Quote: Keeping it compiling doesn't equate to keeping it working.
No but the kernel devs generally takes the obligation of not breaking the driver with their changes. Of course they do rely very much on bug reports for this purpose from people who actually uses the hardware.
Quote: Which is an expense the user wouldn't be liable for if Linux had stable kernel ABIs.
Well, I guess they should use Solaris/AIX then, certainly not Windows, OSX, BSD's, etc which all have a history of breaking the driver interface with major revisions.
Of course it strikes me as a much better solution to have a driver submitted as open source and have the people responsible of the actual interfaces making sure it works with changes made to them, like having them in the kernel tree.
That said this thread has been sadly derailed from it's original subject, and I'm am likely more guilty of that than anyone so I won't carry this discussion further unless someone REALLY wants to