these are human factors) than you are willing to admit or realise.


I concur about a stable API, that unarguably is a good thing. With a stable API, one has no need to keep amending the source code.

Freedom software has no need for a stable ABI, however. With freedom software, one continuously re-compiles it and re-releases it with every new version of any code it links with anyway.

Edited 2013-07-05 10:20 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2