FCP-0101: Deprecating most 10/100 Ethernet drivers

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Thu Oct 4 13:07:56 UTC 2018

On Thu, Oct 4, 2018 at 2:45 AM Alexey Dokuchaev <danfe at freebsd.org> wrote:

> Looking at the commits they require near zero maintenance.  What exactly
> is the burden here?

I believe that characterization is incorrect. There's a burden. And it's
death of a thousand cuts. And many of those cuts have been inflicted on
brooks at .

Most of these drivers have had dozens or hundreds of commits each over the
years to keep up with the API changes. This acts as a tax on innovation
because it's such a pain in the back side to change all the drivers in the
tree. I did a back of the envelope computation that this is on the order of
hundreds of hours of time, spread across all the drivers over all the years
we've supported them. Some of these drivers are clearly unused, and so
that's 100% wasted effort. Most of these drivers are on machines that most
likely won't be able to run 13.0 well when it comes out in 2 years due to
increased memory demands that it will almost certainly have. The declining
use means we anticipate that if we were to maintain them until 13, it would
be wasted effort for at least some on the list.

That's why that one way to get the driver off the list is to convert to
iflib. That greatly reduces the burden by centralizing all the stupid,
common things of a driver so that we only have to change one place, not

At the root of this problem is the community's long resistance to having
data reported back to the project data about the machines running FreeBSD.
Absent any real and significant data, the only way to know if things are
unused is to ask. We cannot have the act of merely asking cause people to
freak out and hurl expletives all over the place. That's significantly not


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