Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 6th May 2006 17:26 UTC, submitted by JMcCarthy
Linux Andrew Morton, the lead maintainer of the Linux production kernel, is worried that an increasing number of defects are appearing in the 2.6 kernel and is considering drastic action to resolve it. "I believe the 2.6 kernel is slowly getting buggier. It seems we're adding bugs at a higher rate than we're fixing them," Morton said, in a talk at the LinuxTag conference in Wiesbaden, Germany, on Friday.
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A stable kernel API would be nice
by twenex on Sun 7th May 2006 12:49 UTC
twenex
Member since:
2006-04-21

I'm in favour of a stable kernel API. A couple of years ago I wouldn't have predicted a move away from the even/odd-numbered series kernels approach, but it happened in the interests of improving stability. Linux also has a relatively stable userspace API (indeed it has to, both to remain compatible with UNIX and to maintain its position as today's de facto standard UNIX), and yet still manages to innovate, so I don't see any problem with a stable kernel API at least between minor versions.

As for whether the open source model is wrong, I believe that the rate of innovation (or at least improvement) in Linux has proved that it is right. We'll probably never know whether Microsoft are honest with themselves internally about the bugginess of Windows, but whether they are or not is irrelevant. Linux simply is several orders of magnitude less buggy than any Microsoft OS I've ever tried, with the possible exception of DOS; but show me a Windows user who'd rather use DOS, and I'll show you one who'd rather use Linux, too.

The "bugfreeness" of Linux is probably directly attributable to the UNIX tradition of putting BUGS sections in the manpages, i.e. admitting the ones you can live with, fixing the ones you can't.

In the words of one UNIX founder, "that's a level of honesty you don't [otherwise] find."

Reply Score: 2

McBofh Member since:
2005-07-07

Having a stable in-kernel set of interfaces seems to have worked quite well for Solaris, AIX, HPUX and Irix. I always wonder about why Linux doesn't have one, and think that perhaps it's due to a lack of sufficient design process, or maybe just an attitude of "well we're better than that, we don't need to do what they do."

Having processes (which you *use*!) isn't evil, people, it's how software engineering keeps going.

Reply Parent Score: 1