Policy for removing working code (Was: HEADS UP: FreeBSD 6.4 and 8.0 EoLs coming soon)

jhell jhell at DataIX.net
Thu Sep 9 16:51:12 UTC 2010

On 09/08/2010 06:44, Vadim Goncharov wrote:
> Hi Mark Linimon! 
> On Wed, 8 Sep 2010 07:30:19 +0000; Mark Linimon wrote about 'Re: HEADS UP: FreeBSD 6.4 and 8.0 EoLs coming soon':
>>>> The reason is performance for overall network stack, not ideology.
>>> For a practical reasons, "it works but slow" is better than
>>> "doesn't work at all (due to absence of code in the src tree)".
>>> "Make it work. Make it right. Make it fast. In that order", know this?
>>> Sacrificing "work" for "fast"?.. Hmm, if it is not ideology, then what is
>>> it?..
>> It wasn't "it works but slow".  It was "it works, but networking throughput
>> is limited on the modern hardware that the majority of our users employ".
>> In particular, IIUC, 10GB network drivers were suffering under the old
>> strategy.  We simply were not competitive with other OSes, and we have
>> many multiples more users interested in 10GBE than in ISDN.
> I understand that we need to support modern fast hardware but that doesn't mean
> we should drop working features for that. And... 
>>> You do not understand the problem. It is not in notices & volunteers, but
>>> rather in the Project's policy - delete something which could still work.
>> You do not understand how this was handled.
> ...and how this is handled in other OSes to which we have compete, er? They all
> also do dropping features to frighten away old users? Are there no alternative
> ways to handle? Put network Giant code into bunch of #ifdef's, after all.
>> The situation was: an announcement was made that "in X months, all network
>> drivers need to be made to run Giant-free so that FreeBSD can drop Giant
>> from the neworking stack to move forward."  Within that period, most of
>> the drivers were updated.  Repeated postings were made to the mailing list
>> that "the following drivers still have not been converted, and need to be
>> updated or they will be dropped."  They weren't; they were droppped.
> No. See my answer to vwe@ that there were no proper announcements. With them,
> for example, someone could get sponsored to update these drivers which were
> needed by those FreeBSD users who can't maintain code themselves. That's a last
> resort, more likely volunteers will come, but you get the idea.
>> So while it could "still" work, it was slowing down progress.
> If it is not ideology, then what is it?..
>> The fact of the matter is, FreeBSD is a big project with a finite number
>> of developers.  We try to keep as much coverage of systems as we can, but
>> a reality of any large software engineering project is that older features
>> sometimes have to be dropped to make progress.
>>From time to time such critical cases could possibly be handled by another
> ways, I've mentioned one possible above.
>> The code still exists in the repository for any interested party to pick
>> up and modernize.
> I hope that for this particular case alternative from ports will be enough.
> But policy is not tied to one particular case, alas.

Would you please stop provoking a situation for which you are no more
involved in other than running FreeBSD.

Thank you.

PS: The website in your signature is broke. This should give you enough
to do for a while.



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