Originally posted by zander
We're talking about the same platform, I just prefer x86-64 over amd64 since it describes the architecture better and seems more reasonable considering Intels latest offerings. I'm not sure if the kernel component of the NVIDIA driver could be linked into the kernel proper (it's rather large), but even if it was possible from a technical and legal point of view, I wouldn't consider it a viable solution.
But isn't the upcoming Intel XEON-64 supposed to use a completely different instruction code from the AMD46? I would suspect that they would also have incompatible pinouts, requiring different sockets and support chipsets, as well.
Back to the kernel, you raise a key issue. Developers vs. Users.
The good developer wants to make clean, compact code, no matter how long it takes -- even if it means "never".
The user wants it NOW, regardless of how big, ugly and kludgy it is. Mr Gates owes his billions to realizing that, and acting appropriately on it.
I would presume that best practice lies somewhere in between the two conflicting mindsets.
For my part, I'd be perfectly fat, dumb and happy compiling some huge blob of code into my kernel. It's already 6+ meg -- what's a few more meg going to hurt? You see, for ME (I don't speak for anyone else), for ME, compiling a large piece of code into MY kernel IS viable. For me. Not necessarily for anyone else. Even if it makes my dog go bald and the neighbor's cat start singing opera.
As I recall from a few years ago, space in the Linux Kernel is precious because it has to fit on a floppy (or was that overcome several versions ago?), but BSD has no such limitation that I am aware of.
Here's an interesting thought/question... OS-X for the Mac G5. The G5 is a 64-bit extension to a 32-bit architecture, just like the current AMD64 and the proposed future Intel Xeon-64. OS-X is a BSD kernel. What's the 64-bit driver status there?