From: Marko Mäkelä (marko.makela_at_hut.fi)
Date: 2005-06-17 10:11:26
On Fri, Jun 17, 2005 at 09:53:24AM +0200, Spiro Trikaliotis wrote: > Not wanting to start a flame war, but this is one big disadvantage of > the Linux idea. The Linux developpers always feel free to change the > driver interface, and they do this. The BSD developers are even more free to change the interfaces, since they also distribute the C run-time library and the core user space programs. In Linux, the interfaces typically only change within the kernel. Some time ago, I tried to run a statically linked copy of NCSA Mosaic (the predecessor of the Netscape browser). I was a bit surprised that it worked, even though the program was compiled close to a decade earlier. The interfaces are changed for a reason: to address security issues and to make the code more modular and more maintainable. > Don't get me wrong: I know that with Windows, there are the same > problems with drivers and the like. But, at least, MS *tries* to retain > backward-compatibility. Some counterexamples: Windows doesn't include version numbers in the file names of shared libraries, so you can't have multiple library versions installed at the same time. Also, Microsoft removed the EGA display driver already from Windows 3.1, even though there weren't any ABI changes. Small 8-bit computers and embedded systems are more fun than big general-purpose operating systems, because you don't necessarily need any drivers or other layers of abstraction. But then again, it'd be nice to have all applications be compatible with a fastloader or a new type of storage device. Marko Message was sent through the cbm-hackers mailing list
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