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Re: Device Drivers

Subject: Re: Device Drivers
From: Thomas Riemer <>
Date: Sun, 20 Dec 1998 23:34:48 -0500 (EST)
In-reply-to: <>
In part this is because there's no proof of concept...
i.e. its sort of the catch-22.  If there hadn't been a working
kernel for linux - then there would be no linux to contribute to...

Since there is no working piece of code that does anything close
to this - however primitive - (aside from the lddk - which looks like
its reached a dead end) - there's nothing to improve...

Its funny how things that look like good ideas require not only
an initial piece of code, but also a single person who is willing
to respond to each contribution - in order to get them jumpstarted.

Its the kind of thing where you find a grad student looking for something
significant to do and you pump him up to do it...

>From what little I've been able to find on UDI - seems like a good idea
without any real backing... the home page

Seems to have no valuable info other than email addresses.  All the
links are broken.

I'm guessing from your reaction that they are approaching the other
direction - i.e. define a spec and then figure out what to do with the
spec.  It probably needs to be something more organic... i.e. you
try to write one simple driver in an abstract fashion, followed by
a second, a third, etc...


Given enough eyeballs all bugs seem shallow.

On Sun, 20 Dec 1998 wrote:

> On Sat, Dec 19, 1998 at 03:22:55PM -0500, Thomas Riemer wrote:
> > I've started working on the sii disk driver for the 2100.
> > 
> > The whole industry of device drivers seem like a bizarre activity to me.
> > Some thought questions:
> > 1. Why does a person have to write a different device driver for each
> >    Unix variant?
> > 2. Why does a person have to reinvent the handling routines for timers,
> >    and interrupt handling?  (Or in my case cut and past from some other
> >    driver)
> > 
> > 3. Wouldn't make a whole lot more sense to write a device
> >    driver generator - where you feed it a configuration file - and it
> >    generates the appropriate C driver code with
> >    the appropriate hardware specific code in the write places...
> >    i.e. be able to build in stats automatically instead of laboring over
> >    it enlessly?  I would think this would amortize efforts on device
> >    drivers to a one time deal?   I would think that netbsd, linux, freebsd
> >    and several other OS's could gain a great deal by having something 
> >    like this....
> > 
> > I'm I just totally crazy in thinking this way?  Is there a forum(i.e.
> > mailing list) that discusses this kind of thing?
> The on ongoing approach in that direction is the UDI project being pushed by
> SCO, HP and others.  They're trying to tackle a real problem but I at least
> technical they're approach is bad.  They've been trying to convice the Linux
> community as well but so far with rather limited success.
>   Ralf

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