Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 13th Oct 2009 18:24 UTC, submitted by Lazarus
FreeBSD Not too long ago, Apple open sourced its Grand Central Dispatch library, which aids in developing multithreaded code. It was suggested that it could be ported to other platforms, and the FreeBSD team has done exactly that. They have also done a lot of work related to getting GCD to work in a POSIX environment.
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That's not to say that Linux folks wouldn't have gone all NIH and tried to reinvent the wheel even if the code could be incorporated directly, there are surely some examples of that out there. But in this instance they really did have a valid reason not to just use the existing code.

The valid reasons go beyond that. Kernel code is hard to transplant. Could the kernel portion of Dtrace really have been ported to Linux more easily than starting from scratch? They are *very different* kernels. Sure, a map of Denver and Houston are very similar; They *are* both maps, aren't they? It's just the streets and intersections that differ. Just move the proper stop lights from one to the other and everything will work just fine, right?

Systemtap was not NIH. It was just what made sense. (I won't comment on the user space portion since I feel I'd be talking out my ass if I did. Fact is, I don't have an informed opinion on it.)

ZFS vs btrfs is a little different. ZFS was a radical change in layering philosophy for Sun. The Linux kernel devs are not at all convinced that they would want to follow Sun down that path. And even if it weren't for that... I'm not sure that I would want to see our default filesystem "bolted on" like that. No matter how good ZFS may be.

So am I a compulsive Linux Kernel apologist? Not really. I am currently watching in mild horror as the formerly vanquished DevFS, defeated by the FUD-slinging efforts of Greg Kroah-Hartmann, to be replaced (accompanied by much user pain) by udev... is now coming back, in the form of DevFS II, which is to replace (also surely to be accompanied by much user pain) udev. And did I mention that Greg is co-author or DevFS II?

It's not really called DevFS II. But that's how I think of it. I don't recall its real name.

Edited 2009-10-14 17:41 UTC

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