modular -> monolithic

Michel Dänzer michel at
Mon Jan 21 00:42:18 PST 2008

On Sun, 2008-01-20 at 14:20 -0500, Bernardo Innocenti wrote:
> To summarize, it seems there's interest in merging the
> drivers back into the server tree.

... by one active developer and a couple of casual contributors,

> 3) spreading the development burden
>    Some refactorings are deemed to break the driver API.
>    We've seen it with the pci-rework and the input changes.
>    While it seems logical that whoever broke things ought to work
>    on fixing them, I see it as a *huge* drag on development if
>    we impose a perfectionist policy that discourages any big
>    change.
>    Remember the story of the broken Iomega Zip driver in
>    Linux 2.6.0?  Some people wanted called for delaying the
>    release indefinitely to fix this "regression".  Others
>    wanted to revert the patches that broke it.  Linus had
>    this interesting position that if nobody cared to send
>    a patch in months, he could not care less about the
>    Iomega Zip because he did not even have one!
>    {{citation needed}}
>    Xorg has an impressive heritage of severely bitrotting
>    hardware drivers.  And the reason few people care to fix
>    them simply reflects the fact that few people actually
>    *use* that hardware!  Letting the old cruft slowly bitrot
>    and die based on how much love they spontaneously attract
>    is a nice and natural way of evolving any large codebase.
>    So what I'm suggesting here is that whoever is willing to
>    rework the core server takes *reasonable* steps to fix the
>    major driver regressions, possibly in collaboration with
>    the driver maintainers.

That's of course exactly what's been happening. Changing this was
supposedly one of the main reasons for moving the drivers back to the

Earthling Michel Dänzer           |
Libre software enthusiast         |          Debian, X and DRI developer

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