[Arm-netbook] Olimex is making an "open-source" laptop...

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at lkcl.net
Tue Feb 7 15:57:20 GMT 2017

On Tue, Feb 7, 2017 at 3:10 PM, Paul Boddie <paul at boddie.org.uk> wrote:

> Meanwhile, all the bravado about monolithic kernels being best and there being
> no tolerance for any performance decrease whatsoever (not even 15% or whatever
> the number was) seems absurd in this age of endless exploits and after-the-
> fact mitigations, with a lot of Linux deployments being done on top of
> microkernels/hypervisors now, anyway.

  i reaally wish that linus torvalds wasn't such a fuckwit about
microkernels (L4Ka) and device-driver projects such as OSKit.

 the linux kernel *really* should be the linux kernel i.e. the source
code that's *IN* the kernel/src subdirectory of what's in the linux
source tree and presently incorporates millions of lines of *driver*
source code.

 if the device drivers were actually split into their *own* project, a
different attitude would be had towards l4ka, oskit and projects like
it.  u-boot, which has to *constantly* steal code (maintaining it
utterly separately) from the linux source tree, could just use oskit
or an oskit-like derivative instead.  the l4ka project could maintain
a SMALL tree of source code instead of having to forward-port its
patches year after year (for about a decade so far) because linus's
attitude is summarised as "go fuck yourself" if anyone mentions
"microkernels" on the linux kernel mailing list.

 there would also stand a high probability that the core would remain
stable, making it much easier to drop different device-driver flavours
on top, and that research project for
"real-time-non-shutdown-upgrading-of-drivers" would actually stand a
chance of being incorporated mainline as a result.

 instead we have efforts like devicetree which have completely failed
in their goals of stopping device driver proliferation.  with nobody
stepping up to unequivocably state that a dtb file is a GUARANTEED
fixed device configuration that will, in 25 years, be GUARANTEED to
work with a future updated linux kernel source file, all that's
happened is that the device driver proliferation problem has moved
from c and h files to .dts and dtsi files.

 the one upside of dtb files however is a patch (yet to be
incorporated) which allows dynamic runtime patching of devicetree to
switch in completely new hardware with utterly different



 and yes, we have the problem that the EOMA68-A20 has to be released
with the sunxi 3.4 kernel because it's the only one that supports all
the hardware out-of-the-box.


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