Re: [PATCH] ioctl SIOCGIFNETMASK: ip alias bug 2.4.9 and 2.2.19

David Weinehall (
Mon, 10 Sep 2001 10:05:37 +0200

On Thu, Sep 06, 2001 at 10:13:59PM +0200, Matthias Andree wrote:
> On Thu, 06 Sep 2001, Alan Cox wrote:
> > I think you have the metaphor wrong. The older API is a bit like the
> > cavalry charging into battle at the start of world war one. It may have been
> > how everyone did it but they guys with the "newfangled, really not how it
> > should be done, definitely not cricket" machine guns got the last laugh
> Alan, portability is an issue or Linux will lose. Admittedly, legacy
> interfaces do not support all of those new features, but a rather
> trivial patch of mine brings SIOCGIFNETMASK compatibility with both the
> old and the new stuff, please name precisely the objections against
> portability and compatibility with FreeBSD 4.x aliasing.

Are you saying that Linux should implement compability with _new_
features in FreeBSD 4.x, while at the same time frowning at the fact
that Linux introduces a new API?! The mind boggles at the thought.

Please accept, that sometimes, just sometimes, there is a superior way
to do something, and implementing support for that might not be such
a bad idea after all. Whining about this causing "bloat and maintainance
nightmares" (no, not a direct quote, sorry for that) doesn't cut it,
because there are probably more Linux-machines running the software than
any BSD-machines, thus the netlink-code will get _more_ testing than
the legacy API.

/David Weinehall
_ _
// David Weinehall <> /> Northern lights wander \\
// Project MCA Linux hacker // Dance across the winter sky //
\> </ Full colour fire </
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