Re: What Linux lacks : better in-kernel user interface

From: Saturday7 (
Date: 09/02/04

Date: 1 Sep 2004 17:51:45 -0700

Todd Knarr <> wrote in message news:<L2eYc.159811

> This has been suggested before, and rejected for a very good reason:
> interface code doesn't belong in the kernel where it can crash the
> whole system. Low-level framebuffer code is there, ditto the bits
> of the video drivers that access the hardware, but the UI belongs
> out in userland where if it dies it doesn't take down the whole
> rest of the system.

I wasn't very clear about what I am proposing. I am not suggesting
putting X Windows in the kernel....that would be crazy.

Nor would I ever suggest putting a windowing system in the kernel,
since its memory demands are potentially very large.

Rather I am suggesting a simple unified interface like SVGAlib,
optionally accelerated but founded on the framebuffer code,
that supports the ideas of :

1. mouse events and mouse configuration
2. basic drawing primitives e.g. line, arc, point, rectangle, fill-area,
3. a basic font-drawing primitive using a single compiled-in proportional font,
   the rest being in user space

All of this would be organized around a single device i.e.
IOCTL interface.

The reason I am suggesting this is that the most recent SVGAlib
is broken for kernel 2.4 and newer -- at least with my system --
and it seems to me silly to have two similar types of code base --
framebuffer/mouse in the kernel plus SVGAlib (also GRX and
other similar fullscreen interfaces) being updated. I say,
why not just update the kernel.