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Re: Linux header breakage in non-i386 builds

On Tue, Dec 30, 2003 at 07:13:15PM -0400, Ben Armstrong wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 30, 2003 at 02:22:14PM -0600, Daniel Kobras <kobras@debian.org> wrote:
> > Now, for the specific problem of videodev.h, the kernel happens to be
> > the one and only source providing an application interface--there's no
> > standard library inbetween. Hence, the videodev headers are actually
> > meant to be used from userspace, and it's a bug if they break in
> > userspace.
> Just because there's no standard library between doesn't mean they are meant 
> to be used from userspace.  

The lack of a standard library means that every application has to use
the kernel interface directly, and therefore needs to use the kernel
headers. 'Use' meaning 'either include or copy'. Requiring each
application developer to copy and edit the kernel headers to make them
suitable for userspace is not reasonable.

> There *ought* to be a standard library, it seems.  You mean to say
> *nobody* has done this?

The xawtv sources contain libng which aims in this direction, but is not
quite in shape yet, it seems. And even if it were, existing applications
won't easily be ported to the new interface. Hence, this userspace issue
is going to stick for a long time. In short: If a userspace app breaks
because of including, say, the Alsa or ieee1394 kernel headers, blame
the app. If it breaks because of including the v4l kernel headers, blame
the kernel.



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