Re: Dropping a.out support

Michael Brennen (
Fri, 2 May 1997 09:04:45 -0500 (CDT)

How much quantifiable time does it take to support a stable legacy
application like a.out?

I understand that many do this for fun or a sense of accomplishment. I
haven't run my business on linux for over two years just for fun (I do
enjoy what I do :). If linux is to be defined by the definition of what
the developers call "fun", then it will forever remain a hobby OS without
serious support in the commercial market, and I need to bail to BSDI or
some such. I don't want to do that for many reasons; I like linux and
have found it to work very well for my business. However, if linux is to
be taken seriously commercially, the developers must treat it as such,
with a consideration of what is needed. Yes, that may take the "fun" out
of it; after 21+ years in software development, I know that tension and I
understand that is part of the price of success.

-- Michael

On Fri, 2 May 1997, Peter Mutsaers wrote:

> >> On Fri, 2 May 1997 08:33:30 -0500 (CDT), Michael Brennen
> >> <> said:
> MB> After all this time one does not gain stability by removing
> MB> a.out. The one "efficiency" I can think of to dump the a.out
> MB> format is kernel size because it doesn't need the a.out loader
> MB> any more. How much does that take? If you don't want it,
> MB> just don't compile it in your kernels.
> How about effeciency w.r.t one of the most important resources: The
> valuable time of Linux developers. I assume there is a reason that
> support for a.out is being dropped from Some new feature that
> would require extra time to not only do it for ELF but also for a.out.
> Also they do it for free and thus for fun; you cannot expect them to
> support old stuff forever and waste a lot of their time on this.