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Andrew Doran wrote:
I tried this out by disabling FP. The machine booted OK but a lot was
broken. Almost all recent x86 processors have FP, including the embedded
class ones, so I think it should be removed.
I know it may sound strange and that decisions like this should probably
be based on technical reasons, but I think there are some other things
NetBSD's motto is "Of course it runs NetBSD", right? NetBSD still
supports (and is proud to - or at least says so) a wide spectrum of, by
today standards, seriously underpowered hardware. The decision to
support it was (I believe) in some cases purely enthusiastic - probably
nobody uses ports like hp300, atari or amiga for serious production
purposes. Yet they're still supported.
I have few 486SX machines I would like to have supported. No, I don't
want to put them into serious production use. But I don't want to throw
them away either, and NetBSD seemed (until now) as a logical choice for
them. I know I'm a nerd - but I like them, and I would like to see them
The fact that nobody steps forward on the mailing list, protesting
against removal of support for this or that, doesn't mean that there's
nobody out there who would like to see the hardware supported. A friend
of mine has a 386 running NetBSD and uses it on a regular basis - and he
surely was disappointed by the fact that NetBSD dropped support for 386.
But he doesn't read the mailing lists => he didn't knew anything about
it until the support was removed. I know it's not anyone's fault that he
didn't know - I just think that this "nobody protests, nobody uses it"
logic is kinda faulty.
I'm more than aware that removing support for 386 and (eventually) 486SX
simplifies a lot of things. But NetBSD boasts of portability, and
portability brings some issues - issues like this one. Either support
for 486sx should be dropped along with many other things which "just
complicate the matters and nobody uses them" (and the number of ports
could be reduced to a third or quarter), or it could be fixed (which is
the right way to do things IMHO), so that I (and nerds like me) can run
NetBSD on their ancient-and-unusable machines.
I'm more then willing to do testing on my 486sx machines, if somebody is
willing to fix support for them.
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