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    SubjectRe: Linux 2.4 future
    Date
    Does anyone work on transfer linux-abi to kernel 2.6 ?
    regards
    On Tuesday 02 December 2003 06:04 pm, Linus Torvalds wrote:
    > On Tue, 2 Dec 2003, Jan-Benedict Glaw wrote:
    > > On Tue, 2003-12-02 02:23:55 +0000, snpe <snpe@snpe.co.yu>
    > >
    > > wrote in message <200312020223.55505.snpe@snpe.co.yu>:
    > > > Is there linux-abi for 2.6 kernel ?
    > >
    > > Nobody really cares about ABI (at least, not enough to keep one stable)
    > > while there's a good API. That requires sources, though, but that's a
    > > good thing...
    >
    > People care _deeply_ about the user-visible Linux ABI - I personally think
    > backwards compatibility is absolutely _the_ most important issue for any
    > kernel, and breaking user-land ABI's is simply not done.
    >
    > Sometimes we tweak user-visible stuff (for example, removing truly
    > obsolete system calls), but even then we're very very careful. Like
    > printing out warning messages for several _years_ before actually removing
    > the functionality.
    >
    > The one exception tends to be "system management" ABI's, ie stuff that
    > normal programs don't use. So kernel updates do sometimes require new
    > utilities for doing things like firewall configuration, hardware setup
    > (ethernet tools, ifconfig etc), or - in the case of 2.6 - module loading
    > and unloading. Even that is frowned upon, and there has to be a good
    > reason for it.
    >
    > At times, we've modified semantics of existing system behaviour subtly:
    > either to conform to standards, or because of implementation issues. It
    > doesn't happen often, and if it is found to break existing applications it
    > is not done at all (and the thing is fixed by adding a new system call
    > with the proper semantics, and leaving the old one broken).
    >
    > You are, however, correct when it comes to internal kernel interfaces: we
    > care not at all about ABI's, and even API's are fluid and are freely
    > changed if there is a real technical reason for it. But that is only true
    > for the internal kernel stuff (where source is obviously a requirement
    > anyway).
    >
    > Linus
    > -
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