Re: RFC: i386: kill !4KSTACKS

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Willy Tarreau wrote:
Hi,

On Mon, Sep 05, 2005 at 12:12:56AM -0400, Sean wrote:

On Mon, September 5, 2005 12:03 am, Alex Davis said:

What if you don't have a choice? When someone comes to me with their
laptop
containing a built-in wireless card not natively supported by Linux, am I
supposed to tell them "go buy a Linux-supported card" when there's a way
I can make their existing card work? I don't think so.
You always have a choice in life.  Nobody is stopping you from doing what
_you_ choose to do.  That doesn't mean that developers who are concerned
with the creation and promotion of open source should care one whit about
your particular take on the situation.   Go do whatever you want just
don't expect the open source developers to pay for it; you maintain the
crufty patches yourself.

Well, to be fair, most laptop users today are in companies which provide
them with the model the staff has chosen for all the employees. And employees
try to install Linux on them anyway. That's how you end up with things like
ndiswrapper, because the people who make those notebooks for companies don't
care at all about their customers ; what they want is negociate with the
staff to sell them 2000 laptops, and that's all.

However, those employees generally start with "easy to install" distros,
such as fedora or similar. Those don't ship with standard kernels anyway,
and they provide what is necessary to stay compatible with the tools which
support crappy hardware. So (and it's sad), all those people don't care at
all about kernel development, nor do they care about 2.6.13, 2.6.14, etc...

It's just *us* who tell them "ah, you can't do that because you use a
prehistorical kernel, let me install you the last one", and then and only
then, that fails and we whine about the crappy hardware and the "easy to
install" distro which seem to be made to work together.

So I tend to consider that ndiswrapper users won't care about what will
be in 2.6.14, but only about the fact that *their distro* will still
support ndiswrapper. Of course, it would have been easier if the kernel
would have stabilized and was only in maintenance mode, not breaking
anything on every new release, but Linus has decided differently, so be
it. Those users did not have a choice in the beginning, otherwise they
would have chosen a laptop supported by Linux. And honnestly, I know
plenty of them. In fact, it's the other way around. I know very few
people who can actually choose their laptop.
And in many cases there is a cost difference between the Linux
compatible unit and what's on sale with every feature you want but the
supported wireless. And since a fair number of nice machines come with a
single slot, adding a card is not always an option, there may be
something else there.
If the machine which runs Linux costs anywhere near the cost of a
Windows license, whoever pays the bills has a real incentive to turn to
the dark side.
So you're both half-right from your point of view. But you're both half-wrong
too : no, people can't always choose, and no, people who don't choose their
laptop are not impacted by development kernels. So let's turn the page and
wait for a stable kernel.
It appears that Linus has decided that there are not going to be any
such from kernel.org. That's a bad thing for users, to choose between
obsolete and stable, but it's his kernel.
I wouldn't go shouting "fork" so loud, a major fork would kill Linux as
dead as BSD, a family of neat operating systems, none of which is widely
used the way Linux is, and which are compatible with each other mainly
at the acronym level, all are called BSD.
Question: does colinux get around all this crap by using the Windows
drivers and running in essentially microkernel mode? Windows as the new
NDISwrapper ;-)
--
   -bill davidsen ([email protected])
"The secret to procrastination is to put things off until the
 last possible moment - but no longer"  -me
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