Reply to post: Mispellings and binary interfaces

Linus looses Linux 4.3 on a waiting world


Mispellings and binary interfaces

The problems with people spelling "lose" wrong are compounded by the fact that even if they know how to spell it, and just made a typo and wrote "loose" instead, it's still a correct word and so doesn't get flagged by a spell checker. Still, I'm astounded by how often I see that error. They can't all be typos.

I imagine the rant about Linux drivers (though I didn't actually see it) was intended to be an attack on the fact that the binary interface for kernel modules (and thus drivers) is not frozen and can change. Thus people can't write a driver and have it continue to work indefinitely after kernel updates. The poster was assuming that this had something to do with the kernel being monolithic and drivers being modules. That's not actually the case.

Some would like to see a frozen binary interface for drivers. However, Linus sees a frozen binary interface as a bug rather than a feature. This is certainly true if you want the kernel to be portable between architectures. If a frozen binary interface for drivers were supported, then Linux could end up being very dependent on whatever platform it was most popular on. This is out of line with the goals of kernel developers. There will be no frozen binary interface for drivers, and that's a good thing. That way Linux can work not only on x86, but also on ARM, MIPS, Power, etc. with the least amount of developer effort necessary.

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