modular -> monolithic
bernie at codewiz.org
Sun Jan 20 16:23:22 PST 2008
Matthieu Herrb wrote:
> This has of course some constraints. The more proeminent one is that
> care should be taken to keep the interfaces between the X server and the
> drivers as stable as possible, and to provide some level of backward
> compatibility when this interface changes.
I agree on the necessity to keep the interface clean, for
software engineering reasons. I don't necessarily agree on
the need to keep the ABI/API stable whenever we find
interesting improvements with a good cost-to-benefits ratio.
> This rule has been violated too often in the past hurting all 3rd party
> module maintainers. But with ajax's work to clean up the interface, we
> should be able to do less mistakes like this from now.
AFAIK, most off-tree modules are finally migrating back to
being hosted on f.d.o., so it doesn't seem like a major
concern any more.
Also AFAIK, there are just 2 major proprietary drivers left,
with one of them being rapidly replaced in functionality and
performance by its open-source equivalent, and the other one
making promising steps forward.
I don't see the number of proprietary drivers going up in
the future, and I can certainly bet it will tend to go down
now that there's just one renitent hardware vendor being
left alone in their strategy of secrecy reminiscent of the
cold war ;-)
> Last point, one of the goals of the modularization effort was to make it
> possible to contribute to X.Org without having to build the whole tree.
> This is one very important one. Too many people struggle to build the
> whole X.Org without a real need for it. But without stable interfaces,
> it will never be possible to do any development on a system that is not
> shipping bleeding edge versions of all packages.
This is an important point. Linux lets you build the kernel
proper without modules and even a single module, although
it's a bit too arcane for users to benefit.
We'd certainly benefit if one could just cd to a module
subdirectory and run make there. As long as you accept
to configure the whole tree, the automake recursive makefiles
support this use case quite well.
|___| Bernardo Innocenti - http://www.codewiz.org/
\___\ One Laptop Per Child - http://www.laptop.org/
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