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Date:	Thu, 16 Mar 2000 09:41:00 -0500 (EST)
From:	Donald Becker <becker@scyld.com>
To:	Jeff Garzik <jgarzik@mandrakesoft.mandrakesoft.com>
Subject: Re: 2.3.51 tulip broken

On Thu, 16 Mar 2000, Jeff Garzik wrote:

> No one expects anything from you and has not for a long time.  If you
> wanted to actually WORK on the drivers, rather than just complain,
> then I'm sure many people including myself would find that work
> very valuable.

That's complete BS, as you more than anyone knows.  I'll recap recent history:

Just few months ago I finished the design on a new probe routine that
   Made it easy to maintain driver that would work on kernels back to 1.3.*.
   Made it possible for a single driver to work with PCI, CardBus, and
    hot-swap PCI.
   Handled power control and Wake-On-*.

That work took several months to complete, during which time incremental
versons of many driver were readily available using the frequently-changing

Just as I finished that work, YOU proposed a "much simpler" PCI scan
routine, calling mine too complex.  Based on the much smaller patch, that
version went into the kernel...  discarding months of my work and testing.

Since then your PCI scan interface has changed many times, to the point that
it's more complex than mine.  It had to, because the issues were the same.
My years of experience writing CardBus-compatible drivers meant that I knew
the issues up-front.  AFAIK, you hadn't written a single CardBus or
hot-swap-PCI driver when you proposed your scan routine.

But this letter isn't about this detailed, narrow issue.  It is instead
about the attitude that such interface changes are readily, and only lightly
considered.  Each one of those minor interface change impacted multiple
drivers.  Many of those drivers were being actively worked on, perhaps based
on a stable 2.2 kernel.

To you such an interface change is a minor tweak that can be with an
automated search-and-hack.  What takes you only a minute per file to change
might take the developer hours over the next few months to deal with to
integrate with testing.  This is especially true when Linus insists that all
traces of 2.2 support be expunged in the 2.3 drivers.

> I never claimed to be perfect but at least I am trying to fix some
> of the the bit-rotten, UNMAINTAINED net driver code currently in
> the kernel.
> Finally, only the Tulip and RTL-8139 drivers are maintained by me.

You made operational and interface changes to *far* more than two drivers.
Those were drivers with active card-specific mailing lists and development.
Your attitude while making these changes was "Here are changes I made to an
old driver version.  Test them for me and tell me if they work.  If they
don't work, tell me what I did wrong."

Donald Becker
Scyld Computing Corporation, becker@scyld.com

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