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SubjectRe: Kernel interface changes (was Re: cdrecord problems on
Date
In article <36bab0c7.394438@mail.cloud9.net>,
John Alvord <jalvo@cloud9.net> wrote:
>On Thu, 4 Feb 1999 22:37:06 -0500 (EST), "Theodore Y. Ts'o"
><tytso@MIT.EDU> wrote:
>>
>>And as a result, I've seen more than a few MIT users decide to give up
>>on Linux and move over to NetBSD. I think this is bad, and I'm hoping
>>we can take just a little bit more care in the 2.2 series than we did in
>>the 2.0 series. Is that really too much to ask?

Yes. I think it is. I will strive for binary compatibility for
modules, but I _expect_ that it will be broken. It's just too easy to
have to make changes that break binary-only modules, and I have too
little incentive to try to avoid it.

If people feel this is a problem, I see a few alternatives:
- don't use stuff with binary-only modules. Just say no.
- work hard at making a source-version of the thing available (it
doesn't have to be under the GPL if it's a module, but it has to be
available as source so that it can be recompiled).
- don't upgrade
- drop Linux

>I suggest we treat binary compatibility problems as bugs which need to
>be resolved during the 2.2 lifetime. Even with all care, some changes
>will occur because of mistakes... if we cure them, there will be
>limited impact to users.

It's often not mistakes. Things sometimes have to change, and I
personally do not care for binary-only modules enough to even care. If
people want to use Linux, they have to live with this. In 2.2.x, the
basics may be stable enough that maybe the binary module interface won't
actually change. I don't know. That would be good, but if it is not to
be, then it is not to be.

I _allow_ binary-only modules. I allow them because I think that
sometimes I cannot morally require people to make sources available to
projects like AFS where those sources existed before Linux. HOWEVER,
that does not mean that I have to _like_ AFS as a binary-only module.

Quite frankly, I hope AFS dies a slow and painful death with people
migrating to better alternatives (coda, whatever). Or that somebody
makes an AFS client available in source form, either as a clone or
through the original people.

As it is, what has AFS done for me lately? Nothing. So why should I
care?

Linus

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