Java Device Drivers API

One of growing pains for IHVs- Independent Hardware Vendors and end-consumer (difference between customers and consumers is a topic for a different blog) is device drivers supporting all operating systems. How many times I had to drop my beta OSes on my "bleeding edge" beta PC at home just because I did not have the right device drivers.

I think the time is ripe for a JSR for Java Device Drivers API which will enable developers to write their device drivers once on Java and get it supported on all platforms that supports Java. J2SE is always thought to be the heavy-weight for device drivers and hence J2ME is the right platform to be used for all device drivers since that will enable them to support not only PC, Servers, but also Cellphones, PDAs, etc.

So the question arises, is it really feasible? I think it is... The best proof is USB Specification which makes it easier to support multiple devices through USB by following the USB spec. Similarly once we have a Java Device Driver API, things will be lot easier to make them work not only on Windows, Linux, Solaris but also on J2ME supported Cell Phones, PDAs, etc.

Once again JCP is the right way to bring about this change. (If you are not a member yet, join now .)

Anyone who wants to be the Spec Lead for a "Java Device Driver API Specification JSR" ?

Comments:

Much of the work in device drivers involves moving data from main memory to peripherals, servicing interrupts, and keeping the instruction count in the code path as small as possible. I wouldn�t say that these are Java�s fort�s. Could you imagine using a virtual machine to service an interrupt? Isn�t there a law against this?

Posted by Kristofer Spinka on September 16, 2004 at 04:11 PM EDT #

I just wanted to revive this discussion. Sun has made a "proof of concept" with being able to create Device Drivers in Solaris 10 using Java (via some custom J2ME VM)

Sun is currently doing some amazing things with java such as, cross-platform OpenGL, the new JNA (replacement for JNI), etc. Also there is a push to "modernize" the J2ME structure (Android has pretty much showed that Sun needs to rethink J2ME) and Java 7 on the horizon....spawning a small instance of the JRE (or using J2ME) is very feasible.

I'd love to see a Java Device Driver system across all Java supported platforms, not just Solaris.

Posted by Chris Butler on August 24, 2008 at 08:49 AM EDT #

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About

Jignesh Shah is Principal Software Engineer in Application Integration Engineering, Oracle Corporation. AIE enables integration of ISV products including Oracle with Unified Storage Systems. You can also follow me on my blog http://jkshah.blogspot.com

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