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[Lcdproc] Driver removal policy

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  • From: willfe at (William Ferrell)
  • Subject: [Lcdproc] Driver removal policy
  • Date: Fri, 26 Nov 2010 08:52:41 -0500

On Fri, Nov 26, 2010 at 2:06 AM, Markus Dolze <bsdfan at>

> On 23.11.2010 03:38, Larson, Timothy E. wrote:
> Hi,
> I admit that many displays may be used for a long time, likely because
> of their 'limited scope'. They just display text. So why should it not
> display text in 10 years? That's right.
> The question is not whether to build a driver or not. There is a
> 'default' set of drivers built if you run configure without
> '--enable-drivers' at all, one can select a single or more drivers or
> try to build all drivers with '--enable-drivers=all'.
> If ever a change happens (i.e. API change) that affects all drivers, one
> will have to take care of all drivers and maybe nobody will be able to
> test that change. But if someone really uses that driver he will report
> if it doesn't work anymore.
> So currently the 'keep drivers until end of time' removal policy is
> favoured by several people.
It may also be worth exploring a way of automating testing for API
compliance, too; i.e. basic unit tests that run against each driver (the
unit tests get updated whenever an API change happens). It wouldn't
guarantee all behavior, but at least we could test that 1) all required
functions are provided, 2) they accept the correct type of argument, 3) they
return the expected type of value (and in some cases the correct exact
value). I know the compiler handles a bunch of this (C is statically typed,
after all :)) but I think the more interesting/useful part would be the
passing in of arguments and sanity-checking the result.

This could just be mindless babble (unit testing is typically more "useful"
in dynamically typed languages, though I know it gets a ton of use in Java
too) but it's food for thought.

William W. Ferrell
Software Engineer -- willfe at
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