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Re: [herbert@gondor.apana.org.au: Re: Bug#161931: kernel-image-2.4.19-k7: VESA driver for console]

So let me see if I can summarise what the pros and cons are, that have
been mentioned so far:


 * Some laptop users and certain others who wish to use the console
   in better video modes have an easier life, as they can do so with
   the stock Debian kernel.  How many people would benefit seems to be
   disputed, but it does seem clear from the BTS logs that the VESA fb
   is popular.


 * A small increase in kernel size.  This has not been quantified.
   Allegedly, including all drivers which are in roughly the same
   situation as VESA fb would increase the kernel size significantly.

   Do we have a list of other examples ?  Herbert suggests
         arpd, sch_atm, lp_console, nfs_root
   I think it's clear that most of those are not really in the same
   position as VESA fb, because they are much more of a minority
   interest.  nfs_root may be a good example (but there the boot disk
   argument Herbert's making is weakened, because there are good
   reasons why nfs_root might be useful on a rescue disk).

   The inclusion of quota support in the default kernel seems to make
   this a difficult argument to sustain, if the quota support is
   significantly bigger than VESA fb as Eduard Bloch maintains.

 * Herbert says that there is another driver, fbcon, which cannot be
   distributed in modularised form if VESA fb is included statically .
   But the argument for needing to distribute fbcon as a module - that
   it can be recompiled more easily - seems very weak to me.

Issues that seem irrelevant to me:

 * I don't care whether it's easy to modularise VESA fb or not.  If
   it's modularised then the dispute goes away, but at the moment it
   is not modularised and we cannot mandate that that work be done.
   We can only decide whether the non-modular version should be

Issues that seem to have been dealt with:

 * Older non-VESA-fb kernels would present the user with a black
   screen if a previous VESA-fb-using configuration was used.  This
   bug has now been fixed.

 * There was a question as to whether VESA fb breaks some machines,
   even when it is not used.  It seems that no-one is arguing this any
   more.  If there is some evidence to the contrary, it would be good
   to know.

Please let us know what you think of this summary of the situation.


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