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SubjectRe: + deprecate-smbfs-in-favour-of-cifs.patch added to -mm tree


On Fri, 12 May 2006, John Kelly wrote:
>
> Users who need vintage features can use vintage kernels. They haven't
> been pulled off the market.

I disagree.

We have two cases:

- newer kernels don't always support vintage hardware any more. We don't,
for example, boot on 1MB PCs (I _think_ we used to), and quite frankly,
if you have 4MB, I'd be surprised it worked either (and that definitely
used to work a long time ago).

Similarly, we've occsionally dropped a driver just because it wasn't
getting maintained, and we knew it couldn't work in the state it was
in. So over the years, machines have stopped being supported (that
said, if somebody complains, we try to re-instate the driver. Most
dropped drivers have never even been commented upon, because they
really aren't used any more. When was the last time you saw an MCA
machine or a PC98? I bet some people on this list have never even
heard of either)

- we sometimes drop sw features that have been deprecated long ago, and
that there are better alternatives for. That said, this is pretty damn
rare too. I can remember Xiafs, and devfs is obviously on that path
too.

But we do _not_ drop features just because they are deemed "unnecessary".
As long as somebody actually _uses_ smbfs, and as long as those users are
willing to test and perhaps send in patches for when/if it breaks, we
should not drop it.

The cost of keeping a filesystem is not normally very high. The way
filesystems in particular get deprecated is if they have really serious
problems, and nobody ends up being able or willing to fix them at all, and
you _can_ migrate away. But if we're talking about win98, it probably
still actually has a pretty big user base, and most of the machines that
run it probably really cannot upgrade.

For exactly the same reason you mention:

"Users who need vintage features can use vintage kernels."

ie you end up having people who have vintage hardware, and they use
vintage kernels, but in their case, the "vintage" is Win95 or Win98. That
does't mean that the _linux_ machine they use is necessarily vintage.

Linus
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