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 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.

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