Not logged in
Log in now
Create an account
Subscribe to LWN
Dividing the Linux desktop
LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 13, 2013
A report from pgCon 2013
Little things that matter in language design
LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 6, 2013
That makes you look like a troll.
Free is too expensive (Economist)
Posted Mar 31, 2012 17:25 UTC (Sat) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
Aren't you precisely the same guy who elsewhere chants "out with the old and in with the new" _all_ _the_ _time_?
Well, kinda. If the old interface is not stable then there are no benefits in keeping it around. If I can not write SysVInit file once and use it for all distributions then I don't see why do you want to keep it around.
I.e., ABIs are unstable precisely because people like you don't see stability as very valueable.
Nope. ABIs are unstable because noone tries to keep them stable. It's Ok to introduce “one final distruption” if it's needed to keep ABIs stable from that point on: witness GLibC 2.x or X11R6+. But if something was declared stable then you, of course, must keep it around.
It does not mean you can not introduce new, exciting things! For example DirectX 10+ is radically different from DirectX 1-9. Everything is different: internals, drivers, API, etc. Of course DirectX 9 emulation is provided - but this is only feasible when old version had stable ABI to emulate!
"out with the old and in with the new" happens regularly in iOS (think multitasking), Android (think GPU acceleration), Windows (think WF), and MacOS world (think Launchd). But it does not mean backward compatibility is not important! These are different (albeit related) issues.
If you don't embrace and accept new realities then you'll eventually be left behind (think PalmOS), but if you embrace them by dropping support for old applications then it's also hopeless (again: think PalmOS and webOS).
Copyright © 2013, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds