Technical Discussions

Thoughts on Engineering & Technology


I found this project while looking up IT-DOSE 2008 webpage in netherlands , seems to be a problem in all this who writes the .rtx file which gets converted to the driver , and if the developer has very clear specifications of the hardware for which the driver is to be written then he can go ahead and write it in C , the problem with closed hardware is nobody gives the open source developer the specs.

I think this is just a extra layer and adds more work …


October 21, 2008 - Posted by | Linux | ,


  1. Here is some wisdom. These HALs are widely used by QualComm for BREW. Most companies who make software that run across platforms including the JVM create suites (codecs or GUI) with a easily rewritable HAL full of callback functions. Take a look at Trolltech’s Qt that runs anywhere.

    For developing cross platform drivers, the first initiative was WinDrivers (not to be confused with Windriver). Check for the present toolkit.

    Rathaxes seems to fall in the same category from their description.

    Comment by gandalfgreyhelm | October 25, 2008 | Reply

  2. Okay , i get it this creates crossplatform drivers , this is similair to the idea i suggested sometime back regarding having a common driver base for all operating systems … ( WIN , LINUX , FREEBSD ) or atleast the open source one’s , because it’s just the question of the ABI which can be standardised.

    But i guess that will never happen in a imperfect world.

    Comment by turinghut8 | October 25, 2008 | Reply

  3. Hi, thank you for relaying information about us, but there seems to be a little misunderstanding about what Rathaxes is.
    Let me explain a bit more, and you might find this solution a bit more appealing.

    Rathaxes is a programming language dedicated to describing device drivers.(Domain Specif Language, as SQL is for database)
    It provides a set of keywords and functionalities making device drivers programming an easier and faster process. Even if you don’t need cross-platform, it takes away all the boring parts of the development cycle. Moreover, the security provided by the syntax of the language will avoid many common bugs and will facilitate the testing and debugging of the driver.

    The Rathaxes file is not directly converted into the driver, but in C code the developper may then compile with the native tools of the system in order to obtain the driver.
    This might seem an unnecessary extra step, but that way we don’t have to change the targeted system, we just generate the C code from the .rtx description to the driver code following perfectly the different api provided by the system.

    To include this knowledge about the different systems, Rathaxes also has a back end language to manage templates of code extracted from various systems. each system has its own set of templates that can be maintained easily either by the Rathaxes project or by the OS maintainers.

    The final output of the whole operation is not one cross platform driver, but a clean, human readable, robust C code for each selected OS, but you only have to maintain one set of code for all OSes, the rtx files. That could lead to a unique database of drivers, and new opérating systems would just have to create their set of templates to benefit of all that has ever been written in Rathaxes.
    It won’t solve the problem of closed or missing datasheets, but at least it will make an improvement on the quality of ported products and encourage this porting.

    No need to learn every os out there, no need to use a generalist language such as C, you just describe your device and the software logic attached to it.

    We’re planning on having a public release during the begining of 2009. The project is opensource and welcomes any feed back or constructive critics so feel free to contact us, or ask any questions :
    contact at rathaxes dot org .

    Thank you for your attention, have a nice day 😉

    Comment by rathaxes | October 29, 2008 | Reply

  4. So this is a common language platform for writing driver logic and then converting the rtx to C code for each platform ….

    What kind of platforms does rathaxes support presently …?

    Comment by turinghut8 | October 31, 2008 | Reply

  5. Now rathaxes only support OpenBSD, Windows Xp and Linux.

    Haiku, AmigaOS and AROS are also planned, but rathaxes need
    to implement more feature before that.

    The rathaxes team.

    Comment by rathaxes | November 9, 2008 | Reply

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