This one is more of a "ramble" though.
I, like a lot of MSFTies, like to read and participate in computing forums across this world wide web thingamajig. Recently in one of my forum haunts a question was posted, "How do I learn how to write drivers?" It's not the first time this question has been asked since the Interwebs was turned on, and always the answers are fairly straight forward; get this book, download this Driver Kit, etc. I answered with a little nibble of insight as well, but for some reason that question kept rattling around my brain.
Even a scant two years ago, I would have told any forumite questioning where to start with driver development that they would really need to brush up on their kernel mode and Windows OS architecture and their debugging skills (with a pinch of Assembly thrown in for zest). Then spend a lot of time understanding all the various ways and means of thread and resource synchronization because it will for sure bite you one day. And after you were done with all of that, study all the PnP management and follow that with a healthy dose of Power Management tuition.
As I was perusing UMDF online documentation, it all kind of struck me; the question, my normal answer, and a double shot of espresso. All of that power management and plug and play infrastructure code has finally been given to you for free in some vehicle other than copying and pasting the code from the Toaster sample driver (yeah, I know some of you have done that...I can see the guilty grins).
The WDF is sort of like a coding version of a new freeway offramp they finally built which alleviates you from driving a network of surface streets in order to reach your office. Now, those surface streets are still there should you need to stop at the Deli on the way to work or the pub on the way home, but if you just want to get to your office and get to work, here you go, all done and dusted, you can sleep in for an extra 10 or 20 minutes.
I am sorry we didn't have a ribbon cutting ceremony for the offramp though, I have a giant set of left handed safety scissors just dying to be used.
It is not that I didn't know the WDF did this, it just struck me weird to think that those who were wanting to learn driver writing really weren't being forced to traverse Dante's Ring 0 inferno. It kind of makes me wish I had a tattoo, a medal or something signifying my completion of that journey.
I just know I'm going to sit on the porch as an old man telling the kids about how I had to walk uphill, both ways, in the snow, with bread bags on my feet in order to get my driver to handle plug and play and power state changes. Then I would roll up my sleeve and show off my faded 42nd Windows Driver Model Infantry tattoo. 🙂
*Currently playing - Rush, Spindrift