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Date:      Wed, 20 Jul 2011 17:10:49 -0500
From:      Gary Gatten <Ggatten@waddell.com>
To:        "freebsd-questions@freebsd.org" <freebsd-questions@freebsd.org>
Subject:   RE: 2020: Will BSD and Linux be relevant anymore?
Message-ID:  <24466_1311199850_4E27526A_24466_7987_1_D9B37353831173459FDAA836D3B43499C521866E@WADPMBXV0.waddell.com>
In-Reply-To: <CAGy-+i_phtNbTh7SHhockqTuGrv+d2ZLn0_6A9aKEySYO0MgTw@mail.gmail.com>
References:  <alpine.BSF.2.00.1107190736560.27391@gwdu60.gwdg.de> <CAGy-+i_phtNbTh7SHhockqTuGrv+d2ZLn0_6A9aKEySYO0MgTw@mail.gmail.com>

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<snip>

Regarding drivers / hardware support...

I'm not a huge fan of abstraction layers, in fact I hate them, BUT - does t=
here 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.  Perhap=
s 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 a=
nd have the technical skills to accomplish what they need to.

2.) Would give BSD developers a starting place for reverse engineering / en=
gineering a native driver.  Instead of making the hardware people write dri=
vers for BSD, they write for Winblow$ - but provide the source?  The *BSD d=
udes (dudettes) can take that and tweak as necessary.  The hope is no one w=
ould have to do 100% of the work, especially reverse engineering without mu=
ch doc / etc - that must suck!

Something in the back of my head says there was / is something along this l=
ine 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 N=
IC drivers - I can contribute to the filesystem/ZFS area.  Perhaps this wou=
ld also yield more donations - if one feels there funds will be going to su=
pport their specific needs...

G










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