Suggestion for OS/2 and eComstation Drivers Arguments

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This document it is a suggestion to help standardize some driver behaviours on OS/2 and eComStation drivers.

1. Boot Messages

It is common on eComStation and OS/2 that drivers that load on the boot procedure show a message during the boot. Here it is a recommendation on how to display messages for this drivers.

Default Message

The highly recommended behaviour is to make the default message a quiet mode without any message displayed. Only errors can be displayed in case the driver does not load.

A suggestion for the default message is only to show a message if an error happens:

DRIVER: <driver name> could not be loaded. XYZ Error.

Verbose Mode “/V” or “/v”

It is recommended to include on the driver a verbose mode to show full detail of the version, copyright notice and important information about the driver that is being loaded.

Example: “DRIVER.SYS /V” should generate a message like:

 DRIVER: <driver name>.
 DRIVER: Copyright by <John Smith>.
 DRIVER: Version 1.4.33  Date 2011/Jan/24
 DRIVER: Recognized Device: XYZ
 DRIVER: Driver Loaded without warnings 

Example 2: UNIAUD32.SYS /V

 UNIAUD32: Universal Audio Driver for OS/2 and eComStation
 UNIAUD32: Version 1.9.26-SVN551. Based on ALSA 1.0.21
 UNIAUD32: Copyright 2005-2010 Netlabs
 UNIAUD32: Copyright 2000-2010 The ALSA Project
 UNIAUD32: Intel 82801AA-ICH with STAC9700,83,84 at irq 5
 UNIAUD32: Detected Mixer: SigmaTel STAC9700,83,94

Quiet Mode “/Q” or “/q”

It is important to add a quiet or non-verbose mode. There are users that once they have their system stable do not want or need to see a boot message. When you add the /Q option no message had to be show during the boot procedure.

  • No message most be presented
  • No error message will be showed
  • The driver will not pause the boot procedure.

Please also take care that the /Q is not sending also any blank space or return command as a message to be show.

Wait Mode “/W” or “/w”

If this parameter is specified, the driver waits after loading for user to press any key with message "Press any key to continue..." to continue the boot procedure.

Example: “DRIVER.SYS /W” should generate a message like:

 DRIVER: <driver name>. Press any key to continue.

Example 2: “UNIAUD32.SYS /W“

 UNIAUD32: Universal Audio Driver. Press any key to continue.

Audible Alert “/AA” or “/aa”

Some developers may want a beep or an audible alert to be hear on the boot procedure when the driver is loaded. By default the driver should not make a beep sounds on the boot procedure. The user must have the option to enable or disable audible alerts.

Example: “DRIVER.SYS /AA” allows the driver to play beeps on the boot procedure.

General Notes

Copyright Information
Remember that is not mandatory to include copyright information on the boot messages. I don't know where that idea came from or why IBM also started to that on their drivers. Copyright information can be included on text readme files of the driver.