Re: [PATCH] libosd: Remove ignored __weak attribute

From: Theodore Y. Ts'o
Date: Fri Oct 26 2018 - 23:36:11 EST

On Fri, Oct 26, 2018 at 03:07:39PM -0700, Nick Desaulniers wrote:
> > That's not completely correct. The standard approach to check whether or not
> > a driver is still being used is to check its git history. If the number of
> > contributors is low and it was several years ago that a new feature was added
> > or a bug has been fixed it is likely that nobody is using that driver anymore.
> I don't disagree with you, I just don't see how what you state can be
> reconciled with Linus' response in
> Those two viewpoints seem
> incompatible to me, but maybe there's a nuance I'm missing?

So a couple of observations. Obviously, drivers, file systems and
architectures *have* been removed. It can be done; sometimes if it
can be demonstrate that it can't possibly work (for example, due to
bitrot, the kernel would immediately crashed if anyone tried to use
the code in question :-).

In other cases, drivers has been removed through the staging
subsystem, sometimes by adding a "depends on BROKEN" in the Kconfig
file, and seeing if anyone complains --- since removing a "depends on
BROKEN" line in Kconfig is even easier than doing reverting a git
commit (especially if the user downloaded a tarball instead of doing a
git clone).

If you've done your due diligence then the chances that you have to
revert a change which disables and later removes the dead code can be
pushed close to zero. The question is whether it's worth the effort.

> Nathan and I are just pointing out a small fix to eliminate a small
> warning, deleting all this code does kind of feels like "throwing out
> the baby with the bath water." A nuclear option for what would be a
> small change otherwise. Maybe it's good to discuss the EOL for
> exofs/osd, but can we please decouple that conversation from the small
> change Nathan and I are proposing?

The second observation I'll make is that if someone is proposing a
cleanup patch, it's unfair to dump on the person proposing the cleanup
patch the (non-trivial) effort to drop a driver/file system/subsystem.

If the maintainer wants to drop a driver/file system, that should be
the maintainer's responsibiltiy; not someone proposing a
cleanup/maintenance patch.

- Ted