NeXTSTEP DriverKit Information Release 3.1

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Q:  I want to learn more about writing drivers for NEXTSTEP.  Where can I find documentation, etc.?

A:  The DriverKit  in Release 3.1 is a beta release.  The following outlines what you need to know to start using it as well as any associated caveats.

Driver Kit: Beta Release Documentation

·	Applies to NEXTSTEP for Intel Processors Release 3.1
·	To be superceeded by NEXTSTEP for Intel Processors Release 3.2

The documentation for the beta release of DriverKit for NEXTSTEP for Intel Processors is from the NeXTanswers email retrieval system as well as via anonymous ftp from ftp.next.com (in the Software_Tools directory).  

DriverKit makes writing drivers for NEXTSTEP much easier for driver developers. You should recognize that writing drivers is still a very complex task requiring detailed knowledge of NEXTSTEP, Mach, UNIX, and the hardware device (card and chips) that you wish to write a driver for.  If you are looking for a specific driver, check first both with NeXT and the board manufacturer to see if a driver exists.  If you need a driver to be written, consider hiring one of the consulting companies that develop DriverKit drivers (see the software and peripherals catalog).

This version of DriverKit (under 3.1) has some fundamental limitations:

·	NO support for bootable controllers (SCSI etc.)
·	NO support for adding sound cards to SoundKit
·	NO support for adding serial port devices
·	NO support for true color (32 bit) displays
·	NO support multiple displays (on the same machine)
·	NO device example source code

Each of these limitations is planned to be addressed for Release 3.2.

The best way to keep up on Driver Kit developments is to become a registered NeXT Developer or Consultant (call 800 TRY-NEXT for application forms) and use the NeXTanswers document retrieval service to obtain updated information. 

There is no training currently available from NeXT for the DriverKit. 

QA885

Valid for 3.1

-NeXT-only-below-this-line-

Written: 	10/June/93	David LaVallee [dlavale]
Verified:	10/June/93	David LaVallee [dlavale]	3.1
Filed:  	21/June/93	Eric Larson [sarlon]


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