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Re: [libc-alpha] Re: [open-source] Re: Wish for 2002

Linus Torvalds <> writes:

> Oh, lots of people have. A number of the people who have not upgraded from
> the "old" library are refusing to upgrade to glibc exactly because it
> makes their systems slower.

I'm not sure we can compare libc5 to libc6 on the basis that libc6 has
more functions, or a larger memory fingerprint.  (Someone with really
old hardware may have independent reasons for not wanting a large
library, for example, because it no longer fits in core at once; but
that's not relevant here, I think.  It's a separate issue.)

However, what I'm wondering is, since your intuition and mine differ
so much on the point, where can I read about what studies there are?
Someone saying "I didn't upgrade because I believe that XXX" isn't
evidence for XXX; what I'm hoping for is a study or paper or some kind
of metric analysis on the difference and its origin.

> I see embedded people complaining quite often, and there are at least
> three different "small libc" projects going on exactly because glibc
> simply is too big for many people (ulibc, dietlibc and something I
> forget).

But that suggests, indeed, that glibc and ulibc (et al) simply fulfil
separate niches.

I can think of no good reason that everybody should use glibc, or that
it should be all things to all people.  So given that ulibc (et al)
are interested in a different goal and feature set than glibc, it
makes sense for glibc to do its thing as best as it possibly can, and
leave special cases to the people who have the expertise and interest
to work on them.

> And you want research papers? I think concerns from the "real world" are
> quite adequate, thank you.

Oh, "real world" information would also be useful.  But all I've ever
seen is that "lots of people believe XXX" and not the actual
demonstrations or reasoning that XXX is as true or important as they
believe it to be.  I'm not saying it's not: this is an area I don't
have as much knowledge in, so I'm looking for some.  But my
philosopher's mind means I don't accept "lots of people believe XXX"
as evidence for XXX.

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