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Re: kernel modules/kmods/dkms (Re: Plan for tomorrows (20070906) FESCO meeting)

On Fri, 2007-09-07 at 22:41 -0400, Jon Nettleton wrote:
> On 9/7/07, David Woodhouse <dwmw2 infradead org> wrote:
> > I've no particular objection to shipping dkms itself, just as I have no
> > objection to shipping the kernel-devel package -- I just don't think
> > there's any justification for shipping 'dkms payload' packages as part
> > of Fedora.
> >
> But do you have an objection to including dkms hooks in kernel rpms or
> existing scripts called from pre/post install scripts?

I have no particular objection to that either, in principle.

> There are lots of examples but my specific one is the gspca driver
> that I built the first dkms package for and is exists at freshrpms.
> This driver supports a lot of modern webcams, but the driver developer
> has no intention of even trying to have this code merged into the
> kernel.  What are we to do in this circumstance?

Take driver developer out back and quietly shoot him. Start work on
sending driver upstream. Merge driver into Fedora kernel RPM, if it's
good enough and someone competent wants to maintain it there while it's
being pushed upstream.

> I think we need something better than the "safe" ostrich syndrome; if
> it is out of the kernel it scares us and we run away from it.  There
> is plenty of legitimate driver development being done outside of the
> kernel.  It just seems a bad decision to completely bury our heads in
> the sand to this code-base.

I've spent much of the last decade maintaining precisely such a code
base, and building it outside the kernel tree. It was me who pushed the
whole "make -C /usr/src/wherever SUBDIRS=`pwd` modules" thing until it
became the standard way of building out-of-tree kernel modules, instead
of having people cobble together their own makefiles and consistently
getting it wrong.

I'm not _scared_ of out-of-tree code; I just feel very strongly that if
it's good enough for us to be shipping as part of "Fedora", then we
should be putting it into the proper kernel package.


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