On Mar 14, 2005, at 12:22 PM, Alex Aizman wrote:
Most Neterion drivers are HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) based. This
always a curse and blessing; in our experience this was the latter by
margin. While the current "s2io" driver in the kernel doesn't share
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?