perm url with updates http://xahlee.org/emacs/emacs_supporting_DOS.html
Problems of Emacs Supporting Obsolete Systems
Xah Lee, 2009-09-03
Emacs people are trying to make emacs still working on DOS, a technology that has been practically obsolete for about 10 or 15 years.
What a idiocy.
The problem is that nothing you or me can do about it. If you join the dev list, even if you are recognized as having made major contributions to emacs, your opinion or suggestion on this will be debated in the list. (in emacs dev community, and probably many FSF dev communities, you are nobody, and can never be proven otherwise, unless you are Richard Stallman, who has been out of touch with coding for perhaps 15 years) Typically, at the end, nothing will be done, or some other compromised botched up shit will be taking place.
The support of obsolete technologies do harm. In this case, forcing file names to DOS's 8 chars plus “extension” makes them less readable, and also of course takes a lot time to re-code and debug CEDET. Short files names strains emacs lisp's many deficiencies of no name space, no lexical scope, and no qualified module/packaging support.
This is just one example. In emacs, and in general in unix communities, the mentality of backward compatibility is to a degree harmful, at the cost of harming any progress of the software. There are lots of other examples in emacs too. Quick examples off my head: in emacs manual, there are lots verbiage to obsolete systems that a average professional programer never heard of today. This harms the efficiency of the manual. Also, somewhere in elisp manual it suggest programers to use file names not longer than 32...
In practice, nobody uses those systems, maybe 0.0001% of those in computing industry. And if the world has say 10 people using such obsolete systems, and if one of them made a vocalization, then it'll be be supported. (due to the we-all-democratic Freedom and Equality mentality fuck commonly implicit in open sources.)
Any existing DOS users, for whatever reasons or history studying reasons or what not, emacs 22 is still there.