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SubjectRe: umsdos/uvfat
On Sun, 1 Feb 1998, Edward S. Marshall wrote:
> On Sun, 1 Feb 1998, James Mastros wrote:
> > > 1) not all world has converted yet to Win95, some still has only old DOS
> > > partitions around. Which work without ugly vfat thingies.
> > So? We convert them to vfat. All but the most low-level (defragmenters,
> > fsckers) will work fine.
> This is incredible logic; you don't drop support for an existing userbase
> and say "well, you can just convert to vfat...". There is a valid reason
> for a lot of people not upgrading to vfat-aware systems immediately. You
> are also discarding support for users who may very well be actively
> -using- umsdos.
Hmm... what valid reason? If

> You don't toss support for a feature that costs you nothing (or very
> little) to keep around.
But you see, it dosn't. Umsdos hasn't been working for at least 6 months,
if you havn't been paying attention. It has a definate non-zero cost
associated with fixing it, and I think there are very few cases where uvfat
couldn't replace it.

> This sounds like the arguments I've heard from
> people who say that support for the 386 architecture should be dropped.
Not really. There is basicly zero work needed to keep 386es working. There
is a (fairly large) cost to getting umsdos working (it is a lot harder to
fix somthing then keep it working).

> Again, it costs very little to keep support, but still people argue that
> everyone should have upgraded years ago.
I think people largely should have. To vfat, that is. It dosn't require
any new investment, and it is a fundemently cleaner solution.

> Frankly, people don't want to
> throw away perfectly good hardware. Nor do they want to discard working
> software.
Nobody is asking them to. If they don't want to upgrade to a 2.1.x kernel
(currently flatly imposible to do), or to 2.2.x (which will require lots of
other changes anyway).

> That's the whole point of umsdos and uvfat; to support those who
> want to work with Linux on an existing system without serious
> inconvenience to their *existing, working system*.
Right. But that isn't going to happen. And while they are upgrading there
kernel and certian support software, they can upgrade there filesystem --
which should be a matter of mounting in uvfat, and then moving data from the
special file to the filesystem. A matter of writing a small utlity... once
written, it should take no more then a couple of minutes (on a big fs) to
run. Alternativly, taring and then untaring the fs will work.

> > > 3) It's been here for a while. There are distributions that run off the
> > > msdos disks, that run under umsdos. Didn't seen any that does under (u)vfat.
> > Yeha, so? They can stay with 2.0, or they can upgrade to 2.2 and uvfat (not
> > all that hard, really. If nothing else, have a bootstrap with all 8.3 names
> > that extracts the rest with info-zip for DOS (does lfns), or under Linux).
> Again, you're suggesting that the development team toss support for a real
> existing userbase.
(BTW - Development team? What development team?) No, I'm not. I'm
suguesting forcing two updates when only one is stricly neccessary. If
there is no pressing reason to go to 2.2 (and for most umsdos users, I'm
guessing there isn't), you don't need to upgrade to uvfat. But if not,
nobody is forcing you to. I just don't see the point in providing a bad
hack fs and a double-bad hack fs, when the bad hack would work just fine.

> This is incredibly poor project management, to say the
> least; pulling a feature that people are actively using without any kind
> of notice in a release is not a way to keep your userbase happy.
WHAT! We aren't proposing taking umsdos out of 2.0.34, we are talking about
no longer having it in a unsuported, non-working limbo in 2.1.88 or so.
Normal end-users won't see it till 2.2.x...

-=- James Mastros
"I'd feel worse if it was the first time. I'd feel better if it was
the last."
-=- "(from some Niven book, doubtless not original there)"
(qtd. by Chris Smith)

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