I should have read through the Q/A that I linked better because there was a link to a page discussing why this project was abandoned:
Is WE being further developed ?
No it is not. Only bug fixes are being accepted for WE.
Why we are abandoning WE
WEs are based on
ioctl() and although
ioctl() has been used and still
is being used as a standard transport for communication between user
←→ kernelspace new transports are being preferred for several reasons.
From Linux Device Drivers - 3rd Edition:
In user space, the ioctl system call has the following prototype:
int ioctl(int fd, unsigned long cmd, ...);
The prototype stands out in the list of Unix system calls because of
the dots, which usually mark the function as having a variable
number of arguments. In a real system, however, a system call can’t
actually have a variable number of arguments. System calls must have a
well-defined prototype, because user programs can access them only
through hardware “gates.” Therefore, the dots in the prototype
represent not a variable number of arguments but a single optional
argument, traditionally identified as
char *argp. The dots are simply
there to prevent type checking during compilation.
It also states:
The unstructured nature of the
ioctl call has caused it to fall out of favor among kernel developers. Each
ioctl command is,
essentially, a separate, usually undocumented system call, and there
is no way to audit these calls in any sort of comprehensive manner. It
is also difficult to make the unstructured
ioctl arguments work
identically on all systems; for example, consider 64-bit systems with
a userspace process running in 32-bit mode.
What is Wireless-Extensions' replacement
New development should be focused on cfg80211 and nl80211.
Side Note: It seems Jean Tourrhiles worked on the project from around 1997-2009. I found an article from 2014 saying Tourrhiles was still at HP, working on a project called OpenFlow:
HP’s Jean Tourrhiles also chairs the Extensibility Working Group,
which works as an “editor” to drive the latest technology into future
versions of OpenFlow