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SubjectRe: FENRIS (nwfs) 1.4.2 Source Code Available,
On Tue, 22 Jun 1999, Jeff Merkey wrote:
> By the way, not to slam Linus or anything, but making the types of sweeping
> changes that were made between 2.0 and 2.2 in the file system architecturaly
> was unsound from an engineering perspective, although I do understand why it
> needed to change, most commercial software companies would have never
> allowed this to occur. The changes are what have broken Caldera's Netware
> clients and server software, and they are still working on it and getting it
> fixed.
> Word of Advice -- these file system changes hurt Linux in the market because
> they delayed the commercial Linux vendors from getting key services up and
> running when customers needed them. In the future, we should not make such
> sweeping changes wuthout making certain there is still a method to support
> the old interfaces as well.

It's this ability to make major architectural changes that differentiates
free software from commercial software, as the accounting people and the
marketing people don't have any leverage as to what goes into the OS. It
allows us to stay "pure" in the technical sense and not full of legacy
wrappers and useless or over-hyped features. And the one place we REALLY
do not want legacy interfaces hanging around is the kernel.

What really does hurt Linux, however, is the lack of clear documentation
of what exactly changes between versions in some form other than source
code. This is a hard problem, however, as it would prove to be quite a
task keeping documentation up to date.

Robert Minichino
Denarius Enterprises, Inc.

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