Subject: Re: Patch to add console scrollback support.
To: \"Jaromír\" Dolecek <>
From: Brett Lymn <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 06/02/2001 21:44:13
According to "Jaromír" Dolecek:
>I think this is quite useful feature and I'd certainly be happy
>if the option would be available.

I certainly think that having this option would be excellent too.

FWIW I am totally aghast that such a simple change can get such a
negative flogging.  Sure this OPTION will use more kernel memory but
so what?  If you have enough memory then you can ENABLE THE OPTION.
Arguments about the memory footprint being significant on an 8Meg
machine are specious - there are a lot of things you cannot do with an
8Meg machine, run netscape, run emacs (well, maybe just), run a full
GENERIC kernel.  Such things Just Don't Work.  To use this as a
justification for not adding a kernel feature is short sighted - we
must take care that we support the low end machines[1] but we must
balance that against going forward with improved features on the
machines that can handle them.  Considering I can buy 1G of RAM today
for AUS$600 memory should not be a problem in modern machines.

The constant carping and nit-picking can be a real disincentive to
someone attempting to add features to the kernel.  This is not to say
we should accept any old thing but, as others have observed, people
who "just don't like" an idea instead of having a reasoned technical
objection do have a negative impact.  We did have someone suggest
scroll back for the NetBSD console previously.  I don't know what
happened to the poor guy - he got pounded from all sides for a while,
I suspect he may have just given up in disgust.

I would say that it is high time that got this to the "put up or shut
up" stage... put up a valid TECHNICAL reason for not having this
OPTION or shut up.


[1] NetBSD may be close to the only ones that do.  I believe that
FreeBSD will not boot in 8Meg.  Dunno about standard Linux.  Solaris 8
won't touch anything less than 32Meg IIRC.

Brett Lymn, Computer Systems Administrator, BAE SYSTEMS