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    SubjectRe: userspace breakage
    On Thu, Dec 29, 2005 at 02:56:16PM -0800, Linus Torvalds wrote:
    > On Thu, 29 Dec 2005, Dave Jones wrote:
    > > Just a few years ago, if someone suggested breaking a userspace
    > > app in a kernel upgrade, they'd be crucified on linux-kernel, now
    > > it's 'the norm').
    > That really isn't acceptable. Breaking user space - even things that are
    > "close" to the kernel like udev scripts and alsa-lib, really is NOT a good
    > idea.
    > We're much better off wasting a bit of time on backwards compatibility,
    > than wasting a lot of user time and irritation (and indirectly, developer
    > time) on linkages to packages outside the kernel.
    > If you cannot upgrade a kernel without ugrading some user package, that
    > should be considered a real bug and a regression.
    > There are real technical reasons for not allowing those kinds of version
    > linkages: it makes it MUCH harder to blame the right thing when things go
    > wrong.
    > Now, I'm not saying that we can always support everything that goes on in
    > user space forever, but dammit, we can try damn hard.

    Was it a mistake to drop support for ipfwadm and ipchains?
    Was it a mistake to drop support for devsfs?
    Will it be a mistake to drop support for gcc < 3.2?
    Will it be a mistake to remove the obsolete raw driver?
    Will it be a mistake to drop the Video4Linux API 1 ioctls?
    Will it be a mistake to drop support for pcmcia-cs?

    And if any of these was or will not be a mistake, when is the right time
    for the userspace breakage?

    I did agree with what you express before support for ipchains was
    removed and support for devfs was removed, and many more I do not
    remember currently, but I've now simply accepted that regarding kernel
    development, 6 is an odd number.

    The fundamental problem is that the current development model
    contains no well-defined points where breakages of the kernel-related
    userspace were allowed and expected by users.

    > Linus



    "Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out
    of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days.
    "Only a promise," Lao Er said.
    Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed

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