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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gilboa
Member since:
2005-07-06

But that's a false dichotomy. I'd rather have a well thought out slowly changing API with backward compatibility for open source drivers than either of your choices.

I doubt that it's doable in the foreseeable future.

"fast evolving" would be more interesting if Linux was doing anything more than evolving to where other systems have been for decades.

If you consider where Linux 1.0 and GNU were ~10 years ago and compare that to Windows NT 4.0 - and then take Windows XP and compare that to linux 2.6 and KDE 3.5.2, you'll fully understand my point.
Linux is a young kernel; GNU is a young platform. It has yet to find it's bullet bullet when it comes to kernel and in-kernel API design and as such, it must not be locked into current APIs. (Which were invented as you go).

Oh... and considering the number of servers running GNU/Linux based distributions (Considering Microsoft's seemingly infinite marketing and development resources, let alone their market dominance), GNU/Linux must be doing something right... (As volatile as the in-kernel API is.)

G.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> Linux is a young kernel; GNU is a young platform.

Linux is 15 years old, which is quite a lot in the computing industry. NT in its current form is roughly the same age. One could argue that NT borrowed knowledge that was developed earlier for VMS, but the same could be said about Linux which borrowed almost all of its concepts from Unix. GNU started in 1983 and is based on Unix concepts as well.

If you say "young" - compared to what?

Reply Parent Score: 0

gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

Linux is 15 years old, which is quite a lot in the computing industry. NT in its current form is roughly the same age. One could argue that NT borrowed knowledge that was developed earlier for VMS, but the same could be said about Linux which borrowed almost all of its concepts from Unix. GNU started in 1983 and is based on Unix concepts as well.

Umm... You are kidding right?
You're actually comparing Linus' student project to Windows NT 3.1, which entered development in 1988 (!!) and was backed up by two (and then one in 1990) of the largest software companies in the World, Microsoft and IBM?

Microsoft didn't "borrow" knowledge from VMS. Microsoft hired most of the VMS development team (from DEC) to work on Windows NT.

How can you compare the sheer size of Microsoft, IBM and DEC to Linux? Even today, when Linus is gaining strength is still minute compared to Microsoft.

Now, unless you have something constructive to add....

Reply Parent Score: 2

Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

A slowly changing API is technically doable. Ritchie proved that to be true back in the late 70s.

A system that so many people (my current best estimate is that at least two thousand folk are hacking away at the kernel these days,) have modified over such a long period should not be described as "young". That it has to be is a demonstration of the failure of the "evolutionary" development model.

Forget Windows. Consider Unix. Consider what a small group of people at Bell Labs did in less time. Or even better yet, consider how far BSD developed at Berkeley in its first five years, again with a much smaller team than is involved in Linux development.

The saddest thing about Linux is that there seems to be no willingness at all to learn from the past. It's all trial and (mostly) error.

Is GNU/Linux doing something right? sure. All those servers work because of what they borrowed from Unix design. The stable APIs between the kernel and user land; the stable APIs of the libraries; the stable programming language. Those all come from AT&T Bell Labs, and the University of California at Berkeley.

Where GNU/Linux works, it works because it has borrowed from earlier systems. Where it fails, it often fails because motion is confused with progress, or because sloppy planning is called "evolution" and excused.

Design is hard. Few people are very good at it. The original OS/360 team was good. The guys who did Multics were good. An argument can be made for the people behind VMS. Ritchie was probably the best OS designer ever. There were others. None of them seem to have been involved in Linux, to date.

Reply Parent Score: 2