Re: [isdn4oz] Re: ISDN and the feature freeze

Paul Slootman (
Fri, 6 Aug 1999 15:50:28 +0200

On Fri 06 Aug 1999, Mark Constable wrote:
> Paul Slootman wrote:
> > > I've been told that contrary to what I thought, i4ldeveloper is a
> > > closed mailing list.
> >
> > AFAIK it's a well-kept secret (well, it was :-) that people who are
> > interested in ISDN4Linux development (but not active developers
> > themselves) may get a subscription if they ask nicely. I think the
> > reluctance to make it fully open is the experience with the isdn4linux
> > mailing list, which has an astounding amount of traffic.
> And doesn't that incidate a great _need_ to open up and EXPAND
> the ISDN base for both users and developers ?

Have you really looked at the sort of traffic on that list? It's 50%
questions that are covered by the FAQ, 30% answers saying it's in the
FAQ, and 15% replies saying that the question can't be answered without
stating at least the most basic info (kernel version, type of isdn card,
...). I try to answer questions on that list as much as possible, but
if someone simply says "I can't get a connection!" without supplying any
additional info, I can't be bothered; it's not like I'm bored with
nothing better to do.

Anyway, those people simply need to read the docs first. What also would
help greatly is Red Hat finally acknowledging that ISDN exists, and
supplying an RPM of the ISDN utilities and a working kernel; I'm talking
about RH 5.2 here where it appeared that 2.0.36 was used, while it was
one of the prereleases of .36 that didn't have the ISDN patch yet that
did get into the real 2.0.36. You won't believe the number of questions
that _that_ generated... Unfortunately (as far as ISDN is concerned),
Red Hat has a very large market share of new linux users, and not having
any ISDN support at all doesn't help "the cause".

> Isn't this attitude of keeping the door closed the basis for most
> of the other ensuing problems for the "last 5 years", as Linus
> noted in his public message of frustration in dealing with the
> ISDN codebase and the people responisble for it ?

I don't think so. I think that the problem until recently was that the
core ISDN developers did not have much time to spend on this. Recently
this has changed for the better (Karsten now works for SuSE and can work
on isdn4linux mostly fulltime, for example), so I expect that in the
future things won't get out of hand.

> I sell self-contained ISP boxes in Australia that absolutely rely
> on uptodate and usable ISDN code (no workie, no income = one more

Usable I can understand, why must it be the very latest? If it works...
I've installed a number of linux systems as internet gateways
(masquerading etc.), some of which have been running for more than a
year now. They still work fine, even though they're not "uptodate" any

> linux based business down the drain) and Karsten was kind enough
> to allow me access to both the CVS and the the i4ldeveloper list

Part of the problem is probably also that the CVS is available
(read-only) to anyone who knows how to do anonymous CVS... I don't mean
to say that _you_ shouldn't have had access, I mean that as anyone can
access it, the users of ISDN4Linux didn't have a really pressing reason
to want it in the current kernel version (as someone else stated

Anyway, hopefully all of this is soon a thing of the past, and we can
all peacefully carry on with our lives...

Paul Slootman

Better, faster, | home:
cheaper:        | debian:   isdn4linux:
choose any two. | work:    Murphy Software, Enschede,  NL

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