Letters to the Editor

Readers sound off.
Stability

I always look forward to reading my issue of LJ each month. Great magazine; thanks.

The reason I am writing is to share a concern regarding Linux API stability. I enjoy system work too, but the fact is my company sells applications, not operating systems. If I am to produce shrink-wrapped applications, user and kernel APIs must remain stable. I just worked my way through our several drivers to get them from 2.0.* to 2.2.* series kernels, and now I see the driver API is changing again in 2.3.*. It is a terrible temptation to keep improving, but if it works, let's leave it for a while. And maintaining old APIs is not a long-term answer either—that's what makes UNIX systems so fat, all the baggage they carry around.

Thanks for listening.

—Elwood Downey ECDowney@ClearSkyInstitute.com

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