It has been fifteen months since Casey gave his "The Thirty Million Line Problem" talk online. Here he makes the case that hardware manufacturers like Intel should come up with standards for interfacing with USB, GPU and networking; essentially making an ISA for the complete hardware and eliminating the need for drivers. This seems very desirable for both software developers and users, but maybe also very important (see Preventing the Collapse of Civilisation by Jonathan Blow). Imagine a world where it is tenable to develop a completely new OS because it only takes 20 000 lines of assembly and where there is a bit less of this (jump to 8:52):
I essentially have two questions:
1) Are there any signs that hardware manufacturers will make a complete ISA?
2) Can we do more to encourage this?
In his talk Casey says that he knows many people who would want to build software to support a complete ISA. However, as he also says hardware people want a lot of reassurance. How can we best demonstrate that it is worth it?
I think some people on Handmade Network has worked on drivers. Driver developers must have many ideas of what an architecture should do to best communicate directly with user-level software. Would speculating publicly about this help push things forward?