[$] Free user space for non-graphics drivers

In the kernel graphics world, there has been a longstanding “line in the sand” that disallows merging kernel drivers without a corresponding free-software user-space driver. The idea is that not having a way to test the full functionality means that the kernel developers cannot verify the proper functioning and security of the driver; changes to the kernel driver may lead to unforeseen (and untestable) problems on the user-space side. More recently, though, we have seen other types of devices with complex drivers, but no useful free user-space piece, that have been proposed for inclusion into the kernel; at least one was merged, but the tide has perhaps turned against those types of drivers at this point—or some of them, anyway.

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