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SubjectRE: obsolete code must die
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Yeah, and while you're at it: make it closed source and ask big time $$
for every single line of update.
If your stupid idea will be followed, a lot of african people will not
be happy. (me neither. proud owner of a 486 (at home))

-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel [mailto:ddickman@nyc.rr.com]
Sent: donderdag 14 juni 2001 2:44
To: Linux kernel
Subject: obsolete code must die


Anyone concerned about the current size of the kernel source code? I am, and
I propose to start cleaning house on the x86 platform. I mean it's all very
well and good to keep adding features, but stuff needs to go if kernel
development is to move forward. Before listing the gunk I want to get rid
of, here's my justification for doing so:
-- Getting rid of old code can help simplify the kernel. This means less
chance of bugs.
-- Simplifying the kernel means that it will be easier for newbies to
understand and perhaps contribute.
-- a simpler, cleaner kernel will also be of more use in an academic
environment.
-- a smaller kernel is easier to maintain and is easier to re-architect
should the need arise.
-- If someone really needs support for this junk, they will always have the
option of using the 2.0.x, 2.2.x or 2.4.x series.

So without further ado here're the features I want to get rid of:

i386, i486
The Pentium processor has been around since 1995. Support for these older
processors should go so we can focus on optimizations for the pentium and
better processors.

math-emu
If support for i386 and i486 is going away, then so should math emulation.
Every intel processor since the 486DX has an FPU unit built in. In fact
shouldn't FPU support be a userspace responsibility anyway?

ISA bus, MCA bus, EISA bus
PCI is the defacto standard. Get rid of CONFIG_BLK_DEV_ISAPNP,
CONFIG_ISAPNP, etc

ISA, MCA, EISA device drivers
If support for the buses is gone, there's no point in supporting devices for
these buses.

all code marked as CONFIG_OBSOLETE
Since we're cleaning house we may as well get rid of this stuff.

MFM/RLL/XT/ESDI hard drive support
Does anyone still *have* an RLL drive that works? At the very least get rid
of the old driver (eg CONFIG_BLK_DEV_HD_ONLY, CONFIG_BLK_DEV_HD_IDE,
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_XD, CONFIG_BLK_DEV_PS2)

parallel/serial/game ports
More controversial to remove this, since they are *still* in pretty wide
use -- but USB and IEEE 1394 are the way to go. No ifs ands or buts.

a.out
Who needs it anymore. I love ELF.

I really think doing a clean up is worthwhile. Maybe while looking for stuff
to clean up we'll even be able to better comment the existing code. Any
other features people would like to get rid of? Any comments or suggestions?
I'd love to start a good discussion about this going so please send me your
2 cents.

Daniel

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