[Xorg] The big multiconsole nasty

Egbert Eich eich at pdx.freedesktop.org
Wed Jul 7 03:00:31 PDT 2004

John Dennis writes:
 > On Tue, 2004-07-06 at 11:41, Matthieu Herrb wrote:
 > > Is it possible to have OS independant binary modules with this loader?
 > Is it possible to have OS independent binary modules in the first place
 > when its the OS that is producing the binary module?
 > Sometimes, but its clearly not a reliable mechanism and I would argue of
 > dubious value as binaries are typically release engineered for specific
 > targets.

It clearly has been the goal to avoid that. 
Instead the plan was to make drivers independent of the underlying 
platform and OS and to enable the driver developer to support all 
platforms/OSes supported by the base system without requiring him
to know each of these.
This has been usful in the past:

- Vendors who chose to provide binary only modules were able to support
  an entire platform by developing and building on only one target system.

- Individual developers have provided preliminary and test version
  of drivers and were able to provide these for a range of OSes
  without needing multiple build platforms. With the dl loader a 
  driver that Alan Hourihane has build on Linux and provided thru 
  his web page would no longer work for any of the BSDs.

As for the reliablility:
The X binary module is clearly platform (ie CPU type) dependent. 
Apart form this it should be portable between OSes provided the 
same platform is used as long as these OSes use the same ABI 
specification converning function calling conventions.


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