[linux-elitists] Stable distro kernel rant

Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
Tue Jan 27 01:23:54 PST 2004

Quoting Jason Spence (jspence@lightconsulting.com):
> On Sun, Jan 25, 2004 at 06:13:41PM -0800, Rick Moen wrote: 
> > 
> > Maybe it's just me, but calling 2.4.24 "bleeding edge" strikes me as
> > exaggeration to the point of polemics.  
> I intended "bleeding-edge" in this context to refer to the 2.5.x
> series, not the 2.4.x series.

Hold on just a second, there.  I entered this discussion because of
something triggering my bullshit detector, and it was related to your
statement and fallout from it:

   Unfortunately, Debian doesn't support USB 2.0 in their stock kernel,
   and at one site I deal with they're so heterogenous that it's not cost
   effective for me to maintain custom kernels for all their machines.

I pointed out that recent packaged, binary 2.4.x kernels for Debian most
certainly _do_ support USB 2.0.  Your answer was -=not=- "Well, I was
referring to 2.5.x", but rather (paraphrasing) "Well, my boxes are on
Debian-stable, not -unstable [or -testing]."

So, _huh_?  If indeed the following related to 2.5.x...

   Some people made very convincing arguments that running development
   kernels may not be such a bad thing, and that the dip may not have
   been so bad this release cycle, so running the bleeding-edge may be a
   valid solution to this problem for many people.

...then it was at best utterly non-sequitur to the preceding discussion,
since neither I nor anyone else had spoken of 2.5.x kernels, but rather
later-then-2.4.18-type 2.4.x ones.  

To recap:  You lamented the unavailability of USB 2.0 kernel support for
Debian.  I gave counterexamples.  You said, yes, but it runs  -stable,
not -unstable [or -testing].  I pointed out it's ridiculous to say you
can't have 2.4.4 on -stable when you have make-kpkg.  You then changed
topics completely to (rather bizarrely) discuss 2.5.x.

I may have missed something, but that's what I saw.  If this is simple
miscommunication of some sort, never mind.

> The problems I'm concerned about don't involve the actual installation
> of a kernel from scratch; they can be summarized as maintainability.  

Aw, c'mon, now:  You suddenly automatically become the sole means of
site help for (alleged) kernel bugs iff you compile one for the site,
whereas you weren't _before_ you did so?  

>  - Doing build maintenance for problems discovered. 

What "build maintenance"?  You compile it once, copy it to the site,
"dpkg -i" it, it runs.  How is this worse than running an ancient 2.4.18
kernel and then standing around bitching about the lack of USB 2.0

>  - Integrating the entire thing with the network boot diagnostic
>    system, the network booted workstations, the re-imaging software,
>    vmware, the OS X machines running virtual PC, etc.  It's just not
>    practical to do a source based install on some of these platforms
>    :(

"dpkg -i".

>  - Would probably have to maintain a local repository for the
>    packages, something we currently don't do; we only cache.

Put a copy in /usr/local.  You make this sound like a big deal. 

>  - Having to fight the urge to implement better maintenance tools.

Better to sit around complaining about the lack of USB 2.0 support?

Cheers,                     "All power is delightful, but absolute power
Rick Moen                    is absolutely delightful."  - Kenneth Tynan

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