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well, first of all a 2.5 kernel would be unstable.. could be of testing purposes.. i wouldn't mess with 2.5 kernel unless your gonna help them debug it and fix, compile.. etc..
most likely in the next kernel release 2.6 or probably later on down the road, the tulip driver will still be supported.. i hope, alot of cards use it.. unless someone plans on rewriting a new one for the kernel.
it seems that a lot of people who are new to linux don't know about the importance of the version numbering... 2.0.x, 2.2.x, and 2.4.x (the evens) are the stable trees. 2.1.x, 2.3.x, and (obviously) 2.5.x are unstable development kernels which have experimental and very rapidly developing code and may or may not cause your computer to develop the digital equivalent of epilepsy, not to mention what might happen to your precious data. basically, if you need to ask about the relevance of this particular driver update, you shouldn't be using that kernel tree.
This just comes from some juggling as the tulip device driver switches from Donald Becker to Jeff Garzik. Garzik's note is probably meant to point devel people to compile the old tulip code separately so they can keep their machine online as he fiddles with the new tulip code. Honestly, Linux never drops support for much of anything, I mean MCA device support is still around.
Oh, and what Tricky and Isajera said makes sense, no need in playing with 2.5 kernels unless you hate your machine. Cool your heels, 2.4.17 is going to be out any day now.