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On Sun, 19 May 1996, Lauri Tischler wrote:

> My reason for putting any bytesaving efforts on _very_ low priority
> is mainly because I see Linux as a 'server OS' not so much a 'desktop
> OS'. Boxes dedicated to server use usually have adecuate resources
> available. This also explains why I dont see the usefullness of
> 'kerneld'.

My vision of Linux is an OS that is extremely flexible - powerful enough
to be a good server OS, and simple enough to run on the most basic of
desktop machines (like a 4Mb 386sx-16). Think of the advantages of the OS
you use at home on your desktop being the same as you use at work on the
powerful servers... isn't the kernel _supposed_ to be an abstraction layer
between the user-level and the hardware?

> This does not mean that I embraice bloat, but I'm sure that there are
> many more pressing problems in the kernel that need fixing first.

I agree with you here.. making the kernel as small and fast as possible is
very nice, possibly the optimal goal of kernel development; however
getting the bugs out is the first priority, and supporting new hardware is
probably the second. The longer stuff is in the kernel and working
properly, the more chance there is of someone picking up on a better way
of doing it to make it {smaller,faster,better} - and I'm sure there's many
things in the kernel today that have progressed this way.

> There has been few patches and messages about more detailed 'config',
> drop off everything you dont need or use, you need to know what
> you're doing but I think this is _a very good idea_.

I agree completely. What I'm thinking here is that the entire kernel is
_completely_ configurable - for instance, selecting floppy drive support
will prompt for the floppy drives and sizes you want supported (e.g. you
can include support for 3.5" 1.44Mb drives and nothing else, or maybe
5.25" 360Kb/1.2Mb drives, 3.5" 2.88Mb/1.44Mb/720Kb drives, or even a
"weird" combination such as 3.5" 2.88Mb/720Kb drives (no 1.44Mb support)
; also support for a ne2000 will support that card only, and not every
other 8390-based card; similar stuff for the sbpcd, etc.)
I know patches are available for this kind of thing already, however they
are neither part of the standard kernel, nor part of the configuration
script(s). If they were, we'd have ourselves an OS which is completely
fine-tunable to the hardware it's running on - down to the finest detail -
and everyone from the simple desktop user to the high-powered server-type
people can still run it happily.

If Linux was tuned only for the server-people, what hope have the rest of
us got? My mother always told me that it was rude to stare into

-- Matt

,---------------------------.\|/ ____ \|/ /\ ___________
| -* Mostly Harmless ! *- | @~/ ,. \~@ / \/\ ,'Don't Panic|
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