any way asm people could contribute?

Lorenzo Salvadore phascolarctos at
Thu Feb 14 22:15:27 UTC 2019

On Thursday 14 February 2019 22:16, Christian Weisgerber <naddy at> wrote:

> On 2019-02-10, Lorenzo Salvadore via freebsd-questions freebsd-questions at wrote:
> > Assembly is most often used for drivers:
> It is not. I don't know where you got that bizarre idea.
> Offhand, I'd say the biggest (as in lines of code) remaining use
> of assembly language are optimized implementations of cryptographic
> algorithms. However, the more popular the platform, the fewer gaps
> there are to fill.
> Oh, and a general piece of sad wisdom I have learned over the last
> twenty years: If somebody needs to ask how they can contribute,
> they can't.

I made my idea that Assembly is often used for drivers from a bit of experience
and documents such as this one:
It is a tutorial for starting developing an OS. There is much of Assembly and C, but
the C that is in there really is a sort of high-level Assembly: of course, as you do not
have any OS yet, you do not have any C standard library to link with yet.
I also happened to write some lines for a microcontroller: it was a pretty short work,
it would have been silly in this case to waste time using an existent C compiler (if any)
or to develop in "C as high-level Assembly".
I talked with other people who also used Assembly for programming microprocessors.
Those web pages also claim Assembly is used for drivers:

Now, if your objection was about the words "most often", I might indeed be wrong:
I never made a statistical research on the topic and my impression might indeed
be wrong.

About your last lines (the "general piece of sad wisdom"), I disagree. I would rather say
that if somebody needs to ask how they can contribute, they can't *yet*: that's why they
are asking! If they want to contribute but lacks knowledge, they can learn. I do agree
that some people that ask such questions ask them because they do not see they are
not ready (yet) to contribute, but it is not the rule and it does not prevent them to
improve their skills: what can prevent some of them is the "if you need to ask you can't"
answer; on the other hand what can help them is point them to good learning material.

Lorenzo Salvadore.

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