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SubjectRe: [PATCH] APM: delete APM in Linux-2.6.40
On Friday 25 March 2011, Len Brown wrote:
> > Please don't turn Linux into second Windows.
> No worry there.
> I mention Microsoft not to advocate that Linux be Windows,
> but to point out that this (hardware/firmware) ship sank 5 years
> ago and Linux is still on the boat. MS was able to delete
> APM support in 2006 from their source tree, yet we still carry it.

And we also support ISA cards (network/sound/whatever). That's why many people
(including me) like and use Linux. Take any old machine that has enough power
to do the job you want and install Linux - e.g. get a Pentium box, install
Debian and you have a mail server (and if you need to power it down, you need
APM too). It's not possible with any other OS (well, maybe *BSD but Linux has
more drivers).

If we remove support for older HW, Linux will never get a decent desktop
market share. The common use case is "new Windows will not run (or run slow)
on that (old) box, let's try Linux".

> > If you don't want APM in the
> > kernel, just don't compile it. There are many people using older systems
> > with APM - and most of them wouldn't oppose to this removal as they don't
> > even know about it.
> They can still run old Linux on an old APM-only laptop --
> just like they can still run Windows 3.1 or Windows XP if they want to.
> What we'd be taking away is their ability to run the latest
> Linux kernel on that laptop.

And that's bad. With Linux philosophy, you need new kernel to get new HW
support. So if you have an APM-only laptop and would want to use a new USB
device, you're out of luck. What to do then? Delete Linux and install Windows

> The issue at hand is people (like me) who have to maintain
> the latest Linux source code. In sort, I don't want to
> write, debug, and test a cpuidle driver for an apm-only laptop
> when I could be spending effort on code that people will
> actually run.

So don't do it then. If APM works now, keep it as is. Just like hgafb (HGA
hardware is from 1984).

Ondrej Zary

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