Linux has really found its groove.
When I first got involved in Linux, there was no PCI API (now called the
hotplug or device API), and patch submission was a moderately painful
process of throwing spaghetti at a wall: sending and resending, with
both Linus and maintainers having to manually resolve merge conflicts.
It was a real fight to get any Linux hardware support at all. The vast
amount of hardware documentation was locked away or simply unavailable.
Working on memory management or filesystems or scheduling was always the
Sexy Rock Star PhD work that attracted engineers. OTOH, I felt, device
drivers were ignored as boring, unsexy grunt work. Which, ok, maybe it
was. Each new device driver, though, spread Linux to more and greater
locales. Alan Cox and Don Becker did enormous heavy lifting back then.
Now Linux is where it is today, with most hardware vendors actively
seeking open source driver support (except NVIDIA, natch). The kernel
has come a long way.
Time for new open source pastures outside the kernel, for me. SATA is
slowly getting unexciting to the world. Which, really, just means the
brand new technology has reached a usable plateau. :) And maybe in a
few years, with directly attached PCI-NextGenSuperFastExpress storage,
ATA and SCSI will be distant memories.
Until such time as block-based storage disappears from this earth, the
brave Sir Tejun, basically the libata co-author at this point, has
agreed to be a target for slings and arrows known as libata patches.
All the best,
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