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Re: [ANNOUNCE] Experimental Driver for Neterion/S2io 10GbE Adapters

To: Scott Feldman <sfeldma@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [ANNOUNCE] Experimental Driver for Neterion/S2io 10GbE Adapters
From: Matt Mackall <mpm@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 21:59:34 -0800
Cc: "<alex@xxxxxxxxxxxx>" <alex@xxxxxxxxxxxx>, "<netdev@xxxxxxxxxxx>" <netdev@xxxxxxxxxxx>, "<leonid@xxxxxxxxxxxx>" <leonid@xxxxxxxxxxxx>, "'Jeff Garzik'" <jgarzik@xxxxxxxxx>
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On Mon, Mar 14, 2005 at 09:14:59PM -0800, Scott Feldman wrote:
> 
> On Mar 14, 2005, at 12:22 PM, Alex Aizman wrote:
> 
> >HAL-based
> >=========
> >Most Neterion drivers are HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) based. This 
> >is
> >always a curse and blessing; in our experience this was the latter by 
> >a big
> >margin. While the current "s2io" driver in the kernel doesn't share 
> >HAL code
> >with other driver, the "xge" driver is HAL-based.
> 
> e1000 and ixgb are HAL-based, which is why there is always push back 
> when someone in the community modifies *_hw.[ch].  I'd hate to see more 
> of this in the kernel, but I can definitely relate to the "testing 
> across multiple OSes" gain.
> 
> Here's an (old?) idea: remember the NDIS-wrapper project?  I think the 
> reverse is much more interesting.  A linux-wrapper takes a plain old 
> Linux driver and wraps it with what ever is needed to make it an NDIS 
> driver.  Or FreeBSD, or whatever.  Let's pretend this is trivial for a 
> second.  What do we gain?  1) one clean Linux driver to maintain, 2) 
> testability on other OSes, and 3) access to other OSes' certification 
> kits.  Licensing is clean: the Linux driver is GPL and the 
> linux-wrapper code is GPL.  Can't the world revolve around Linux and 
> let everyone else be burdened with the abstraction layer overhead?

Depends. Vendors of non-GPL OSes can't ship such drivers for risk of
their product becoming a derived work to the extent they're relying on
such drivers to make their system useful.

You can't get around the GPL by putting a GPL wrapper with an
exception around something.

-- 
Mathematics is the supreme nostalgia of our time.

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