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Kernel driver maintenance: upstream vs industry

Speaker(s) : Brice Goglin
Language : English Level : Confirmed Nature : Conference
Date : Thursday 8 July 2010 Schedule : 09h20 Duration : 40 minutes
Place: ENSEIRB - Amphi B
PDF - 214.7 kb
Slides

The talk

Hardware vendors want their devices to work on their clients’ sites, since these people are actually the important ones that bring profit to the company. Whatever OS they use, old or modern, even if they have to ignore support for some architectures. Portability and coding style is often very low priority when compared to performance and features.

Using the example of a network driver I maintain in the Linux kernel, I will describe the life of the code, from upstream development and maintenance (where the programming interfaces often change), to distributions (where backports make feature detection difficult), and to companies (where only performance and features matter).

The speaker

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Brice Goglin

Brice Goglin is a permanent researcher at INRIA (French institute for research in computer science and robotics, http://www.inria.fr/bordeaux). He works at the LaBRI (computer science research lab in Bordeaux, http://www.labri.fr) where he develops software towards the efficient exploiting of hardware for scientific parallel computing. He has been using free software for 10 years and started contributing about 5 years ago, especially within the Linux kernel and X.org window system through the Debian project.