Re: FatELF patches...

From: Ryan C. Gordon
Date: Sun Nov 01 2009 - 20:18:55 EST

> Adding code that might bring lawsuits to Linux developers,
> distributors, users is a BIG disadvantage.

I'm tracking down a lawyer to discuss the issue. I'm surprised there
aren't a few hanging around here, honestly. I sent a request in to the
SFLC, and if that doesn't pan out, I'll dig for coins in my car seat to
pay a lawyer for a few hours of her time.

If it's a big deal, we'll figure out what to do from there. But let's not
talk about the sky falling until we get to that point, please.

> "Given enough disc space, there's no reason you couldn't have one DVD
> .iso that installs an x86-64, x86, PowerPC, SPARC, and MIPS system"

I've had about a million people point out the boot loader thing. There's
an x86/amd64 forest if you can see past the MIPS trees.

Still, I said there were different points that were more compelling for
different individuals. I don't think this is the most compelling argument
on that page, and I think there's a value in talking about theoretical
benefits in addition to practical ones. Theoretical ones become practical
the moment someone decides to roll out a company-internal distribution
that works on all the workstations inside IBM or Google or whatever...even
if Fedora would turn their nose up at the idea for a general-purpose

> IMO, the biggest problem users get is not with which hardware binary
> to download, but the incompatibly of different Linux kernels and glibc
> (the API/ABI).

These are concerns, too, but the kernel has been, in my experience, very
good at binary compatibility with user space back as far as I can
remember. glibc has had some painful progress, but since NPTL stabilized a
long time ago, even this hasn't been bad at all.

Certainly one has to be careful--I would even use the word diligent--to
maintain binary compatibility, but this was much more of a hurting for
application developers a decade ago.

At least, that's been my experience.


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