HAL must die!

Chuck Swiger cswiger at mac.com
Tue Mar 8 06:40:15 UTC 2011

On Mar 7, 2011, at 9:28 PM, Svein Skogen (Listmail account) wrote:
> But he does raise a valid problem (if more than zero users, etc). "We"
> (I include fellow FreeBSD users, but also OSX and Linux users) do lack a
> decent cross-platform device manager stack, with uniform device name
> enumeration. DevFS (and its peers in Linux) does give us a start, but
> not enough to build a system on. However, I suspect that getting this to
> be truly cross-platform would take "a known name" in BSD-land,
> OpenIndiana/Illumos and Cupertino agreeing with RMS that "making this
> worth would be a nice summer-of-code project".

Oddly enough, Sun, IBM, and Apple agreed on something known as OpenFirmware, and expansion cards were expected to provide basic OS-independant drivers written in Forth on a ROM (PROM/EPROM/EEPROM).  It worked pretty well, but consumers complained loudly about spending an extra $20 on a ~$200 AHA-1540 card to get the OF version....

Much of that is still available under a BSD license (something called OpenBoot, IIRC), but most of the industry is staggering towards EFI instead.


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