Do we need this junk?

Garrett Cooper youshi10 at
Sat Apr 7 06:44:44 UTC 2007

Warner Losh wrote:
>> legacyfree1# grep -irsn isa ./ | grep -i include
>>From the system: no.  From your kernel, absolutely.
> Warner

Sorry if I go out of order, but I'm viewing this in the threaded format
in Thunderbird (it's easier to keep track of crazy long threads like this).

Personally, I don't think that we (as a community) should give up
support in any particular architecture or device. Instead, we should in
fact maybe prioritize our energies in useful things, like what has been
largely done in the CURRENT branch for some time.

Regardless of any operating system getting rid of support for devices or
architectures, there will always be some level of backwards
compatibility built into modern day architectures that support older
architectures. Take Pentium 4's for example. (correct me if I'm getting
this wrong, but) Pentium 4's largely support all functionality way back
to the original 386 microprocessor, and even further (I think PC98) with
certain features like Real mode, architectural operators, and the like.
Why? Maximum compatibility. Because it stinks at the end of the day when
you try and run a binary and it doesn't work on machine A) because they
ruled the hardware / instruction set to be obsolete. Same goes for other
things, like Perl. Intel (I work for them as an intern) still uses
ancient versions of perl for internal tools. Why? Because we have tools
that require ancient versions of Perl. Same goes for many IT groups
supporting software and OSes. It's a big thing when you say, "sorry, we
don't support you anymore", because there may be a large group of people
out there that still use the hardware that we'd isolate.

Granted, I agree in EoL and the like, and I think that some things could
stand to maybe be removed to some extent, but I think that justifying
such actions based on such a limited set of statistics isn't correct
because you're robbing many people of a "freedom of computing". That's
basically what I feel like with OSes like Vista, where you are required
to purchase new hardware, just to run the OS. We don't need to keep up
with the Joneses over in Redmond, WA :).

Furthermore keep in mind, while we run excellent machines in this
section of the world I've heard of other people running much older,
lower class machines (Romania / Czechoslovakia for instance) in internet
cafes, and they think that their PCs are the best things since sliced
bread, even though they just run Win 3.11.

Although I think that the ultimate goal of this thread can be good, it
needs to be brought back down to a safe level so we can discuss about
this topic more rationally and less with our emotions.

Cheers and good luck to all,

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