Subject: Chip vs. card compatability
To: None <>
From: Jan Danielsson <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 04/16/2006 18:43:59
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Hello all,

   Let's say that you're about to buy new hardware for a new computer.
Let's hypothetically say that there's a large system compatibility
database somewhere. Would you prefer that:

   1) The database is "chip" based. I.e. it lets you know that the chip
"XYZ123" (find out which boards use this yourself) works with NetBSD 3.0

   2) The database is "board" based. I.e. it lets you know that the
board "ACME UltraGigaMaxPlus Power MegaFoo" (you can just order it from
an online store) works with NetBSD 3.0.

   3) The database is both "chip" and "baord" based, and contains a
table which associates boards with chips.

   (1) The presence of a driver for a chip is enough to say "supported".
Easier for developers. Not as easy for end users, since sometimes you're
hardly aware of the chip on the stuff you're using/ordering. It also
requires the user to know the specific name and model of the chip.

   (2) It's easier for end users. If I see that "FooMax 2000" works with
NetBSD 3.0, then I just order a "FooMax 2000", regardless of what's on
it. However, I've seen developers say things such as "remember that the
chip XYZ123 has broken LBA48...". If the database is board based, this
kind of information may escape users.

   (3) This is potentially the best of both worlds, since it allows for
warnings such as "The chip XYZ123 has the following bugs...". At the
same time, it allows for someone to locate a good chip, then look for an
appropriate board. But it'll be a pain for users to add entries to the
database since they have to add the chip, then add a board.

Discussions, tips, ideas are welcome.

(No, it's not NetBSD specific).

Kind Regards,
Jan Danielsson
Te audire non possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.

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