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Article:
  Improving Linux Driver Installation
Subject:   A small suggestion
Date:   2004-09-12 23:36:44
From:   vaibhav_khattri
Hi,


I have a small suggestion, which I feel can address the ABI problem.


Why not extend the "Driver on Demand" thing, to include compilation on the fly?


Lets take an example scenario. I have some XYZ device which I plugin into my system. The system doesn't have the required driver. It sends the specification to the "Driver on Demand" site. Besides the device specification, the reuqest also contains the machine and the kernel specification, in all every parameter that is required to compile the driver.
The site only contains the source code of the driver plus details like which platforms and kernel versions its stable.
Based upon the request parameters and the driver specification, the site server automatically directs the source to a pre-configured machine of that type. And then the binary so obtained is sent to the user.
However this scheme places a good amount of load on the server. Their is another scheme in which we can compile on the user site, just like gentoo distribution does. For that we can embed a C/C++ compiler in the kernel, which is tuned according to the kernel configuration.


If the kernel versions and driver specifications do not match we can inform the user of the unavailability.

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  • A small suggestion ?
    2004-09-13 10:09:19  mmarq [View]

    You start from the principle that there is widely available proper documentation to make open source
    device drivers for any piece of hardware out there.

    But AFAIK the contrary is true. Most Open Source drivers, though some are very good, are *guessed* implementations of poor documentation, years or trial and error, and reverse engineered methods... and it has been so for the last 20 years...

    It always has been, IMO, that the biggest mistake of Open Source to force an all open source approach, that has made this divorce with the hardware industry.

    There are already plenty of interfaces, inside Linux kernel, but in colorfull examples,Nvidea and ATI prefer to ignore, and not contribute to the advancement of what is already inside, and make "yet more differente interfaces from on to another, that load their proprietary closed "userland" binary modules.