[linux-audio-dev] Getting out of the software game

Fernando Lopez-Lezcano nando at ccrma.Stanford.EDU
Thu Mar 15 21:04:01 UTC 2007

On Wed, 2007-03-14 at 10:21 -0400, Lee Revell wrote:
> On 3/14/07, Paul Davis <paul at linuxaudiosystems.com> wrote:
> > On Wed, 2007-03-14 at 08:56 -0400, Paul Coccoli wrote:
> >
> > > Besides, what you want is probably impossible.  You can't have
> > > pre-comiled, binary-only drivers *and* a custom kernel.
> >
> > in theory, you certainly can. but the kernel development team, and linus
> > in particular, are not interested in an engineering effort/long term
> > approach that makes this feasible. if you define a stable driver binary
> > interface, you can change the kernel out around it and drivers keep
> > working. linus has made it clear that he sees no reason to do this, and
> > is perhaps even opposed to it for some possibly sound engineering
> > arguments (though that is open to debate).
> Binary drivers make the kernel impossible to debug, and if the kernel
> devs created such a DBI, vendors would stop releasing open source
> drivers and pretty soon Linux would be no more stable than Windows.
> Why should Linux sacrifice stability just so vendors can keep their
> hardware interfaces secret?

I think the "engineering argument" also goes in the direction that
creating a stable binary interface would preclude big changes in the way
the kernel works internally once it is in place, (ie: keeping backwards
compatibility with it would hinder progress). 

-- Fernando

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