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From: josh@joshtriplett.org
To: Arnd Bergmann <arnd@arndb.de>
Cc: linux-arch <linux-arch@vger.kernel.org>,
	Linux Kernel Mailing List <linux-kernel@vger.kernel.org>,
	ksummit <ksummit-discuss@lists.linuxfoundation.org>
Subject: Re: [Ksummit-discuss] [TECH TOPIC] Planning code obsolescence
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2020 14:27:21 -0700	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <20200731212721.GC32670@localhost> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <CAK8P3a2PK_bC5=3wcWm43=y5xk-Dq5-fGPExJMnOrNfGfB1m1A@mail.gmail.com>

On Fri, Jul 31, 2020 at 05:00:12PM +0200, Arnd Bergmann wrote:
> The majority of the code in the kernel deals with hardware that was made
> a long time ago, and we are regularly discussing which of those bits are
> still needed. In some cases (e.g. 20+ year old RISC workstation support),
> there are hobbyists that take care of maintainership despite there being
> no commercial interest. In other cases (e.g. x.25 networking) it turned
> out that there are very long-lived products that are actively supported
> on new kernels.
> 
> When I removed support for eight instruction set architectures in 2018,
> those were the ones that no longer had any users of mainline kernels,
> and removing them allowed later cleanup of cross-architecture code that
> would have been much harder before.
> 
> I propose adding a Documentation file that keeps track of any notable
> kernel feature that could be classified as "obsolete", and listing
> e.g. following properties:
> 
> * Kconfig symbol controlling the feature
> 
> * How long we expect to keep it as a minimum
> 
> * Known use cases, or other reasons this needs to stay
> 
> * Latest kernel in which it was known to have worked
> 
> * Contact information for known users (mailing list, personal email)
> 
> * Other features that may depend on this
> 
> * Possible benefits of eventually removing it

We had this once, in the form of feature-removal-schedule.txt. It was,
itself, removed in commit 9c0ece069b32e8e122aea71aa47181c10eb85ba7.

I *do* think there'd be value in having policies and processes for "how
do we carefully remove a driver/architecture/etc we think nobody cares
about". That's separate from having an actual in-kernel list of "things
we think we can remove".
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  reply	other threads:[~2020-07-31 21:37 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 9+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2020-07-31 15:00 Arnd Bergmann
2020-07-31 21:27 ` josh [this message]
2020-07-31 21:57   ` Bird, Tim
2020-07-31 22:47     ` josh
2020-08-05 17:26 ` Pavel Machek
2020-08-05 18:50   ` Geert Uytterhoeven
2020-08-05 19:30     ` Pavel Machek
2020-08-10 19:39       ` Olof Johansson
2020-08-16 12:53 ` Michael Ellerman

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