Parallel Tape vs. PacketTwin - pt name clash
Wed, 29 Jul 1998 08:45:56 -0400 (EDT)

Hubert Mantel noticed, while building a new SuSE distribution, that we now
have two drivers named pt. One is my driver for parallel port atapi
tape drives, which was added to 2.1 in January, and the other is for
an (obscure ?) hamradio network interface (the Gracillis PacketTwin).
I believe the PacketTwin driver has been around for a few years, so the
error in creating this problem was mine.

The problem is that modules currently occupy a flat name space. Repairing
this is probably important, but not possible for 2.2.

I see several ways around this:

(1) I rename my pt device and driver to something else. This will make
a mess for people who are using pt from 2.0.35 (which SuSE and RedHat
are already distributing).

(2) Leave the device name as pt, but rename the driver to something else.
This is ugly, but it breaks slightly fewer things.

(3) Rename the PacketTwin driver to something else. Since there is no
association between the driver's file name and a device node, this
is fairly transparent.

I'm torn between fairness and practicality. My driver created the mess,
so it should "suffer", but statistically, renaming the PacketTwin driver
is probably less disruptive.

(4) Another solution is to let the distribution builders find their own
ways around the problem - in other words, to ignore it. SuSE omitted
the PacketTwin from their configuration.

(5) Finally, we could deal with this by fixing the Makefile to
abort with a clear explanation when it detects that a module of
the same name is already linked into linux/modules. This is
arguably the correct fix - since the probability of this
happening to anyone except a distribution builder is
effectively nil.

Grant R. Guenther

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