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

On Sat, Oct 26, 2002 at 10:01:44PM +0100, Ian Jackson wrote:
> No, Raul is not making that assumption.  He's just pointing out that
> the decisions about kernel architecture need different considerations
> to the decisions about what to ship in a distribution.


> The alleged cost of the non modular VESA fb is still a mystery to me.
> What bad consequences does it have ?

This, indeed, is the issue I'd like to focus on.

Fundamentally, I think it's important that what we distribute be as
broadly useful as possible.  I don't see that trivially optimizing the
system by excluding support for a class of machines is a good decision
for us.

I do recognize the technical merit of making VESA FB a module, and I
think it's both possible, and a good idea -- but until that's been done,
I think that the only reason for not compiling support for VESA FB into
the kernel is if it would screw up someone's system.

If there are reproducible problems with VESA FB, those problems should
be the basis of our decision.

If we can't evidence of any such problems, that lack should be the basis
of our decision.

> If you, Manoj, actually agree with Herbert on this question, then you
> should obviously vote accordingly.  But if you agree with what seems
> to be the position of Raul and myself, that including VESA fb has real
> benefits (which are admittedly hard to measure) but no significant
> costs, then I think you should vote accordingly.

I'm willing to agree with Herbert if the situation I saw reported in one
of the bug reports still existed: if VESA FB still breaks some machines
just by being compiled in.

But so far it looks like "distribute current linux kernels with VESA
FB support disabled" doesn't solve any technical problem.  I've spent
a fair bit of time trying to find evidence of any such problem, and I
have failed to find any.

So, yes, if we held a vote right now, I'd vote in favor of shipping
kernels with VESA FB support enabled.  I might change my mind, but right
now this doesn't look likely to me.


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