Does anyone use Appletalk?

Finn Thain fthain at
Thu Nov 2 13:13:49 AEDT 2023

On Wed, 1 Nov 2023, Arnd Bergmann wrote:

> If we had not removed all localtalk support already, ipddp might have 
> been used to bridge between a pre-ethernet mac running macip and an IP 
> based AFP server (netatalk or time machine). Without localtalk support, 
> that is not all that interesting of course.

That line of reasoning misunderstands the value of the localtalk code (and 
conveniently neglects the actual cost of keeping it in-tree).

The existing zilog driver works on all 68k and powerpc Macs with built-in 
serial ports. If we were to complete that driver by adding the missing 
localtalk support, it would create new opportunities for creative 
users/developers who already run Linux on those systems.

Those users/developers would surely derive value from that functionality 
in ways we cannot anticipate, as happens over and over again in the 
(retrocomputing) community.

So the value of the missing zilog localtalk functionality would be 
proportional to the number of Linux systems out there with the necessary 
serial hardware. It's value is not a function of the potential business 
opportunities for your sponsors, despite the prevailing incentives.

It was the potential value of the missing code for localtalk (Zilog SCC) 
and Apple Sound Chip that caused me to place that work near the top of my 
to-do list. But that was several years ago. Unfortunately, with bug fixing 
and recapping, I still can't find time to write the necessary code.

So I can't object to the removal of the localtalk code. But I do object to 
the underhand manner in which it is done.

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