Subject: Re: But why?
To: Travis Hassloch x231 <>
From: Elijah L. Wright <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 10/24/1996 22:22:47
At 06:03 PM 10/24/96 -0500,  Travis Hassloch x231 <> wrote:

>I'd like to see a better sharing of ideas between these groups
>-- especially in device drivers -- (email me if you have ideas)
>but as long as people feel it necessary to bash one thing to
>prove theirs is better, or worse yet attack people personally,
>it's not going to speed its acceptance, except in the rare cases
>of people big enough to overlook it.  In fact I think the more one
>bashes the status quo, the more defensive and resistant to
>your change people get, and you're not helping the world anymore.

This is to both the Netbsd tech-kern and linux-kernel@vger lists.  So, all
of the neat people are reading this.

With regard to device drivers, has anyone given any thought to a common
kernel interface for loadable drivers?  I know that both linux and netbsd
support LKM's, but they're all really quite different.  Maybe an interpreter
for a driver in a standard format embedded in the kernel?  Something that
could easily be turned off in a kernel recompile so that no one would lose
the nasty amounts of speed this would take?  Really, if the NetBSD and Linux
communities work together there are lots of good things that can be
accomplished.  I know people get religious about their OS'es, but there is
always a reason for this.  Usually it is something like a preference for
this manner of networking or boot-time configuration, or somesuch.  I have
both types of systems in-house, and they both work great (Linux 1.3.80
Intel, and NetBSD 1.1 Sun3) for almost anything.  Both platforms are really
solid, but could both benefit from technologies controlled by the other one.
For example:  Linux seems to have support for more cards, but NetBSd has
better support for more generic unix things like the ccd (concatenated disk)
driver.  Basically, what I'm saying is that we need to all work together and
get a standard interface.  This might even promote major hardware
manufacturers to start SUPPORTING free unix platforms.  Just think: if they
could write just one driver instead of two then that might prompt the
creation of twice as many drivers!  After all, no one wants to offend anyone....