2020: Will BSD and Linux be relevant anymore?
Ggatten at waddell.com
Wed Jul 20 22:10:51 UTC 2011
Regarding drivers / hardware support...
I'm not a huge fan of abstraction layers, in fact I hate them, BUT - does there exist or could an AL (HAL) be developed to hide the OS from the driver so hardware manufacturers can more easily write drivers? For example, can a HAL be developed that runs on BSD that "emulates" Winblow$ such that any driver written for Winblow$ will "work" on *BSD? Granted it may not be as efficient as a native driver but perhaps it would have these benefits:
1.) Would work "good enough" for most people in most circumstances. Perhaps it's slightly slower (insert metric of choice) than a native driver, but all but the most demanding users (top 10%?) won't care. The most demanding users will probably take the time / effort to acquire supported hardware and have the technical skills to accomplish what they need to.
2.) Would give BSD developers a starting place for reverse engineering / engineering a native driver. Instead of making the hardware people write drivers for BSD, they write for Winblow$ - but provide the source? The *BSD dudes (dudettes) can take that and tweak as necessary. The hope is no one would have to do 100% of the work, especially reverse engineering without much doc / etc - that must suck!
Something in the back of my head says there was / is something along this line already available or in the works, but I can't recall for sure.
Anyway... I think someone else mentioned dividing up the "donations" such that one could select which development area receives ones funds. I think this would be a good idea... If I'm more interested in ZFS than wireless NIC drivers - I can contribute to the filesystem/ZFS area. Perhaps this would also yield more donations - if one feels there funds will be going to support their specific needs...
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