Re: [Patch] 2.5.70-bk9 kick FAR out of the zlib

From: Jörn Engel (
Date: Thu Jun 05 2003 - 15:31:08 EST

Linus should have a firm position already, pruned from CC:.

On Thu, 5 June 2003 16:17:52 -0400, Richard B. Johnson wrote:
> On Thu, 5 Jun 2003, [iso-8859-1] Jörn Engel wrote:
> > A while back:
> >
> > On Fri, 30 May 2003 14:38:07 -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> > > On Fri, 30 May 2003, Jörn Engel wrote:
> > > >
> > > > How about an all or nothing approach? If you really want to get rid
> > > > of K&R, change indentation as well, rip out some of the rather
> > > > tasteless macros (ZEXPORT, ZEXPORTVA, ZEXTERN, FAR, ...) and so on.
> > >
> > > I'd love to, but I suspect we lack the motivation to do so, and there
> > > aren't any obvious upsides. Yes, the code is ugly, but it's also fairly
> > > stable so people seldom need to look at it.

Please let the above sink in a moment.

> But you just removed the portability hooks. The current code worked
> in DOS, on Windows, etc., as will as Linux. This means that if some-
> body, as unlikely as it may seem, develops a better/quicker
> version using M$ Visual C/C++, you can't get a patch. In particular,
> FAR is your friend. A simple #define makes it disappear when you
> are not using a segmented architecture, but allows the use of
> large arrays when you are.
> These kinds of things don't make the code 'pure'. It just prevents
> future enhancements. Look in the 'C' header files and see all the
> macros that disappear under the right conditions. Would you
> justify getting rid of __P in those headers? If not, please don't
> eliminate FAR.

My words were "all or nothing". Linus was against nothing, so the
answer is all, that simple.

As to your "someone comes up with a better zlib" concern, this has
happened already. An guess what, we ignored it. So unless you come
up with a patch to get the 1.1.4 changes into the kernel and describe
what the two magic bits are all about, I couldn't care less.


But this is not to say that the main benefit of Linux and other GPL
software is lower-cost. Control is the main benefit--cost is secondary.
-- Bruce Perens
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