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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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