netatm: plan for removal unless an active maintainer is found

Robert Watson rwatson at
Wed Mar 15 10:42:58 UTC 2006

On Tue, 14 Mar 2006, Warner Losh wrote:

>> The main motivator for pruning has to do with the SMP network stack work: 
>> we're reaching the point, discussed on a number of occasions previously on 
>> this mailing list, where jettisoning unmaintained network stack components 
>> that are unable to run MPSAFE, is highly desirable.
> What's the timeline for non-MPSAFE network drivers to be taken out behind 
> the woodshed?  Right now the list appears to be:
> 	an, awi, cm, cnw, cs, en, ex, fatm, ie, lnc, patm, fea, fpa,
> 	mn, ray, sbni, sbsh, snc, tx, wl, xe, ar, sr, plip
> Of those, an, awi, cnw, cs, ex, ray, snc, and xe have PC Card attachments, 
> so I may wind up doing at least some of them (snc is pc98 only, cnw and ray 
> are very obsolete wireless cards, so I don't think I'll do them).

Currently, my focus is on getting the socket/pcb changes into the tree, so 
I've not had to revisit the device driver issue since 2005.  The socket/pcb 
changes are particularly pressing because they are required for a number of 
other things that we need to do to the TCP code before 7.0 in order to improve 
TCP performance on SMP, all of which will need signficant time to settle 
before they hit a release.  I'm very interested in our eliminating the Giant 
backward compatibility shims for device drivers, however.  Despite the above 
drivers not being updated, I suspect a number are widely used, especially 
relating to pccard, and would like to see them updated.  Would it make sense 
for us to set a similar set of date deadlines for non-MPSAFE drivers?  I.e., 
August 2006 for removing them from the build, and October, 2006, for remove 
from the CVS HEAD?  I suspect in that time several of the above will get 

Robert N M Watson

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