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Re: APIs and compatibility

From: olafBuddenhagen
Subject: Re: APIs and compatibility
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2008 10:09:17 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)


On Sun, Aug 31, 2008 at 11:55:27AM +0200, Neal H. Walfield wrote:

> Although custom drivers offer the best potenial quality, writing new
> drivers for all hardware is impractical.  So there must be some reuse.
> However, some reuse does not imply that all drivers must be reused.
> That is, very common hardware or essential hardware can be provided by
> native drivers and the rest by way of reuse.

> Assuming that the system is so far that the limiting factor is
> drivers, I think the best approach is to reuse Linux as a whole:
> porting drivers is just too hairy.  Between the afterburner approach
> and the Xen approach, I would go with the latter.  From a practical
> perspective, Xen has the major advantage that it is commercially
> maintained and provides a relatively stable API.

Xen has a major disadvantage, though: It needs a hypervisor running
*below* the operating system. This makes system startup and setup quite
complicated... I'm not sure whether it would be possible to do all the
setup automatically so the user is not bothered by it.

As for mixed native/foreign drivers, I don't see how this would work
with the approach of running Linux as a whole. If we want any native
drivers, this means we need native bus drivers. But Linux will use its
own bus drivers. How would you prevent conflicts here?


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