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Date:      Thu, 21 Jul 2011 15:44:30 +0100
From:      Bruce Cran <bruce@cran.org.uk>
To:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   Re: 2020: Will BSD and Linux be relevant anymore?
Message-ID:  <4E283B4E.4010303@cran.org.uk>
In-Reply-To: <20110721141534.GC59455@guilt.hydra>
References:  <alpine.BSF.2.00.1107190736560.27391@gwdu60.gwdg.de> <CAGy-+i_phtNbTh7SHhockqTuGrv+d2ZLn0_6A9aKEySYO0MgTw@mail.gmail.com> <24466_1311199850_4E27526A_24466_7987_1_D9B37353831173459FDAA836D3B43499C521866E@WADPMBXV0.waddell.com> <4e28160e.bVryeJCK1esNt615%perryh@pluto.rain.com> <CADGWnjXjtZwXPdFQJ8dFfZ_bG8hSp6LiJt4QvsSbS7umYG=EqQ@mail.gmail.com> <20110721141534.GC59455@guilt.hydra>

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On 21/07/2011 15:15, Chad Perrin wrote:
> It may not be anything so exotic. On a per-release basis, the MS 
> Windows ABIs and APIs change far more dramatically than the Linux 
> kernel, and are far less transparent to developers; they must in many 
> cases be discovered by experimentation, being closed source software. 
> Over a given period of time, the changes to Linux may be greater in 
> number and magnitude (I'm not a kernel hacker, so I wouldn't know for 
> sure), but they're spread out over time rather than bundled in a major 
> collection of changes with a new marketing campaign. This might make 
> it much more difficult to target the MS Windows ABIs and APIs. I'm 
> just speculating, though. As I said, I'm not a kernel hacker. 

On Windows, the APIs don't change that much (there are new functions for 
NUMA support in Windows 7 for example), but certain ABIs change with 
each service pack. However, since a lot of drivers built for Windows XP 
can still install on Windows 7, an effort appears to be made to maintain 
a stable public ABI - Microsoft recommends using the build environment 
for the earliest version of Windows that you want to target.  On Linux, 
the API/ABI issue is far worse, since you have a different ABI between 
different builds of the same kernel.

-- 
Bruce Cran



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