Re: GGI, EGCS/PGCC, Kernel source

Jim Ursetto (
Fri, 27 Feb 1998 12:40:49 -0600

At 02:37 PM on 1998 February 27, Jes Degn Soerensen did write:
> >>>>> "Nathan" == Nathan Uno <> writes:
> Nathan> I'm not sure I see a way around having sources in the kernel
> Nathan> tree. Either you support a piece of graphics hardware, or you
> Nathan> don't. If linux wants to support graphics hardware, the
> Nathan> drivers have to be in the kernel tree. Is that a bad thing?
> Nathan> If it is, then adding hardware support to the kernel is ALWAYS
> Nathan> a bad thing. I know of very few pieces of hardware that
> Nathan> EVERYONE wants to use. Your logic seems to be that drivers
> Nathan> that not everyone needs are source bloat.
> There is a difference, the number of different graphics boards to
> support is enormous, I don't belive it will be possible to keep it all
> in sync with the kernel, it will require kernel updates to older
> systems in order to use new graphics boards etc. etc. Right now the
> XFree team does most of that work for us.

Why is graphics such a special case? By that logic:

The number of sound cards is enormous -> It requires kernel updates to use
new sound boards -> Let's get rid of /dev/audio and farm it out to userland
instead, hitting the hardware directly with one of the many sound server

The number of ethernet cards is enormous -> It requires kernel updates to
use new ethernet cards -> SUID root ethernet "drivers"

etc., etc. You seem to imply that all these things should be thrown out,
like another poster who complained that there was stuff in the kernel
tarball he didn't use; and that the missing functionality might be handled
by _huge_ userspace binaries. The answer to this is not to throw out GGI
but to break up the kernel, which according to many people on this list
should probably happen eventually. Then people can decide for themselves
what they like.

Either way, it's not the drivers we have to sync with the kernel. The
drivers call wrapper functions, a standard (KGI) API, so only those wrapper
functions need to be modified--not every single driver. The drivers only
need to be changed if the KGI API is. Hey, we're keeping it in sync now,
and look how often you guys break stuff! ;)

Jim Ursetto        | You don't tug on Superman's cape   | You don't spit into the wind
             e38   | You don't pull the mask off the ol' Lone Ranger
-------------------> An' you don't mess around with Jim

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