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Re: Adding new device support

From: Hendrik Groeneveld
Subject: Re: Adding new device support
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 17:52:03 -0700 (PDT)

On Fri, 14 Sep 2001, Roland McGrath wrote:

> > The next question is "how long is gnumach going to play catch-up with
> > linux?" Is it going to be necessary to port new versions of linux every
> > few years or will gnumach eventually have its own way of doing things?
> What makes you think that having "its own way of doing things" would be a
> way to spend less time playing catch-up rather than more?
> Using Linux drivers is a good thing, not a bad thing, unless you are really
> into spending all your time writing drivers.  For every device that comes
> along, somebody somewhere is into spending their time writing a Linux
> driver for it.  If we can plop that in, we get to use all the devices and
> we don't have to spend all our time writing device drivers.

That's exactly my point! We CANNOT just "plop" in new drivers. Linux has
diverged too far since the current code was done. If we want to "plop" in
new drivers then we need to update the entire subsystem. How long will a
new subsystem be usable? How long before Linux changes to the point that
we must update the Linux bits again? How much existing functionality gets
broken every time the subsystem has to be updated?

OK, off my soap-box and back to my original question. I need support for a
Promise 20267 IDE controller because that's what the system I have
available for Hurd is using. What is the best way to proceed? Do I hack up
the code from the current Linux to try to glue it into what currently
exists in gnumach? What about updating the subsystem to the current
version of Linux (2.4.9 as of today)? What is the long term direction?
Before I proceed I would like some input from the people with "the big
picture". I would like to know that the effort will be useful to the
community at large and that there is a reasonable chance of getting my
changes incorporated into the "distribution" so that I won't have to
repeat the process every time I update my code base.


Hendrik Groeneveld

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