How about changing the ELF magic number in some way to bring in a compatability layer ? OK: this does somewhat defeat the object, but all the depricated API could be kept in one module (hopefully rarely loaded).
This would allow old binaries to run.
I suspect that most programs would be OK on a recompile, only a few would genuinely break since they rely on really old/removed bits of the kernel API.
What do we do about bits of /proc that change ?
It would be nice if some kind of warning message could be generated in advance so that we would know what would break.
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