* Posts by Julo

2 posts • joined 13 Jun 2011

Smartphone running 'Facebook OS' said to debut this week


Re: Portmanteau

... and it is rumored that the Register phone will come with Engish replacing Slangish (used in its regular edition)

Intel teaches machines to build own device drivers


Drivers are bad - write fewer of them

Drivers are the main cause of OS failure and due to the sizable number of drivers (over 5000 for either Windows or Linux) complete testing of an OS is not feasible. Amazing each new generation of devices and systems adds more drivers without a real increase in function/performance/safety.

Several years ago I lead a team at IBM research that suggested a system architecture (and prototyped it) that took the drivers out of the I/O game. Like for the mainframes (that are not plagued by the driver issue) it standardized the I/O interfaces while leaving room for innovation by adding programability to the I/O language (unlike the mainframe the scheme was both scalable and secure). I/O vendors will have to build their wares once for all CPU/OS vendors and safety/security is built in the "interface". We still feel that this is more practical that automating building drivers and better that all the "sandboxing" schemes that have been proposed in the past. Whether IBM (unlikely) Intel (possibly) or somebody else will continue this effort hard to say but in the multicore era that is probably the way to go - at least for drivers :-)

Julian Satran


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020